Author:Matthews, Anne

Commonplace Book


When we started to work on the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, everything was in such a hurry that it wasn't really ready .... Whenever I wanted somebody s report and they weren't around, I'd just go to their office, open the filing cabinet, and take it out. When I was finished I'd give it back to the guy: "Thanks for your report." "Where'd you get it?.... Out of your filing cabinet." "But I locked it! ... I know you locked it. The locks are no good."


Classic Feynman, 2006

So I had it after all the months. For nothing is lost, nothing is ever lost. There is always the clue, the canceled check, the smear of lipstick, the footprint in the canna bed, the condom on the park path, the twitch in the old wound, the baby shoes dipped in bronze, the taint in the blood stream.


All the King's Men, 1946

A secret doesn't belong, it can never be said to be at home or in its place.... The question of the self: "who am I" not in the sense of "who am I" but rather "who is this T" that can say "who"? What is the "I," and what becomes of responsibility once the identity of the "I" trembles in secret?


The Gift of Death, 1992

That new real future which was replacing the imaginary drew its material from the endless minutiae by which her view of Mr. Causabon and her wifely relation, now that she was married to him, was gradually changing with the secret motion of a watch hand.... If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. As it is, the quickest of us walk about well wadded with stupidity.


Middlemarch, 1874

If I take the wings of the morning,

And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; ... If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee.

--Psalm 139, King James Version

The secret point of money and power in America is neither the things that money can buy nor power for power's sake ... but absolute personal freedom, mobility, privacy. It is the instinct which drove America to the Pacific, all through the 19th century, the desire to be able to find a restaurant open in case you want a sandwich, to be a free agent, live by one's own rules.


Slouching Towards Bethlehem, 1968

A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you...

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