Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

6

Above all, I had to let go of my objection to the love tribulations of women. The story of Janie's progress through three marriages confronts the reader with the significant idea that the choice one makes between partners, between one man and another (or one woman and another) stretches beyond romance. Is it, in the end, the choice between values, possibilities, futures, hopes, arguments (shared concepts that fit the world as you experience it), languages (shared words that fit the world as you believe it to be) and lives. [...]

—p.6 Their Eyes Were Watching God: What Does Soulful Mean? (3) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

Above all, I had to let go of my objection to the love tribulations of women. The story of Janie's progress through three marriages confronts the reader with the significant idea that the choice one makes between partners, between one man and another (or one woman and another) stretches beyond romance. Is it, in the end, the choice between values, possibilities, futures, hopes, arguments (shared concepts that fit the world as you experience it), languages (shared words that fit the world as you believe it to be) and lives. [...]

—p.6 Their Eyes Were Watching God: What Does Soulful Mean? (3) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago
9

[...] It is not the Black Female Literary Tradition that makes Hurston great. It is Hurston herself. Zora Neale Hurston--capable of expressing human vulnerability as well as its strength, lyrical without sentiment, romantic and yet rigorous and one of the few truly eloquent writers of sex--is as exceptional among black women writers as Tolstoy is among white male writers.

[...] one wants to make a neutral and solid case for her greatnes, to say something more substantial than "She is my sister and I love her." As a reader, I want to claim fellowship with "good writing" without limits; to be able to say that Hurston is my sister and Baldwin is my brother, and so is Kafka my brother, and Nabokov, and Woolf my sister, and Eliot and Ozick. Like all readers, I want my limits to be drawn by my sensibilities, not by my melanin count. [...]

—p.9 Their Eyes Were Watching God: What Does Soulful Mean? (3) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

[...] It is not the Black Female Literary Tradition that makes Hurston great. It is Hurston herself. Zora Neale Hurston--capable of expressing human vulnerability as well as its strength, lyrical without sentiment, romantic and yet rigorous and one of the few truly eloquent writers of sex--is as exceptional among black women writers as Tolstoy is among white male writers.

[...] one wants to make a neutral and solid case for her greatnes, to say something more substantial than "She is my sister and I love her." As a reader, I want to claim fellowship with "good writing" without limits; to be able to say that Hurston is my sister and Baldwin is my brother, and so is Kafka my brother, and Nabokov, and Woolf my sister, and Eliot and Ozick. Like all readers, I want my limits to be drawn by my sensibilities, not by my melanin count. [...]

—p.9 Their Eyes Were Watching God: What Does Soulful Mean? (3) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago
11

[...] "Blackness", as she understood it and wrote about it, is as natural and inevitable and complete to her as, say, "Frenchness" is to Flaubert. It is also as complicated, as full of blessings and curses. One can be no more removed from it than from one's arm, but it is no more the total measure of one's being than an arm is.

on Zora Neale Hurston

—p.11 Their Eyes Were Watching God: What Does Soulful Mean? (3) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

[...] "Blackness", as she understood it and wrote about it, is as natural and inevitable and complete to her as, say, "Frenchness" is to Flaubert. It is also as complicated, as full of blessings and curses. One can be no more removed from it than from one's arm, but it is no more the total measure of one's being than an arm is.

on Zora Neale Hurston

—p.11 Their Eyes Were Watching God: What Does Soulful Mean? (3) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago
12

[...] In the high style, one's loves never seem partial or personal, or even like "loves", because white novelists are not white novelists but simply "novelists," and white characters are not white characters but simply "human," and criticism of both is not partial or personal but a matter of aesthetics. Such critics will always sound like the neutral universal, and the black woman who have championed Their Eyes Were Watching God in the past, and the one doing so now, will seem like black women talking about a black book. When I began this piece, it felt important to distance myself from that idea. By doing so, I misrepresent a vital aspect of my response to this book, one that is entirely personal, as any response to a novel shall be. Fact is, I am a black woman, and a slither of this book goes straight into my soul, I suspect, for that reason. And though it is, to me, a mistake to say, "Unless you are a black woman, you will never fully comprehend this novel," it is also disingenous to claim that many black women do not respond to this book in a particularly powerful manner that would seem "extraliterary." Those aspects of Their Eyes Were Watching God that plumb so profoundly the ancient buildup of cultural residue that is (for convenience's sake) called "Blackness" are the parts that my own "Blackness," as far as it goes, cannot help but respond to personally. At fourteen I couldn't find words (or words I liked) for the marvelous feeling of recognition that came with these characters who had my hair, my eyes, my skin, even the ancestors of the rhythm of my speech. These forms of identification are so natural to white readers--(Of course Rabbit Angstrom is like me! Of course Madame Bovary is like me!)--that they believe themselves above personal identification, or at least believe that they are identifying only at the highest, existential levels (His soul is like my soul. He is human; I am human). White readers often believe they are colorbind. I always thought I was a colorblind reader--until I read this novel, and that ultimate cliché of black life that is inscribed in the word soulful took on new weight and sense for me. [...]

—p.12 Their Eyes Were Watching God: What Does Soulful Mean? (3) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

[...] In the high style, one's loves never seem partial or personal, or even like "loves", because white novelists are not white novelists but simply "novelists," and white characters are not white characters but simply "human," and criticism of both is not partial or personal but a matter of aesthetics. Such critics will always sound like the neutral universal, and the black woman who have championed Their Eyes Were Watching God in the past, and the one doing so now, will seem like black women talking about a black book. When I began this piece, it felt important to distance myself from that idea. By doing so, I misrepresent a vital aspect of my response to this book, one that is entirely personal, as any response to a novel shall be. Fact is, I am a black woman, and a slither of this book goes straight into my soul, I suspect, for that reason. And though it is, to me, a mistake to say, "Unless you are a black woman, you will never fully comprehend this novel," it is also disingenous to claim that many black women do not respond to this book in a particularly powerful manner that would seem "extraliterary." Those aspects of Their Eyes Were Watching God that plumb so profoundly the ancient buildup of cultural residue that is (for convenience's sake) called "Blackness" are the parts that my own "Blackness," as far as it goes, cannot help but respond to personally. At fourteen I couldn't find words (or words I liked) for the marvelous feeling of recognition that came with these characters who had my hair, my eyes, my skin, even the ancestors of the rhythm of my speech. These forms of identification are so natural to white readers--(Of course Rabbit Angstrom is like me! Of course Madame Bovary is like me!)--that they believe themselves above personal identification, or at least believe that they are identifying only at the highest, existential levels (His soul is like my soul. He is human; I am human). White readers often believe they are colorbind. I always thought I was a colorblind reader--until I read this novel, and that ultimate cliché of black life that is inscribed in the word soulful took on new weight and sense for me. [...]

—p.12 Their Eyes Were Watching God: What Does Soulful Mean? (3) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago
18

[...] not having read Wordsworth, yet grasps the soul of that poet as he listens to Forster recount a visit to the Lake District, Wordsworth country: "Grey sheets of rain trailed in front of the mountains, waterfalls slid down them and shone in the sun, and the sky was always sending shafts of light into the valleys." [...]

just a beautiful quote by Forster

—p.18 E. M. Forster, Middle Manager (14) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

[...] not having read Wordsworth, yet grasps the soul of that poet as he listens to Forster recount a visit to the Lake District, Wordsworth country: "Grey sheets of rain trailed in front of the mountains, waterfalls slid down them and shone in the sun, and the sky was always sending shafts of light into the valleys." [...]

just a beautiful quote by Forster

—p.18 E. M. Forster, Middle Manager (14) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago
24

[...] It's a cliché to think liking Keats makes you cultured (Larkin and Amis defaced their college copy of The Eves of St. Agnes) [...]

from footnote 4: not sure who this anecdote relates to, but apparently next to the phrase "into her dream he melted" was written "You mean he fucked her, do you?" probably larkin tbh

—p.24 E. M. Forster, Middle Manager (14) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

[...] It's a cliché to think liking Keats makes you cultured (Larkin and Amis defaced their college copy of The Eves of St. Agnes) [...]

from footnote 4: not sure who this anecdote relates to, but apparently next to the phrase "into her dream he melted" was written "You mean he fucked her, do you?" probably larkin tbh

—p.24 E. M. Forster, Middle Manager (14) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago
32

The young Eliot could exult only in the perfect truths we glean from certain books in our libraries; the mature Eliot had learned to have sympathy for the stumbling errors of human beings. [...]

this fits perfectly into my theories about being an adult! also into killing your heroes

about George Eliot

—p.32 Middlemarch and Everybody (29) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

The young Eliot could exult only in the perfect truths we glean from certain books in our libraries; the mature Eliot had learned to have sympathy for the stumbling errors of human beings. [...]

this fits perfectly into my theories about being an adult! also into killing your heroes

about George Eliot

—p.32 Middlemarch and Everybody (29) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago
33

[...] With a scalpel Eliot dissects degrees of human velleity, finding the conscious ction hidden within the impulse hiden within the desire hidden within the will tucked away deep inside the decision that we have obfuscated even from ourselves. (She is very modern in this; she articulates the obsessive circles of self-consciousness and self-deception as sharply as that other master of diffusion, David Foster Wallace. Or maybe we should say that David Foster Wallace is very Victorian.) [...]

—p.33 Middlemarch and Everybody (29) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

[...] With a scalpel Eliot dissects degrees of human velleity, finding the conscious ction hidden within the impulse hiden within the desire hidden within the will tucked away deep inside the decision that we have obfuscated even from ourselves. (She is very modern in this; she articulates the obsessive circles of self-consciousness and self-deception as sharply as that other master of diffusion, David Foster Wallace. Or maybe we should say that David Foster Wallace is very Victorian.) [...]

—p.33 Middlemarch and Everybody (29) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago
35

[...] All her people are striving toward the fullest truth, the least partial good. Except when Eliot thought of striving, she had more in mind than Austen's hope of happy marriages, or Dickens's dream of resolved mysteries. She was thinking of Spinoza's kind of striving, conatus. From Spinoza, Eliot took the idea that the good we strive for should be nothing more than "what we certainly know will be useful to us," not a fixed point, no specific moral system, not, properly speaking, a morality at all. It cannot be found in the pursuit of transcendental reward, as Dorothea believes it to be, or in one's ability to conform to a set of rules, as Lydgate attempts when he submits to a conventional marriage. Instead, wise men pursue what is best in and best for their own natures. They think of the good as a dynamic, unpredictable combination of forces, different, in practice, for each of us. It's that principle that illuminates Middlemarch. Like Spinoza's wise men, Eliot's people aer always seeking to match what is good in themselves in joyful combinations with other good things in the world. [...]

—p.35 Middlemarch and Everybody (29) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

[...] All her people are striving toward the fullest truth, the least partial good. Except when Eliot thought of striving, she had more in mind than Austen's hope of happy marriages, or Dickens's dream of resolved mysteries. She was thinking of Spinoza's kind of striving, conatus. From Spinoza, Eliot took the idea that the good we strive for should be nothing more than "what we certainly know will be useful to us," not a fixed point, no specific moral system, not, properly speaking, a morality at all. It cannot be found in the pursuit of transcendental reward, as Dorothea believes it to be, or in one's ability to conform to a set of rules, as Lydgate attempts when he submits to a conventional marriage. Instead, wise men pursue what is best in and best for their own natures. They think of the good as a dynamic, unpredictable combination of forces, different, in practice, for each of us. It's that principle that illuminates Middlemarch. Like Spinoza's wise men, Eliot's people aer always seeking to match what is good in themselves in joyful combinations with other good things in the world. [...]

—p.35 Middlemarch and Everybody (29) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago
38

[...] This is not biblical morality but practical morality: Fred has done something wrong in the world, and his true punishment lies not in the next world but in this one. [...]

about someone finding morality as a result of loving someone and thus seeing himself through her eyes. just thought it was a nice sentence that also happens to cunningly undermine biblical morality

—p.38 Middlemarch and Everybody (29) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

[...] This is not biblical morality but practical morality: Fred has done something wrong in the world, and his true punishment lies not in the next world but in this one. [...]

about someone finding morality as a result of loving someone and thus seeing himself through her eyes. just thought it was a nice sentence that also happens to cunningly undermine biblical morality

—p.38 Middlemarch and Everybody (29) by Zadie Smith 1 year, 6 months ago