Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

9

Buddy had wanted to be an opera singer and was an accountant. His brother Danny had wanted to be a clarinettist and worked in his father’s jewelry business. His sister Frieda had wanted to be a violinist and worked as a secretary before marrying and having three children. His sister Barbara had wanted to be a violinist and worked as a secretary before marrying and having two children. His youngest sister, Linda, wanted to be a singer and she had now refused point-blank to go to secretarial college; his father had refused pointblank to let her study music. Linda had gone to the piano and begun to play Chopin’s Prelude No. 24 in D minor, a bitter piece of music which gains in tragic intensity when played 40 times in a row.

—p.9 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago

Buddy had wanted to be an opera singer and was an accountant. His brother Danny had wanted to be a clarinettist and worked in his father’s jewelry business. His sister Frieda had wanted to be a violinist and worked as a secretary before marrying and having three children. His sister Barbara had wanted to be a violinist and worked as a secretary before marrying and having two children. His youngest sister, Linda, wanted to be a singer and she had now refused point-blank to go to secretarial college; his father had refused pointblank to let her study music. Linda had gone to the piano and begun to play Chopin’s Prelude No. 24 in D minor, a bitter piece of music which gains in tragic intensity when played 40 times in a row.

—p.9 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago
10

In the front room was a 17-year-old girl with fierce black hair, fierce black eyes & ferocious red lipstick. She did not look up because she was halfway through her 41st consecutive rendition of Chopin’s Prelude No. 24 in D minor.

My father stood by the piano and he suddenly thought What would be the odds against going to a seminary and going to synagogue and learning to play pool, just suppose he fell in love with a Jewish girl from Philadelphia and made a fortune in motels and lived happily ever after, say the odds were a billion to one that was still not the same as impossible so it was not actually impossible that his father had not, in fact—

Linda plunged down to the bass and hammered out three bitter low notes. Doom. Doom. Doom.

The piece was over. She looked up before starting again.

Who are you? she said.

Buddy introduced my father.

Oh, the atheist, said my mother.

—p.10 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago

In the front room was a 17-year-old girl with fierce black hair, fierce black eyes & ferocious red lipstick. She did not look up because she was halfway through her 41st consecutive rendition of Chopin’s Prelude No. 24 in D minor.

My father stood by the piano and he suddenly thought What would be the odds against going to a seminary and going to synagogue and learning to play pool, just suppose he fell in love with a Jewish girl from Philadelphia and made a fortune in motels and lived happily ever after, say the odds were a billion to one that was still not the same as impossible so it was not actually impossible that his father had not, in fact—

Linda plunged down to the bass and hammered out three bitter low notes. Doom. Doom. Doom.

The piece was over. She looked up before starting again.

Who are you? she said.

Buddy introduced my father.

Oh, the atheist, said my mother.

—p.10 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago
17

Es ist wirklich Brach- und Neufeld, welches der Verfasser mit der Bearbeitung dieses Themas betreten und durchpflügt hat, so sonderbar auch diese Behauptung im ersten Augenblick klingen mag.

I had taught myself German out of Teach Yourself German, and I recognised several words in this sentence at once:

It is truly something and something which the something with the something of this something has something and something, so something also this something might something at first something.

I deciphered the rest of the sentence by looking up the words Brachfeld, Neufeld, Verfasser, Bearbeitung, Themas, betreten, durchpflügt, sonderbar, Behauptung, Augenblick and klingen in Langenscheidt’s German-English dictionary.

—p.17 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago

Es ist wirklich Brach- und Neufeld, welches der Verfasser mit der Bearbeitung dieses Themas betreten und durchpflügt hat, so sonderbar auch diese Behauptung im ersten Augenblick klingen mag.

I had taught myself German out of Teach Yourself German, and I recognised several words in this sentence at once:

It is truly something and something which the something with the something of this something has something and something, so something also this something might something at first something.

I deciphered the rest of the sentence by looking up the words Brachfeld, Neufeld, Verfasser, Bearbeitung, Themas, betreten, durchpflügt, sonderbar, Behauptung, Augenblick and klingen in Langenscheidt’s German-English dictionary.

—p.17 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago
22

Say you grow up in the type of place that is excited to be getting its first motel, moving from town to town as one motel is finished and another begun. You are naturally not enthralled by school and achieve a solid B – average. Presently you take Scholastic Aptitude Tests and astound everyone by a degree of scholastic aptitude which places the B – average in an entirely different light. Your teachers take the result as a personal insult. You apply to various colleges, who ask for references, and teachers who have reduced you to speechless torpor write complaining of apathy. You are interviewed on the basis of dazzling scholastic aptitude and you are asked about your interests and you have no interests. You have no extracurricular activities because the extracurricular activity was the Donny Osmond Fan Club. Everyone turns down your application on grounds of apathy.

One day you are lying on a bed in one of the motel rooms. Your mother is having a bad day: she is playing Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude for the 63rd time on the piano in the adjacent room. Your father is having a good day: a member of the Gideon Society has come to suggest placing Bibles in the rooms, and he has been able to state categorically that he is not having that piece of trash in his motel. Each bedside table, he explains, has a copy of Darwin’s Origin of Species in the top drawer. In fact it’s a really good day because that very morning one of the guests stole the Origin of Species instead of a towel. You stare apathetically at the TV. They are showing A Yank at Oxford.

—p.22 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago

Say you grow up in the type of place that is excited to be getting its first motel, moving from town to town as one motel is finished and another begun. You are naturally not enthralled by school and achieve a solid B – average. Presently you take Scholastic Aptitude Tests and astound everyone by a degree of scholastic aptitude which places the B – average in an entirely different light. Your teachers take the result as a personal insult. You apply to various colleges, who ask for references, and teachers who have reduced you to speechless torpor write complaining of apathy. You are interviewed on the basis of dazzling scholastic aptitude and you are asked about your interests and you have no interests. You have no extracurricular activities because the extracurricular activity was the Donny Osmond Fan Club. Everyone turns down your application on grounds of apathy.

One day you are lying on a bed in one of the motel rooms. Your mother is having a bad day: she is playing Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude for the 63rd time on the piano in the adjacent room. Your father is having a good day: a member of the Gideon Society has come to suggest placing Bibles in the rooms, and he has been able to state categorically that he is not having that piece of trash in his motel. Each bedside table, he explains, has a copy of Darwin’s Origin of Species in the top drawer. In fact it’s a really good day because that very morning one of the guests stole the Origin of Species instead of a towel. You stare apathetically at the TV. They are showing A Yank at Oxford.

—p.22 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago
24

I decided against a film. I thought: Let’s go in search of fried chicken.

An American in Britain has sources of solace available nowhere else on earth. One of the marvellous things about the country is the multitudes of fried chicken franchises selling fried chicken from states not known for fried chicken on the other side of the Atlantic. If you’re feeling a little depressed you can turn to Tennessee Fried Chicken, if you’re in black despair an Iowa Fried Chicken will put things in perspective, if life seems worthless and death out of reach you can see if somewhere on the island an Alaska Fried Chicken is frying chicken according to a recipe passed down by the Inuit from time immemorial.

I cycled out the Cowley Road, past a Maryland Fried Chicken, past a Georgia, and all the time I was trying to think of something I could do without a work permit. I came at last to a Kansas Fried Chicken and dismounted.

—p.24 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago

I decided against a film. I thought: Let’s go in search of fried chicken.

An American in Britain has sources of solace available nowhere else on earth. One of the marvellous things about the country is the multitudes of fried chicken franchises selling fried chicken from states not known for fried chicken on the other side of the Atlantic. If you’re feeling a little depressed you can turn to Tennessee Fried Chicken, if you’re in black despair an Iowa Fried Chicken will put things in perspective, if life seems worthless and death out of reach you can see if somewhere on the island an Alaska Fried Chicken is frying chicken according to a recipe passed down by the Inuit from time immemorial.

I cycled out the Cowley Road, past a Maryland Fried Chicken, past a Georgia, and all the time I was trying to think of something I could do without a work permit. I came at last to a Kansas Fried Chicken and dismounted.

—p.24 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago
34

A syllable is a phonetic element of a word containing a vowel, take the word ‘containing’ you could break it down to ‘con-tain-ing’ and have a symbol for each part. In Chinese each word is just one syllable long, a monosyllable. What would polysyllabic be?

With many syllables?

Exactement.

And oligosyllabic would be with few syllables

It would be, but it’s not used much, people seem to work in terms of an opposition between the one and the many

Duosyllabic

It would be better to say word of two syllables on grounds of euphony. In general if you are going to make up a word you should use the adverbial form of the number, which would give disyllabic except people often seem to use bi after mono, monogamy bigamy monoplane biplane. Usually Latin numbers go with words of Latin derivation, so unilateral bilateral multilateral bicameral multinational, and Greek numbers with words of Greek derivation, tetrahedron, tetralogy, pentagon

Trisyllabic

Yes

Tetrasyllabic

Yes

Pentasyllabic hexasyllabic heptasyllabic oktasyllabic enasyllabic dekasyllabic hendekasyllabic dodekasyllabic

Exactly

Treiskaidekasyllabic tessareskaidekasyllabic pentekaidekasyllabic hekkaidekasyllabic heptakaidekasyllabic

—p.34 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago

A syllable is a phonetic element of a word containing a vowel, take the word ‘containing’ you could break it down to ‘con-tain-ing’ and have a symbol for each part. In Chinese each word is just one syllable long, a monosyllable. What would polysyllabic be?

With many syllables?

Exactement.

And oligosyllabic would be with few syllables

It would be, but it’s not used much, people seem to work in terms of an opposition between the one and the many

Duosyllabic

It would be better to say word of two syllables on grounds of euphony. In general if you are going to make up a word you should use the adverbial form of the number, which would give disyllabic except people often seem to use bi after mono, monogamy bigamy monoplane biplane. Usually Latin numbers go with words of Latin derivation, so unilateral bilateral multilateral bicameral multinational, and Greek numbers with words of Greek derivation, tetrahedron, tetralogy, pentagon

Trisyllabic

Yes

Tetrasyllabic

Yes

Pentasyllabic hexasyllabic heptasyllabic oktasyllabic enasyllabic dekasyllabic hendekasyllabic dodekasyllabic

Exactly

Treiskaidekasyllabic tessareskaidekasyllabic pentekaidekasyllabic hekkaidekasyllabic heptakaidekasyllabic

—p.34 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago
41

I never meant this to happen. (L is reading Odyssey 5. He has read four books in four days. I would carry on from where I left off but I have misplaced my notes.) What I meant was to follow the example of Mr. Ma (father of the famous cellist), who I read somewhere started teaching Yo Yo when he was 2.

Coupez la difficulté en quatre was his motto, which meant that he would reduce a piece of music to a number of very small short tasks; the child was to master one task a day. He used the same procedure with Chinese characters, the child learning a character a day—by my reckoning that makes two simple tasks but you get the picture. I thought that this would be an enormous help to L for very little trouble to myself, & when he was 2 I started him on flashcards.

I think that the first simple task was supposed to be cat. No sooner had he mastered this simple task than he wanted to go on, he wanted every single word in his vocabulary on a card, he sobbed PURPLE PURPLE PURPLE when I tried to stop before writing it down. The next day he started his first book, Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss, no sooner had he started than he started to cry because he did not know Hop and Pop. I saw in a flash that the time required to teach a two-year-old workaholic by the look-and-say method would leave perhaps 6 minutes a day for typing, & so (doubting my ability to make ends meet on 55p a day) I hastily went over a few principles of the phonics system. He learned to say huh when he saw an h and puh when he saw a p and by the end of the week he could read as follows: Hop. On. Pop. The. Cat. in. the. Hat.

—p.41 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago

I never meant this to happen. (L is reading Odyssey 5. He has read four books in four days. I would carry on from where I left off but I have misplaced my notes.) What I meant was to follow the example of Mr. Ma (father of the famous cellist), who I read somewhere started teaching Yo Yo when he was 2.

Coupez la difficulté en quatre was his motto, which meant that he would reduce a piece of music to a number of very small short tasks; the child was to master one task a day. He used the same procedure with Chinese characters, the child learning a character a day—by my reckoning that makes two simple tasks but you get the picture. I thought that this would be an enormous help to L for very little trouble to myself, & when he was 2 I started him on flashcards.

I think that the first simple task was supposed to be cat. No sooner had he mastered this simple task than he wanted to go on, he wanted every single word in his vocabulary on a card, he sobbed PURPLE PURPLE PURPLE when I tried to stop before writing it down. The next day he started his first book, Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss, no sooner had he started than he started to cry because he did not know Hop and Pop. I saw in a flash that the time required to teach a two-year-old workaholic by the look-and-say method would leave perhaps 6 minutes a day for typing, & so (doubting my ability to make ends meet on 55p a day) I hastily went over a few principles of the phonics system. He learned to say huh when he saw an h and puh when he saw a p and by the end of the week he could read as follows: Hop. On. Pop. The. Cat. in. the. Hat.

—p.41 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago
44

I thought: Let’s think of another simple task.

I thought arithmetic could be the simple task. So I taught him to count past 5 and he counted up to 5,557 over a period of three days before collapsing in sobs because he had not reached the end & I said with the genius of desperation that the good thing about infinity is that you know you’ll never run out of numbers. I taught him to add 1 to a number which seemed a simple task & he covered 20 sheets of graph paper with calculations: 1+1=2 2+1=3 3+1=4 until he was carried sobbing to bed. I once read a book in which a boy who studied too much at an early age came down with brain fever and was reduced to imbecility; I have never come across a case of brain fever outside a book, but still I was concerned & would have liked to stop but he sobbed if I tried to stop. So I taught him to add 2 to a number and he covered 20 sheets with 2+2=4 3+2=5.

How old was he asks a reader. I think he was about 3.

—p.44 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago

I thought: Let’s think of another simple task.

I thought arithmetic could be the simple task. So I taught him to count past 5 and he counted up to 5,557 over a period of three days before collapsing in sobs because he had not reached the end & I said with the genius of desperation that the good thing about infinity is that you know you’ll never run out of numbers. I taught him to add 1 to a number which seemed a simple task & he covered 20 sheets of graph paper with calculations: 1+1=2 2+1=3 3+1=4 until he was carried sobbing to bed. I once read a book in which a boy who studied too much at an early age came down with brain fever and was reduced to imbecility; I have never come across a case of brain fever outside a book, but still I was concerned & would have liked to stop but he sobbed if I tried to stop. So I taught him to add 2 to a number and he covered 20 sheets with 2+2=4 3+2=5.

How old was he asks a reader. I think he was about 3.

—p.44 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago
45

As soon as I sat down L came up to look at the book. He stared & stared. He said he couldn’t read any of it. I said that was because it was in Greek & had a different alphabet & he said he wanted to learn it.

The last thing I wanted was to be teaching a 4-year-old Greek.

—p.45 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago

As soon as I sat down L came up to look at the book. He stared & stared. He said he couldn’t read any of it. I said that was because it was in Greek & had a different alphabet & he said he wanted to learn it.

The last thing I wanted was to be teaching a 4-year-old Greek.

—p.45 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago
46

& I said: There’s the alphabet.

He looked at the table and he looked at the page.

I said: It’s perfectly simple. As you can see a lot of the letters are the same as the ones you already know.

He looked at the table and he looked at the page and he looked at the table.

The Alien said: He is only four

Mr. Ma said: Coupez la difficulté en quatre

I said patiently:

I said patiently a lot of things which it would try my patience even more to repeat. I hope I am as ready as the next person to suffer for the good of others, and if I knew for a fact that even 10 people this year, next year or a thousand years from now would like to know how one teaches a 4-year-old Greek I hope I would have the decency to explain it. As I don’t know this I think I will set this aside for the moment. L seems to be transferring Odyssey 5 word by word to pink file cards.

—p.46 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago

& I said: There’s the alphabet.

He looked at the table and he looked at the page.

I said: It’s perfectly simple. As you can see a lot of the letters are the same as the ones you already know.

He looked at the table and he looked at the page and he looked at the table.

The Alien said: He is only four

Mr. Ma said: Coupez la difficulté en quatre

I said patiently:

I said patiently a lot of things which it would try my patience even more to repeat. I hope I am as ready as the next person to suffer for the good of others, and if I knew for a fact that even 10 people this year, next year or a thousand years from now would like to know how one teaches a 4-year-old Greek I hope I would have the decency to explain it. As I don’t know this I think I will set this aside for the moment. L seems to be transferring Odyssey 5 word by word to pink file cards.

—p.46 by Helen DeWitt 1 year, 8 months ago