Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Magus

  1. I needed a new land, a new race, a new language; and, although I couldn't have put it into words then, I needed a new mystery. (p.19)
  2. That same evening, by a curious neatness of fate, I met Alison. (p.20)
  3. She was wearing a whitish mackintosh, creased and travel-weary, and she had the sort of tan that only weeks in hot sun can give. (p.23)
  4. We talked and slept and made love and danced and cooked mealst at all hours, sous les toits, as remote from ordinary time as we were fru the dull London world outside the windows. (p.31)
  5. I made promises: I would postpone the journey to Greece, I would turn down the job - a hundred things that I didn't mean and she knew I didn't mean, but finally took as a placebo. (p.43)
  6. I went to the window, and saw her walking fast across the street, the pale coat, the straw-coloured har almost the same colour as the coat, a movement of her hand to her handbag, her blowing her nose; not once did she look back.(p.47)
  7. In England we live in a very muted, calm, domesticated relationship with what remains of our natural landscape and its soft northern light; in Greece landscape and light are so beautiful, so all-present, so intense, so wild, that the relationship is immediately love-hatred, one of passion.(p:49)
  8. The mountains on the mainland took snow, and magnificent white shoulders out of Hokusai stood west and north across the angry water. (p.56)
  9. There, was absolute solitude: three hidden cottages at one small bay, a few tiny chapels lost among the green downward of pines and deserted except on therin saints' days, and one almost invisible villa, which was in any case empty. (p.63)
        1. II
        2. I guessed immediately that this was the villa of the collaborationist he had quarrelled with; but I had pictured a shifty, rat-faced Greek Laval rather than someone cultured enough to read, or have guests who could read, Elliot and Auden in the original.(p. 71)
        3. My two predecessors had both met this unmeetable man; and not wanted to talk about it.(p.76)
        4. I knocked on the door; the knocks barked sharply over stone foors. (p.78)
        5. He saw me without surprise, with a small smile, almost a grimace, on his face. (p.79)
        6. The old man's nervous intensity, that jerking from one place to another, his jaunty walk, the gnomic answers and mystifications, the weird flinging-up of his arms when I left - all hiss mannerisms suggested, were calculated to suggest, that he wanted to seem younger and more vital than he was. (p.90)
        7. He went; and I started againg at the Modigliani, caressed the Rodin, surveyed the room. (p.95)
        8. The house was as quiet as death, as the inside of a skull; but the year was 1953, I was an atheist and an absolute non-believer in spiritualism, ghosts and all that mumbo-jumbo.
        9. A few seconds later Conchis returned.(p.111)
        10. The spell was broken. (p.114)
        11. It was like being earnestly persuaded an object was new by a seller who simultaneously and deliberately revealed it must be second-hand: an affront to all probability. (p.127)
        12. It was a trap. (p.128)
        13. Calculated frankness is very different from the spontaneous variety; there was some fatal extra dimension in his objectivity, which was much more that of a novelist before a character than of even the oldest, most changed man before his own real past self. (p.133)
        14. Now he looked like Picasso imitating Gandhi imitating a buccaneer. (p.139)
        15. Why he should hold them, why he should so strangely realize them, and above all, why he should have chosen me to be his solitary audience of one, remained a total mystery.(p.143)
        16. I went to the bathroom, closed my door, turned the lamp out. (p.154)
        17. I sat in the darkness, half hoping that someone, I hoped 'Lily' would appear and explain. (p.156)
        18. I began to think of Alison again; of the dirty week-end pleasures of having her in some Athens hotel bedroom; of birds in the hand being worth more than birds in the bush; and with better motives, of her loneliness, her perpetual mixed-up loneliness. (p.158)
        19. We both heard the footsteps, those same light footsteps I had heard before, on the gravel below, coming as if up from the sea. (p.167)
        20. She was only an inch or two shorter than myself, and she walked slowly, slimly, a shade self-consciously, looking out to sea, avoiding my eyes, as if she now was shy.(p.172)
        21. I said to Lily, "What is it?" (p.180)
        22. He must know it, therefore must want me to flounder; flounder indeed, since the 'curious' books and objects he putin my way, Lily herself, and now the myth-figures in the night with all their abnormal undertones had to be seen as a hook, and I couldn't pretend that it had not sunk home. (p.192)
        23. I don't know why silence descended on us, why we were locked for a strange few moments in a more serious look. (p.193)
        24. Sitting under the little pine, I started out to sea and tried to gather my shaken wits. (p.201)
        25. I sensed , behind the outward daring, the duplicities of the past she had been playing, a delicious ghost of innocence, perhaps even of virginity; a ghost I felt peculiarly well equipped to exorcize, just as soon as time allowed. (p.210)
        26. There was one flash of white among the foliage, then she was gone. (p.219)
        27. As I walked over the carpet of pine-needles to meet him - he was more formally dressed than usual by day, in dark blue trousers and an even darker blue polo-necked jumper - I decided to be very much on guard, which something about his quizzical look did nothing but confirm as wise.(p.220)
        28. Then darkness. (p.240)
        29. As I walked back to the school, I tried to assess the experience; why, though it was so beautiful, so intensely real, it seemed also so sinister. (p.241)
        30. Alison could stand for past and present reality in the outer world, and I would put her secretly in the ring with my inner adventure. (p.245)
        31. ...too close to need each other's names. (p.254)
        32. There came back the memory of that mind-voyage Conchis had induced in me under hypnosis. (p.259)
        33. But she knelt and began to undres me.(p.263)
        34. And we did make love; not sex, but love; though sex would have been far wiser. (p.269)
        35. At ten to four on Saturday I was at the gate of Bourani; and there, walking along the track towards me, was Conchis. (p280)
        36. Conchis paused, and I remembered how he had been standing two weeks before, when I left Julie; like a pre-echo of this. (p.299)
        37. The pupils of his eyes seemed black in their clear whites - a mask that watched me, watched me. (p.312)
        38. But the presence of that hidden pair of eyes in the trees behind us could not really be ignored. (p.345)
        39. "Then welcome, Pip" (p.347)
        40. I understood its mysteries now. (p.358)
        41. We were his Earl of Leicester's troupe, his very private company; but he might well have incorporated the Heisenberg principle into his 'experiment', so that much of it was indeterminate, both to him as observer-voyeur and to us as observed human particles. (p.371)
        42. I had three letters; one of the rare ones from my uncle in Rhodesia, another with one of the information bulletins sent out by the British Council in Athens; and the third... (p.383)
        43. "She was very depressed when she came back from Athens, but she wouldn't talk about it, so I don't know whose fault it was. (p.397)
        44. I wanted to shout at him that Alison was dead; and largely because he had woven Julie's life into mine. (p.407) 
        45. And that he was playing with me. (p. 428)
        46. Staring out to sea, I finally forced myself to stop thinking of her as someone still somewhere, if only in memory, still obscurely alive, breathing, doing, moving, but as a shovelful of ashes already scattered ; as a broken link, a biological dead end, an eternal withdrawal from reality, a once complex object that now dwindled, dwindled, left nothing behind except a smudge like a fallen speck of soot on a blank sheet of paper. (p.441)
        47. To preserve some semblance of dignity, I walked as far as the steps across the gulley; but there I could hold back no longer and raced down them, and up the other side. (p.449) 
        48. And there, just as on my first visit to Bourani, I found that I had been left a clue. (p.459)
        49. An American paperback on witchcraft, in which a place was marked by a letter. (p.462)
        50. It was some five minutes later. (p.487)
        51. Three men, all in dark trousers and black polo-neck jumpers - they came so quickly that, paralyzed in everything but instinct, I had no time to do anything but grab the bedspread over my loins. (p.488)
        52. As if they only wanted to punish me; and punish me; and punish me again. (p.493)
        53. All Conchis's manoeuvrings had been to bring me to this; all the charades, the phychical, the theatrical, the sexual, the psychological; and I was standing as he had stood before the guerilla, unable to beat his brains out; discovering that there are strange times for the calling in of old debts; and even stranger prices to pay. (p.518)
        54. To be is, immutably, to be Iago. (p.531)
        55. Being free again, but in a new freedom... purged in some way. (p.533)
        56. Whatever happened, I was banned from ever living again on Phraxos. (p.545)
        57. An emotional desert lay in front of me, an inability ever to fall in love again that was compounded of the virtual death of Lily and the actual death of Alison. (p.533)
        58. My third-floor room looked out on a side street.(p.561)
        59. I thought at first that they had found some fantastic double; but no one could have imitated that walk. (p.562)
        60. III
        61. I was a pagan, at best a stoic, at worst a voluptuary, and would remain for ever so.(p.572)
        62. If Rome, a city of the vulgar living, had been depressing after Greece, London, a city of the drab dead, was fifty times worse. (p.573)
        63. Just as I looked back, Adam after the fall, to the luminous landscapes, the salt and thyme of Phraxos, I looked back to the events of Bourani, which could not have happened, but which had happened, and found myself, at the end of some tired London afternoon, as unable to wish that they had not happened as I was to forgive Conchis for having given me the part he did. (p.577)
        64. I began to erect a new hypothesis. (p.593)
        65. I didn't feel angry at first; I drove very fast, and nearly killed a man on a bicycle, but I was grinning most of the way. (p.594)
        66. There was only one person I wanted to talk with. (p.608)
        67. "Hallo". (p.818)
        68. A minute later we were going down the corridor towards the entrance. (p.629)
        69. If they had their eyes on me, it would be up to them to make a move. (p.636)
        70. My life, my past, my future. (p.645)

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