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Word for the Wise July 18, 2006 Broadcast Topic: Words from William Thackeray

Today we remember William Makepeace Thackeray, born on this date in 1811. Thackeray fought (and eventually made peace with) onetime rival Charles Dickens, but today we come to review not his literary friendships, but Thackeray's literary bon mots. (来源:EnglishCN.com)

Thackeray was a prolific and financially successful writer whose novel Vanity Fair—a panorama of human frailties—is considered to represent the human condition.

So what comprises the human condition, according to Thackeray? Here are a few of his observations. "It is only hope which is real," he wrote, ". . . reality is a bitterness and a deceit."

A bit too much to bear? Try this: "The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face. Frown at it, and it will in turn look sourly upon you; laugh at it and with it and it is a jolly kind companion."

Now that we know the importance of positive thinking, let's look at an especially wry Thackerayan take (or is it double take?): "I never knew whether to pity or congratulate a man on coming to his senses."

And we'll close with this line that surely must bring comfort to someone somewhere: "Despair is perfectly compatible with a good dinner, I promise you."

Read some Thackeray and write us sometime.

 
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