Quotes

Origins of Fear…from Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad

Cora rarely thought of the boy she had killed. She did not need to defend her actions in the woods that night; no one had the right to call her to account. Terrance Randall provided a model for a mind that could conceive of North Carolina’s new system, but the scale of the violence was hard to settle in her head. Fear drove these people, even more than cotton money. The shadow of the black hand that will return what has been given. It occurred to her one night that she was one of the vengeful monsters they were scared of: She had killed a white boy. She might kill one of them next. And because of that fear, they erected a new scaffolding of oppression on the cruel foundation laid hundreds of years before. That was Sea Island cotton the slaver had ordered for his rows, but scattered among the seeds were those of violence and death, and that crop grew fast. The whites were right to be afraid. One day the system would collapse in blood (206)

Loved this book.

[Whitehead, Colson (2016) The Underground Railroad. London: Fleet.]

On Bankers and The City

An inventive genius would be useless in the City. For the City produces nothing, and creates nothing. It is the great go-between of the world…anyone who contemplates the City as a profession…will not have to face the competition of the flower of his contemporaries, who will be scrambling for briefs, teaching unruly forms in public schools, or rusting in the deadening atmosphere of Government offices…From this comfortable fact he may draw consolation if he does not carry much top hamper in the way of intellect…if he is to prosper in the City, according to the City’s notion of prosperity; that is to say, to put the matter at a modest valuation, if his income is to express itself in four figures (46).

–‘Prospects in the Profession: IX. The City’ Cornhill Magazine, 14, 1902-03, p 623. (Taken from A Vision for London, 1889-1914: Labour, Everyday Life and the LCC Experiment. Susan D. Pennybacker (1995) London & NY: Routledge )