"You must've heard about what Dollys are, ain't you, mister? . . . Well, I'm a Dolly, bred 'n' buttered, and that's how I know Dad's dead."
(From his 2006 novel, Winter's Bone. The 2010 movie of the same title was just nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. It was shot in part in Douglas County, Missouri. Ava, which is the county seat and only incorporated city in the Douglas County, was founded in 1871 and named by my great-great-great-grandfather, James Hailey.)
England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution . . . .
It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during "God Save The King" than of stealing from a poor box.
(From his 1941 essay, "The Lion and the Unicorn." Orwell died on this date in 1950.)
If only I had a chance to learn from my mistakes, I would, but there are too many things you don't do twice; in fact, the most important things are things you don't do twice, so you can't do them better the second time.
[T]he first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.