Chapter 4 – Quotesheet

“The man with the big black moustache was in fact Zeppo, who had stepped in for his brother. Groucho could be found in a bed at the Michael Reese hospital, where he was recovering from an emergency appendectomy.”

Stefan Kanfer, Groucho: The Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx (London: Penguin, 2000) p. 139

“not surprised by these pathetic spineless snowflakes who want everything on a plate but moan and complain when it doesn’t go their way #offended snowflakes”

‘will I am not’, Cardiff, comment on ‘Alas, poor snowflakes’, MailOnline October 2017

’Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet,

To give these mourning duties to your father,

That father lost, lost his—

William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1.2.87-90

Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off

And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.

Do not forever with thy vailèd lids

Seek for thy noble father in the dust.


“I was aware I was being stared at. [..] They talked. But I wasn’t there. I heard them outside of me, but like a stroke victim, I was locked inside my body.”

Alice Sebold, Lucky (London: Picador, 2002) p. 22

“Grossly expanded conceptions of trauma are now used to justify the overprotection of children of all ages—even college students, who are sometimes said to need safe spaces and trigger warnings lest words and ideas put them in danger.”

Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, The Coddling of the American Mind (London: Allen Lane, 2018) pp. 31-2

“the criteria for a traumatic event that warrants a diagnosis of PTSD were (and are) strict: to qualify, an event would have to “evoke significant symptoms of distress in almost everyone” and be “outside the range of usual human experience.” The DSM III emphasized that the event was not based on a subjective standard. It had to be something that would cause most people to have a severe reaction.”

The Coddling of the American Mind, p. 26

“In the early versions of the primary manual of psychiatry, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), psychiatrists used the word “trauma” only to describe a physical agent causing physical damage, as in the case of what we now call traumatic brain injury. In the 1980 revision, however, the manual (DSM III) recognized “post-traumatic stress disorder” as a mental disorder—the first type of traumatic injury that isn’t physical.”

The Coddling of the American Mind, p. 25

“The DSM does not tell stories. It contains no cases of actual patients or even fictional ones. Etiology, the study of the cause of illness, isn’t part of the volume. Its mission is purely descriptive, to collect symptoms under headings that will help a physician diagnose patients. […] The fact is that all patients have stories, and those stories are necessarily part of the meaning of their illnesses.”

Siri Hustvedt, The Shaking Woman, Or, A History of My Nerves (London: Sceptre, 2010) p. 4

They brought one Pinch, a hungry, lean-faced villain;

A mere anatomy, a mountebank,

A threadbare juggler, sharp-looking wretch,

A living dead man. This pernicious slave

Forsooth took on him as a conjurer,

And gazing in mine eyes, feeling my pulse,

And with no face, as ’twere, outfacing me,

Cries out I was possessed. 

 William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors,5.1.237-43

“I took each reprimand for what it was: an awareness that the specificity of my rape did not matter, but only how and if it conformed to an established charge. Rape 1, Sodomy 1, etc. How he twisted my breasts or shoved his fist up inside me, my virginity: inconsequential.”

Lucky, p. 39

“I was frightened and shaking when I crossed the courtroom, passed the defense table, the judge at the podium, the prosecution table, and came to take the stand. I liked to think was Madison’s worst nightmare, although he didn’t know it yet. I represented an eighteen-year-old virgin coed. I was dressed in red, white, and blue.”

Lucky, p. 180

““Nice white titties,” he said. And the words made me give them up, lobbing off each part of my body as he claimed ownership— the mouth, the tongue, the breasts.”

Lucky, p. 16

“My mother had always taught us to be scrupulous when wearing a skirt by smoothing it out before sitting down. I did this and as I did, I thought of what lay beneath the skirt and slip, still visible, if I lifted up the hem, through the flesh-tone stockings. That morning, while I dressed, I had written a note to myself on my skin. “You will die” was inked into my legs in dark blue ballpoint. And I didn’t mean me.”

Lucky, p. 181

““I am showing you the photographs marked for identification thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen. Look at those, please.”

He handed me the photos. I looked only briefly at them.

“Are you familiar with the person depicted in those photographs?”

“Yes, I am,” I said. I placed them on the edge of the stand, away from me.

“Who is tha—?”

“Me,” I interrupted him. I began to cry. By trying not to, I made it worse. “

Lucky, p. 182-3