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Wit and Wisdom From Professor Sarah Mahurin Wesleyan University Middletown, CT Collected over three semesters: Imagining the American South, Spring 2013 Introduction to African American Literature, Fall 2013 Faulkner and Morrison, Spring 2014


Wit and Wisdom: A booklet of quotes

“You cannot simultaneously be an is and a was.” Feb 6, 2013. As I Lay Dying

“Do ya’ll know what a possum is? Do they have that up here?” Feb 18, 2013. Uncle Tom’s Children

“Children are a project that is unfinished… no one really knows how it’s going to turn out.” Feb 18, 2013. Uncle Tom’s Children

“Sometimes a lady needs a Rhett Butler in the bedroom.” Feb 27, 2013. Gone With the Wind

“Fuck you and your white baby.” Feb 27, 2013. Gone With the Wind

“Vivian Lee is so beautiful you can’t even look at her face.” Feb 27, 2013. Gone With the Wind

“I just Yelped myself a doctor.” March 4, 2013. The Optimist’s Daughter

“I can hear like a bat and I could barely hear you.” March 4, 2013. The Optimist’s Daughter

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Wit and Wisdom: A booklet of quotes

“That was me, I was bear.” March 4, 2013. The Optimist’s Daughter

“Are there any questions… about the nature of time?” April 1, 2013. A Lesson Before Dying

“I do not believe in grammar. I do not believe in that shit.” April 3, 2013. A Lesson Before Dying

“Ain’t is only not a word if you come from a place where ain’t isn’t a word.” April 3, 2013. A Lesson Before Dying

“There are all kinds of ways to be different from your home.” April 8, 2013. Junebug

“It’s easy to love the thing you don’t see every day because it’s precious.” April 8, 2013. Junebug

“I don’t know if you could call it a novel. I call it… a gift.” April 10, 2013. The Sound and The Fury

“Sorry I’ve never had a DUI you guys.” April 22, 2013. The Glass Menagerie

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Wit and Wisdom: A booklet of quotes

“That’s what you get for looking a little too thoughtful.” April 24, 2013. The Glass Menagerie

“You can’t stage consciousness like you can stage exchanges in any quasi-realistic way.” April 24, 2013. The Glass Menagerie

“Death doesn’t stop the world from being the world.” May 1, 2013. The Member of the Wedding

“As someone who held her best friend’s hand as her baby came out… it’s gross. Beautiful, but gross.” May 6, 2013. Salvage the Bones

“Banana yellah.” May 6, 2013. Salvage the Bones

“What if you’re stuck and your name is Katrine?” May 6, 2013. Salvage the Bones

“I wanna talk about knowledge. I guess.” May 6, 2013. Salvage the Bones

“I used to pretend to be a different breed of dog every day when I was a child.” May 8, 2013. Salvage the Bones

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Wit and Wisdom: A booklet of quotes

“You may not want to know all the things you come to know.” May 8, 2013. Salvage the Bones

“You have super approachable Elsa and super approachable me.” Sept 5, 2013. Syllabus Day, Intro to AFAM Lit

“His intellect is staggering… Every time I read Douglass I’m like, Oh my god, you lived.” Sept 5, 2013. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

“He’s no Kardashian.” Sept 5, 2013. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

“Mrs. Auld became a bitch.” Sept 10, 2013. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

“To pretend we are better than the systems we occupy is a dangerous road.” Sept 10, 2013. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

“Tuesday is rage day.” Sept 12, 2013. Souls of Black Folk

“It’s funner if you’re dying… metaphorically dying.” Sept 12, 2013. Souls of Black Folk

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Wit and Wisdom: A booklet of quotes

“Sometimes understanding creates pain.” Sept 12, 2013. Souls of Black Folk

“The sentence that makes me want to rip my nose off…” Sept 12, 2013. Souls of Black Folk.

“I don’t wanna think about nose holes – is that sacrilege?” Sept 19, 2013. The Vintage, James Weldon Johnson

“This is not a poem that’s ashamed of itself.” Sept 19, 2013. The Vintage, “When Malindy Sings”

“The world’s sadder than you think.” Sept 19, 2013. The Vintage, James Weldon Johnson

“What do we hate more than having our moments of ignorance exposed? Nothing.” Sept 19, 2013. The Vintage, James Weldon Johnson

“Singing and poetry have been holding hands for a long time and they ain’t about to quit.” Sept 19, 2013. The Vintage, James Weldon Johnson

“Who gives a shit about climbing a crystal stair?” Oct 1, 2013. The Vintage, Langston Hughes

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Wit and Wisdom: A booklet of quotes

“Faulkner talks about how it’s awful to outlive yourself.” Oct 8, 2013. The Vintage, Gwendolyn Brooks

“I see a lot of confused faces… It’s all right. We all got dumber over fall break.” Oct 24, 2013. A Raisin in the Sun

“That one’s a bummer too… a recommended bummer.” Oct 24, 2013. A Raisin in the Sun

“They all look awful and they all look different.” Oct 24, 2013. A Raisin in the Sun

“My whistle is getting so good you guys. I sound like a tea kettle.” Oct 31, 2013. The Colored Museum

“The Kardashian situation.” Nov 7, 2013. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

“Y’all can get a seat every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30.” Nov 14, 2013. On Wesleyan Thinks Big at Memorial Chapel

“I didn’t put you on blast.” Nov 19, 2013. The Bluest Eye

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Wit and Wisdom: A booklet of quotes

“Y’all don’t like sheep? Come on.” Nov 19, 2013. The Bluest Eye

“Clare? The hot one?” Nov 19, 2013. The Bluest Eye

“My head’s open for rubbin’.” Nov 20, 2013. The Color Purple

“Are there any questions…about how shameful y’all have been?” Nov 26, 2013. The Color Purple

“I wanna talk about beauty, for starter.” Nov 26, 2013. The Color Purple

“You can’t turn anyone ugly, and you can turn anyone you want beautiful.” Nov 26, 2013. The Color Purple

“Cocaine? Y’all I’m not that cool. AND DRUGS ARE NOT COOL.” Dec 3, 2013. The Vintage, Yusef Komunyakaa

“Never mind I don’t wanna talk about TMZ.” Dec 3, 2013. The Vintage, Yusef Komunyakaa

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Wit and Wisdom: A booklet of quotes

“A lot of times people read Faulkner and lose the love… In this scene, love looks like dirty underpants.” January 29, 2014. The Sound and The Fury

“What page is the incest?” February 3, 2014. The Sound and The Fury

“I care about your feelings, sort of.” February 3, 2014. The Sound and The Fury

“A donut, if only.” February 5, 2014. The Sound and The Fury

“Thank God that none of us can be in each others’ heads cause if we could none of us would love anyone.” February 5, 2014. The Sound and The Fury

“I saw the Matrix once and I don’t think I understood it.” February 5, 2014. The Sound and The Fury

“Will you shut that door? I can’t stand that refrigerator looking at me.” February 10, 2014. The Bluest Eye

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Wit and Wisdom: A booklet of quotes

“I like to inspire a sense of dread.” February 12, 2014. The Bluest Eye

“Banana is like the loser of the fruit salad… You find one raspberry and you think think you’ve struck gold.” February 17, 2014. As I Lay Dying

“Anse Bundren is a hustler.” February 19, 2014. As I Lay Dying

“Here’s what my ambitions include…” February 19, 2014. As I Lay Dying

“I’m getting old… This is the sign of the deterioration of the body. The whistle is the first to go.” February 19, 2014. As I Lay Dying

“Do you want to agree with me?” February 19, 2014. As I Lay Dying

“It’s one of the terrible truths about love and closeness that it can turn quickly to pain.” February 19, 2014. As I Lay Dying

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Wit and Wisdom: A booklet of quotes

“You really inherited a very gentle me.” February 24, 2014. A Mercy

“Florens is the problem of other people’s minds.” February 26, 2014. A Mercy

“When I was little of course I was a narcissist, I always wanted stories of little redhead girls going something awesome.” February 26, 2014. A Mercy

“Oh my gosh we all want a penis so bad.” February 26, 2014. A Mercy

“Jacob Vaark was not gonna choose me out of the pile.” February 26, 2014. A Mercy

“Who do you think is driving this bus, Ethan?!” February 26, 2014. A Mercy

“I wanna know what’s happening with your face.” February 26, 2014. A Mercy

“Thanks, Faulkner, that’s really sweet.” March 3, 2014. The Unvanquished

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Wit and Wisdom: A booklet of quotes

“Put it on the Google Doc, you guys! I’ve been trying not to lurk on it as much…” March 5, 2014. The Unvanquished

“You guys… I think I’m gonna vomit.” March 5, 2014. The Unvanquished

“Not too sick to make fun of you guys!” March 5, 2014. The Unvanquished

Student: “You barely breathe between sentences” S.M.: “That is true… That is true…but my oxygen levels are surprisingly good.” March 26, 2014. Beloved

“Ethan, will you close that door? It’s looking at me…” March 26, 2014. Beloved

“We all sound good in the car, right? We’re all Jenny Lind in the car.” March 31, 2014. Beloved

“If the novel were to end, which it has to, it couldn’t be any better than this.” March 31, 2014. Beloved

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Wit and Wisdom: A booklet of quotes

“It’s always disappointing when it gets around the circle and is its same self.” [On the game Telephone] March 31, 2014. Beloved

“I took one of those BuzzFeed tests that was like ‘How far would you make it in the Hunger Games?’” March 31, 2014. Absalom, Absalom!

“Oh my gosh I’ve done this magnificent close reading – that’s a penis!” April 2, 2014. Absalom, Absalom!

“I can’t access Faulkner’s heart.” April 2, 2014. Absalom, Absalom!

“Maybe if y’all sat up closer you wouldn’t be as liable to act bad.” April 7, 2014. Absalom, Albsalom!

“Now I’m just feeling salty.” April 7, 2014. Absalom, Absalom!

“You don’t have to love Shadrack as much as I do, but I encourage you to try.” April 14, 2014. Sula

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Wit and Wisdom: A booklet of quotes

“I just wanna talk, I have a lot of feelings.” April 14, 2014. Sula

“I lost my page because of the dog.” April 14, 2014. Sula

“Quickly before we leave the purpose of evil…” April 16, 2014. Sula

S.M.: “Y’all know that show… come on…” Student: “I Know What You Did Last Summer?” S.M.: “YES!” April 16, 2014. Sula

“Everybody has an important life but please come to the Hunger Banquet.” April 21, 2014. Light in August

“Those worlds provide us with things to become disgusted by.” April 23, 2014. Light in August

“Morrison and Faulkner are both sophisticated world-makers.” April 23, 2014. Light in August

“Oh, organized religion…you know how that is.” April 23, 2014. Light in August

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Wit and Wisdom: A booklet of quotes

Student: “There’s a page in the book…” S.M.: “There is, there are many of them…” S.M.: “Sorry I’m not helping anyone today, y’all.” April 23, 2014. Light in August

“I’m happy to talk to you about the thoughts you may or may not be having.” April 28, 2014. Light in August

“Bring a flask. It’s okay. I don’t care. Just come.” April 28, 2014. Light in August

“White drunken Northern mistake.” April 30, 2014. Song of Solomon

“I am not advocating a Seven Day system… y’all don’t go do this.” May 5, 2014. Song of Solomon

“Okay, heart attack… Live in the world.” May 5, 2014. Song of Solomon

“Somehow I heard ‘Adam naked film’ and I was like, aight.” May 5, 2014. Song of Solomon

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Wit and Wisdom: A booklet of quotes

“Please tell Matt within 24 hours if you want to Bundren and Dragon.” May 5, 2014. Song of Solomon

“This book… we could do this ‘til 8… then y’all would be hungry I guess.” May 5, 2014. Song of Solomon

“Hannah K. what feelings are you having?” May 5, 2014. Song of Solomon

“Y’all better not poop the bed on the last day of class.” May 5, 2014. Song of Solomon

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Wit and Wisdom  

A booklet of quotes from Professor Sarah Mahurin Wesleyan University Middletown, CT

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