“People may be beautiful, but when there is absolutely no fault to be found… then perfect beauty becomes a yardstick by which one measures one’s own imperfections, and nobody likes that.”

Cees Nooteboom, In the Dutch Mountains (p. 10)

I didn’t know of Cees Nooteboom until I met him in the flesh. He drank red wine. I drank beer. He seemed like a nice guy.

If you like the short passage I quoted, you might like his novels too. I recommend The Following Story.

About Phillip

Phillip Cairns is a beekeeper in St. John's, Newfoundland, who writes about beekeeping at

One Reply to “Nooteboom”

  1. Some other good quotes:

    “Hey! Wee bairn! Hie ye hence from me heath! —Ach! Can’t ya understand English?”

    –Groundskeeper Willie

    “The path of least resistance is what makes a river crooked!”

    —Utah Phillips

    “To the man who only has a hammer in the toolkit, every problem looks like a nail.”

    —Abraham Maslow

    “Longing on a large scale is what makes history.”

    —Don DeLillo, Underworld

    “Unless you choose to be as bland and as invisible as Caspar Milquetoast, there is absolutely no way you’re going to get through The Game without pissing someone off, without incurring some casual acquaintance’s wrath, without making an enemy by the most innocent of misunderstandings. It can’t be done, because the world is full of assholes.”

    —Harlan Ellison

Leave a Reply to Phillip Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.