Category: Authors & Writers

Celebrated Contretemps

Pen is not only mightier than a sword, it can oftentimes be bitchier.

Some quotes follows below of how authors, novelists and poets think of each other. It makes fascinating reading.

Man-with-Quill

Celebrated Contretemps

Any library is a good library that does not contain a volume by Jane Austen.
– Mark Twain

“If Mr. Clemens (Mark Twain) cannot think of something better to tell our pure-minded lads and lasses,he had best stop writing for them.” (concerning Twain’s Huckleberry Finn)
– Louisa May Alcott

People will accept your ideas much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first.
– David H Comins

Legend has it that Gioachino Rossinoi (of The Barber of Seville) was passionate about food.  He had a recipe for macaroni that was so divine that it rivaled his glorious music.  Alexander Dumas, who spent the later days of his life compiling the ultimate recipe book, heard of Rossini’s macaroni.  He asked Rossini if he could include the recipe for the macaroni in his book.  Rossini invited Dumas to his house.  Rossini made a great effort to make the macaroni even better than perfect.  But when Dumas arrived he said he never ate macaroni and was only after the recipe.  Rossini was not impressed and refused to give Dumas the macaroni recipe.  Sadly the recipe is lost from posterity.

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, DBE

AgathaDame Agatha Christie is a popular British author; Guinness Book of World Records lists her as the bestselling author of all times.  She had written 66 detective novels, 14 short stories, and even had time to write 6 romantic novels under the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott.  I think she would probably be best known for her creation of the brilliant but rather busy-body Jane Marple and the Belgian Hercule Poirot.

Agatha Christie’s play called The Mousetrap is the longest running show of the modern age.  It opened in the West End in 1952 and it had continued to run eversince.

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, DBE

I learned that one can never go back, that one should not ever try to go back – that the essence of life is going forward.  Life is really a one – way street.

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Farewell Leonard Nimoy

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One of our Star Trek Commemorative Plates of the man or should I say Spock himself

Being an avid Science Fiction (sci fi)  fan, I have read many novels seen moves and TV and radios  series of the genre.

I prefer to read, watch or listen to sci fi that has potential to become science fact and indeed has happened!

One such TV series is Star Trek. I grew up in the 1960s and there was not much sci fi on TV. I listened with my parents to some sci fi plays such as  the classic ‘Quatermass’ on BBC radio every Sunday evening. When ‘Dr Who’ came along on BBC TV in 1963  (now the longest running continuous sci fi tv series in the world). I was so happy and despite the black & white viewing  and sometimes wobbly stage sets and  minimal primitive special effects (sfx), the excellent actors and stories ultimately enchanted millions of viewers.

With the advent of colour viewing TV in the mid 1960s, more  sci fi  Tv series were produced, many from the USA.

One such was,  of course ‘Star Trek’. Created by Gene Rodenberry, it introduced the crew & their weekly adventures in a faster-than-light travel space ship called the ‘USS Enterprise’.  There were  British sailing ships called HMS Enterprise AKA Enterprize)  in the 1700s and one in 1800s.

In the pilot episode (1964) of Star Trek, one of the crew was referred to as a ‘Vulcanian’ a humanoid from from the Planet Vulcan orbiting the star 40 Eridani  . about 16 light years from earth, Vulcan could reached in a few days in the warp speed Enterprise class star ships. The Vulcanian was called ‘Mr Spock’, as apparently his Vulcan name was unpronounceable to humans!

A new to the scene actor named Leonard Nimoy was chosen to play Spock.

The Vulcan race looked human except for pointed ears, arched eyebrows, distinctive hairstyles, a slight green skin pallor due to green blood.

Vulcans were stronger and faster than humans, due the higher gravity less oxygen rich atmosphere and heat on Vulcan. Vulcans were extremely long lived too 300 years. They exercise extreme control over their emotions as taught by  a venerated philosopher named Surak. as early in their history Vulcans were prone to violence.

My Spock was later described  as being  half human with his father the renowned, statesman like ambassador Sarek (well played by actor Mark Leonard) and human mother Amanda Grayson.

This early Mr Spock looked rather harsh and shouted a lot!

Spock Pilot Star Trek 1964

Spock Pilot Star Trek 1964

 

After the pilot show, Gene Rodenberry was not satisfied and made big cast changes for the series proper in 1966. A new captain of the Enterprise was brought in ( William Shatner as Capt Kirk), A new ships doctor, actor Deforest Kelly as Dr (Bones) McCoy.

Leonard and his distinctive appearance as Spock now known as a Vulcan, was retained and he became the second in command to Kirk.

Spock’s appearance was softened, as was his voice and manner, becoming calmer and most logical as befits a Vulcan.

Spock’s  ‘bantering’ and put downs with Dr McCoy with Kirk as referee were brilliant, but their underlying loyalty and friendship to each other shone through as the series progressed; His Vulcan catchphrase and hand gesture became legendary too!

Off course,  this crew became legendary in TV sci fi  & the motion picture history.

Leonard Nimoy was also known to us in early  ‘Mission Impossible’ TV show fans as ‘Paris’, a master of disguise brought in to the ‘Impossible Mission Force’ 1969-1971.  Mission Impossible was made at the same studios at the classic Star Trek series and so Leonard could swap pointy ears for various disguises!

Leonard was also a guest star in one my favourite detective series ‘Columbo’.  Spock’s logic was no match for Columbo’s detective ability

Mr Spock appeared in the various Star Trek sequels  and movies including the excellent  reboot of the franchise under JJ Abrams

Zachary Quinto’s likeness as the young Spock although in a different time line captures that essence of Nimoy.

Spock and then other characters live on in the Star Trek novels I enjoy reading.

Leonard  Nimoy crafted and evolved Spock into one of the most popular, recognisable & iconic characters in entertainment.

Where ever you are now in that ‘undiscovered country’ Leonard  “Live Long And Prosper“…

Spock LLAP

 

Classic  original crew of the EnterpriseClassic original crew of the Enterprise

 

 

Spock,_resurrected Zachory Quinot young spock

Spock in his second Century                             A young Spock (Zachary Quinto)

paris Leoanard Nimoy& Peter Falk in Columbo

Paris in Mission Impossible                 A baddie in Columbo

Farewell Leonard Nimoy

 

50 Shades of Red

50 shades of plaid

 50 Shades of Red

We may be familiar with Chicago’s St Valentine’s Day massacre, well  some new Valentine violence occurred at a cinema in Glasgow, Scotland this 14 February I suppose 50 Shades of Red!

To us Brits, Glasgow is known as Scotland’s most violent places and is legendary for introducing the so called ‘Glasgow Kiss’, which is a headbutt to the face!

Many years ago, a Scottish colleague/friend said that when there was a tense situation in a Glasgow pub, one of the protagonist’s would say to the other ” Pick a window you’re leavin’.”

The Glasgow cinema was showing the eagerly and hotly anticipated movie version of the British best seller ’50 Shades of Grey’ on St Valentine’s Day.

Three women were arrested for attacking a  man who apparently asked them to make less noise, as they were part of a group of ladies who were screaming during the screening!

The cinema theatre also sells alcohol, which appears to have fuelled the females flames of passion.

I guess this should not be too unexpected getting a group of Glasgow Gals together to check out and ogle the well ripped & fit Jamie Dornan 😉

We wonder if the man, the poor victim, did not produce 50 shades of sh*t (could also perhaps describe what many viewers & critics think of the movie),  when surrounded by a rampant hormonal horde 🙂

Brilliance of John Steinbeck

John_Steinbeck_1962

John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. (February 26, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American author of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books, and five collections of short stories. He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939), East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937). Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception”. (Wikipedia)

Brilliance of John Steinbeck

He quoted:

A journey is like a marriage.  The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.
– Steinbeck

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No one wants advice – only corroboration.
– Steinbeck
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Time is the only critic without ambition.
– Steinbeck
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Those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, ae the traits of success.
– Steinbeck

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Helen Keller Quotes

Helen_Keller13

Helen Keller

Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. (Wikipedia)

Helen was not born deaf and blind.  She contracted an illness when she was only 18 months old which left her unable to see and hear.   She devoted her life campaigning and raising funds for the deaf and blind.

Helen Keller Quotes:

All the world is full of suffering.  It is also full of overcoming.

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Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.

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It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.
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No pessimist ever discover the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.

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Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
– Helen Keller
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Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the apathy of human beings.

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Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.
– Helen Keller
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The highest result of education is tolerance.

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The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched.  They must be felt with the heart.
– Helen Keller

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There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors, a slave who has not had a king among his.

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Tolerance is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle.

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Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained.

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While they were saying among themselves it cannot be done, it was done.

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Helen Keller

Leo Tolstoy Philosophy

Leo Tolstoy www.historytoday.com

Leo Tolstoy
www.historytoday.com

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (9 September 1828 – 20 November 1910), also known as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russianwriter, philosopher and political thinker who primarily wrote novels and short stories.

Today is Leo Tolstoy’s 186th birth anniversary.
(9 Sept 2014)

Tolstoy’s War and Peace is such a long read that it has entered the dictionary to mean, something long and laborious to read.

But having said that War and Peace is a true classic for everyone’s bucket list (book to read before dying). 😉

I always write in the morning.  In the morning one’s head is particularly fresh.
– L Tolstoy
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Leo Tolstoy Philosophy

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

– Leo Tolstoy
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It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.
~Leo Tolstoy
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No one who has not sat in prison knows what the State is like.
– Leo Tolstoy

When you feel the desire for power, you should stay in solitude for some time.
– Leo Tolstoy
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Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

cervantesMiguel de Cervantes Saavedra better known as Cervantes was a Spanish novelist, poet and playwright.  His magnum opus, Don Quixote is considered as the first modern European novel and many regard it as one of the best novels ever written.

 

rutadelquijote

As Quoted by Cervantes:

All beauty does not inspire love; some please the sight without captivating the affections. If all beauties were to enamour and captivate, the hearts of mankind would be in a continual state of perplexity and confusion—for beautiful objects being infinite, the sentiments they inspire should also be infinite.
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Among the attributes of God, although they are all equal, mercy shines with even more brilliancy than justice.
—Cervantes
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Beauty in a modest woman is like fire or a sharp sword at a distance; neither doth the one burn nor the other wound those that come not too near them.

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Can we ever have too much of a good thing?
– Cervantes

Drink moderately, for drunkenness neither keeps a secret, nor observers a promise.
– Cervantes
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Everyone is as God made him and oftentimes a good deal worse.
– Cerantes
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Fortune always leaves some door open in misfortune.
– Cervantes
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Fear is sharp-sighted, and can see things under ground, and much more in the skies.
– Cervantes
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God bears with the wicked, but not forever.
– Cervantes

He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he that loses his courage loses all.
— Cervantes
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History is the depository of great actions, the witness of what is past, the example and instructor of the present, and monitor to the future.
—Cervantes
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Honor and virtue are ornaments of the soul, without which the body, though it be really beautiful, ought not to be thought so.
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Hunger is the best sauce in the world. ~
Cervantes
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I find my familiarity with thee has bred contempt.
– Cervantes
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Ill-luck, you know, seldom comes alone.
– Cervantes
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I never thrust my nose into other men’s porridge. It is no bread and butter of mine; every man for himself, and God for us all.
– Cervantes
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It is a true saying that a man must eat a peck of salt with his friend before he knows him.
– Cervantes
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Let me leap out of the frying-pan into the fire; or, out of God’s blessing into the warm sun.
– Cervantes
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Let the worst come to the worst.
– Cervantes
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Let every man mind his own business.
– Cervantes
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Let him who is deceived complain.
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Let him to whom faith is broken despair.
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Murder will out.
– Cervantes
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Much time is necessary to know people thoroughly.

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No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self-deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
– Cervantes
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Out of the frying-pan into the fire.
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One man is no more than another, only inasmuch as he does more than another.
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Plain as the nose on a man’s face.[
– Cervantes
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She who loves none can make none jealous, and sincerity ought not to pass for disdain.
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Sing away sorrow, cast away care.
– Cervantes
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Sometimes we look for one thing and find another.
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Self-praise depreciates.
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THE beauty of some women has days and seasons, depending upon accidents which diminish or increase it; nay, the very passions of the mind naturally improve or impair it, and very often utterly destroy it.
– Cervantes.
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The guts carry the feet, not the feet the guts.
– Cervantes

True love cannot be divided, and must be voluntary and unconstrained.
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The viper deserves no blame for its sting, although it be mortal—because it is the gift of Nature.
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There is no remembrance which time does not obliterate, nor pain which death does not terminate.
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Thank you for nothing.
– Cervantes
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The brave man carves out his fortune, and every man is the son of his own works.
– Cervantes
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Under a bad cloak there is often a good drinker.
– Cervantes

We are sure of nothing in this life.

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Why do you lead me a wild-goose chase?
– Cervantes
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Which I have earned with the sweat of my brows.
– Cervantes
Miguel_de_Cervantes_signature.svg

 

As Quoted by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

 

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton by Henry William Pickersgill

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton by Henry William Pickersgill

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (25 May 1803 – 18 January 1873) was an English novelist, poet, playwright, and politician. He was immensely popular with the reading public and wrote a stream of bestselling novels which earned him a considerable fortune. He coined the phrases “the great unwashed“, “pursuit of the almighty dollar“, “the pen is mightier than the sword“, “dweller on the threshold“, as well as the infamous opening line “It was a dark and stormy night“.
– Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 


As Quoted by  Edward Bulwer-Lytton 

 

A good cigar is as great a comfort to a man as a good cry is to a woman.
– E Bulwer-Lytton

Happy is the man who hath never known what it is to taste of fame – to have it is a purgatory, to want it is a Hell!
~ Bulwer-Lytton

In the lexicon of youth, which fate reserves for a bright manhood, there is no such word as – fail!
~ Bulwer-Lytton

In all cases of heart-ache, the application of another man’s disappointment draws out the pain and allays the irritation.—
– Lytton
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In these days half our diseases come from neglect of the body in overwork of the brain
—Lytton
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In science, read, by preference, the newest works; in literature, the oldest.
~Bulwer-Lytton.

It is beautifully said that the veil of futurity is woven by the hand of mercy.
Bulwer-Lytton.
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Life, that ever needs forgiveness, has, for its first duty, to forgive.
—Lytton.
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Life would be tolerably agreeable if it were not for its amusements.
– Bulwer-Lytton

Man hazards the condition and loses the virtues of freeman, in proportion as he accustoms his thoughts to view without anguish or shame his lapse into the bondage of debtor.
—Lytton.
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Rank is a great beautifier.
~ Bulwer-Lytton

Refuse to be ill. Never tell people you are ill; never own it to yourself. Illness is one of those things which a man should resist on principle at the onset.
—Lytton
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Revolutions are not made with rosewater.
– Bulwer-Lytoon
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Say what we will, you may be sure that ambition is an error; its wear and tear of heart are never recompensed,—it steals away the freshness of life,—it deadens its vivid and social enjoyments,—it shuts our souls to our own youth,—and we are old ere we remember that we have made a fever and a labor of our raciest years.
– Lytton
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There is no man so friendless but what he can find a friend sincere enough to tell him disagreeable truths.
– Bulwer-Lytton
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What is the difference between being good and bad? The good do not yield to temptations, and the bad do.
The definition was so simple and so wise, that Leonard was more struck with it than he might have been by an elaborate sermon.
—Sir E. B. Lytton

Nancy Mitford – Original “It” Girl

Nancy Mitford

Nancy Mitford

Nancy Freeman-Mitford CBE (28 November 1904 – 30 June 1973), known as Nancy Mitford, was an English novelist, biographer and journalist.
Nancy was one of the famous Mitford sisters and considered one of the Bright Young Things in the early 1900s.

 

Nancy Mitford:  The Wit & Quips of an “IT” girl

An aristocracy in a republic is like a chicken whose head has been cut off: it may run about in a lively way, but in fact it is dead.

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I have only ever read one book in my life, and that is White Fang.  It’s so frightfully good I’ve never bothered to read another.

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I have just heard on the wireless that there’s no point in writing books any more because the electric brain can do it better.  I’m all for it so long as I don’t have to read the Brain’s effusios, don’t feel they are made for me.

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