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Len Deighton

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The factory workers say that it’s impossible to do anything right. If you arrive five minutes early you are a saboteur; if you arrive five minutes late you are betraying socialism; if you arrive on time they say, "Where did you get the watch?"
Funeral in Berlin (1964; repr. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966) pp. 144-5
Described there as a joke current in 1960s Czechoslovakia

Len Deighton

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I rarely feel the desire to reread a scene the day before the shooting. Sometimes I arrive at the place where the work is to be done and I do not even know what I am going to shoot. This is the system I prefer: to arrive at the moment when shooting is about to begin, absolutely unprepared, virgin. I often ask to be left alone on the spot for fifteen minutes or half an hour and I let me thoughts wander freely.

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I see my way as birds their trackless way.
I shall arrive,—what time, what circuit first,
I ask not; but unless God send his hail
Or blinding fire-balls, sleet or stifling snow,
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He guides me and the bird. In his good time.

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The barber man was small and flash, as barbers mostly are,
He wore a strike-your-fancy sash, he smoked a huge cigar;
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Andrew Paterson

None of it was my application. I didn’t pay for any of it. It was…the FBI, bless their pressed white shirts. They picked up on something they thought was really important, and they were following it through. They were f**king serious, mate. What are you supposed to do? You get this late-night call from the FBI when you arrive in Los Angeles, and they’re like absolutely full-on, "We’ve got to talk to you now, before you do anything. We have to have a discussion with you, Mr. Crowe."

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"Television is to news as a bumper sticker is to Shakespeare. I remember hearing an analogy once that went something like that. Your typical nightly, 35-minute TV news broadcast is a headline service with pictures. Five minutes of police-blotter reporting - fires, murders, car accidents, etc. - five minutes of human-interest stories and small talk, five minutes of weather, five minutes of sports, ten minutes of commercials, and maybe a minute or two for business, science, politics, and affairs of the world."

Mike Rosen
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