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Pickle Me This

February 10, 2010

As long as it's not dangerous

“The Cambridge History of English Literature was my constant companion, and it became infused with my cigarette smoke as I plodded through the pages. Almost all my women friends were smokers, some using cigarettes to affect a social ease and grace; others, more dependent upon them, becoming chain smokers. I myself was convinced that without a cigarette in my mouth I could neither study nor exercise any creativity. All unconscious of future revelations about nicotine, my mother would say to me, ‘Why not– as long as it’s not dangerous.’ And so I smoked my way through the Cambridge History of English Literature.” –from Old Books, Rare Friends: Two Literary Sleuths and Their Shared Passion by Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine Stern (which is wonderful)

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