I have always hated biography, and more especially, autobiography. If biography, the writer invariably finds it necessary to plaster the subject with praises, flattery, and adulation and to invest him with all the Christian graces. If autobiography, the same plan is followed, but the writer apologizes for it.
The varnishers and veneerers have been busily converting Abe into a plaster saint?to pump all his human weaknesses out of him, and so leave him a mere moral apparition, a sort of amalgam of John Wesley and the Holy Ghost.Of popular perceptions of Abraham Lincoln. Quoted in Fred Hobson Mencken: A Life (1994).
In all museums throughout the world one may see plaster casts of footprints of weird animals, footprints preserved for posterity, not because the animals were particularly good of their sort, but because they had the luck to walkon the lava while it was cooling. There is just a faint hope that something of the same sort may happen to us.Banjo (Andrew Barton) Paterson
The building itself is hostile: cracked plaster, broken windows, splintered doors and carved up desks, gloomy corridors and metal stairways, dingy cafeteria (they can eat sitting down only in 20 minute shifts) and an auditorium which has no windows. It does have murals, however, depicting mute, muscular harvesters, faded and immobile under a mustard sun.bel kaufman
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