News room: Hooray It's A Vacay - Or Holiday Hell? 10 Literary Quotations about Holidays

Hooray It's A Vacay - Or  Holiday Hell? 10 Literary Quotations about Holidays by Jessica Barrah

Could it be that writers are not the ideal holiday companions? Many of the writers quoted here seem to have a rather negative outlook about vacations. Have they experienced a rainy caravan in Rhyll, or a rat infested half built tower block in Menorca? Or perhaps they are too pale and introverted to enjoy stripping off at the seaside.

1. “After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working.”
― Kenneth Grahame The Wind in the Willows

2. “Sitting aimlessly in bedrooms- often on the bed itself- is another characteristic feature of the English holidays. The meal was over and it was only twenty five past seven. ‘The evening stretches before us,’ Viola said gloomily.”
― Barbara Pym, No Fond Return of Love

3. “No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one.” ― Elbert Hubbard

4. “…vicinity to the sea is desirable, because it is easier to do nothing by the sea than anywhere else, and because bathing and basking on the shore cannot be considered an employment but only an apotheosis of loafing. (“Expiation”)” ― E.F. Benson, The Collected Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson

5. “What paradise and vacation have in common is that you have to pay for both, and the coin is your previous life.” ― Joseph Brodsky

6. “Rather was it not a series of seven uneasy days, spent in restless pursuit of pleasure, and a wearisome anxiety to find out how to make the most of them? Where was the quiet, where the promised rest?”
― Charles Lamb

7. “What shall you do all your vacation?’, asked Amy. “I shall lie abed and do nothing”, replied Meg.”
― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

8. “Though most tourists accepted the occasional comic misadventure, it was important to them that overall their vacation should be pleasant. When you spend money on a holiday you are essentially purchasing happiness: if you don’t enjoy yourself you will feel defrauded.”
― Alison Lurie, The Last Resort

9. “I always determine—when thinking over the matter in London—that I’ll get up early every morning, and go and have a dip before breakfast… But when I get to the sea I don’t feel somehow that I want that early morning bathe nearly so much as I did when I was in town.” ― Jerome K Jerome, Three Men in A Boat.

10. “The Dordogne in 1984 was the nadir. Diarrhea, moths like flying hamsters, the blowtorch heat. Awake at three in the morning on a damp and lumpy mattress. Then the storm. Like someone hammering sheets of tin. Lightning so bright it came through the pillow. In the morning sixty, seventy dead frogs turning slowly in the pool." ― Mark Haddon A Spot of Bother

Further reading:

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Written by
Jessica Barrah
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