Okay, these are just in the order they fall in the book with no particular theme or organization. The page numbers are from the James translation, U. of Hawaii Press edition.
Chapter 4, page 33: "Liu could see that the police were becoming more and more powerful and the role of the local bravo had already become a thing of the past." -- Noted just because we remember bravos from I Promessi Sposi.
Chapter 5, page 39: "What had happened to him was like a nightmare. It almost made him afraid to have hope for the future ever again. Sometimes he almost felt envious when he watched the other men drinking, smoking opium, and running off to brothels. Ambition was useless. Why not enjoy what you had?" -- A very common sentiment among intellectuals as well as people with material ambitions. Why spend all this time reading hard books when we could sit in front of the TV all day with a beer like everyone else?
Chapter 7, page 60: "He thought of himself as both a Socialist and an aesthetician, having been somewhat influenced by the writings of William Morris." -- I've heard of Morris but only as the author of a novel titled News from Nowhere. Has anyone read any of his work?
Chapter 8, page 76: "Since it never occurred to them to stand together, each went his own way; each man's hopes and exertions blurred his vision. Each man thought he could found a family and maintain his livelihood with his bare and empty hands. Each of them went groping his own way in the darkness." -- One of the first suggestions of Marxist thought in the novel and an interesting perspective on the futility of individualism.
Chapter 14, page 131: "Does being honest and law-abiding really have any good points?" -- A point in the character's development but also connected with the futility of individualism.
Chapter 19, page 188: "The most admirable of sacrifices is to bear disgrace. The most admirable way to bear disgrace is to prepare for rebellion." -- Interesting combination of traditional Asian and revolutionary European ways of thinking.
Chapter 19, page 194: "Stupid barbarism and thoughtless cruelty only contributed to the situation here. There were, in addition to stupid barbarism and thoughtless cruelty, other causes. At midnight Hu Niu brought forth a dead child and stopped breathing." -- The interesting thing here is the reference to "other causes," implying a call for political action at a point when it might have been dangerous to be more explicit.
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