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Always eat grapes downwards–that is, always eat the best grape first; in this way there will be none better left on the bunch, and each grape will seem good down to the last. If you eat the other way, you will not have a good grape in the lot. Besides, you will be tempting Providence to kill you before you come to the best.

This is why autumn seems better than spring: in the autumn we are eating our days downwards, in the spring each day still seems ‘very bad.’ People should live on this principle more than they do, but they do live on it a good deal; from the age of, say, fifty we eat our days downwards.

— Samuel Butler, Notebooks, 1912

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Ravel’s Bolero I submit as the most insolent monstrosity ever perpetrated in the history of music. From the beginning to the end of its 339 measures it is simply the incredible repetition of the same rhythm … and above it the blatant recurrence of an overwhelmingly vulgar cabaret tune that is little removed, in every essential of character, from the wail of an obstreperous back-alley cat.

American Mercury, 1932