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This report is taken from PN Review 187, Volume 35 Number 5, May - June 2009.

Forty-Five Newish Scottish Proverbs Frank Kuppner
1. All talk of the spiritual Mother, [or, sometimes: Father], derives from a basic failure to grasp the nature and complexity of the material.
2. Always somehow, always somewhere else.
3. Anyone can suddenly become very dead indeed.
4. As you walk through the palace, you’re always wondering: ‘But why not me?’ [Or, very occasionally: ‘But why me?’]
5. Aye, it’s always a bad day for the Faculty when an Idealist philosopher dies o’ syphilis.
6. But Mr Porteous! No-one has ever suddenly stayed completely the same!
7. Destiny is largely the instinct of a previous Deity. [G.J. Farzer (often considered authoritative) suggests that this should really run: ‘Instinct is the Destiny of a previous God’. (And to think there were moments when we almost believed the old fool!)]
8. Don’t help the poor too much now, you’ll only spoil them.
9. Even when it comes to final annihilation, we are all greatly at the mercy of our personal vanity.
10. Experience often invests our great thinkers and teachers, Jim, not so much with wisdom itself as with the ability to sound wise.
11. Few people are all that well qualified to be dead. [‘Alive’ is also found - but somehow this doesn’t sound quite so authentically Scottish, does it?]
12. Few things are harder to make than an accurate remark about your native country. [Sometimes ‘profound’. Sometimes ‘profound yet {or ‘and’} accurate’. Sometimes ‘interesting’.]
13. God invented gravity ...

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