Diogenes Small

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Diogenes Small is a fictional author often "quoted" in the Inspector Morse novels by Colin Dexter.


  • Thursday is a bad day. Wednesday is quite a good day. Friday is an even better one. But Thursday, whatever the reason, is a day on which my spirit and my resolution, are at their lowest ebb. Yet even worse is any day of the week upon which, after a period of blessed idleness, I come face to face with the prospect of a premature return to my labours.
  • For coping with even one quarter of that running course known as 'Marathon'—for coping without frequent halts for refreshment or periodic bouts of vomiting—a man has to dedicate one half of his youthful years to quite intolerable training and endurance. Such dedication is not for me.
  • Yet always it is those fictional addenda which will effect the true alchemy.
    • Reflections on Inspiration and Creativity, cited in "The Inside Story" (short story from the collection Morse's Greatest Mystery)
  • Pension: generally understood to mean monies grudgingly bestowed on aging hirelings after a lifetime of occasional devotion to duty
  • Thanatophobia (n): a morbid dread of death, or (sometimes) of the sight of death: a poignant sense of human mortality, almost universal except those living on Olympus.
  • Examination: trial; test of knowledge and, as also may be hoped, capacity; close inspection (especially med.)
  • Prosnōpagnoia (n.): the failure of any person to recognize the face of any other person, howsoever recently the aforementioned persons may have mingled in each other's company.
  • Hypoglycaemia (n): abnormal reduction of sugar content of the blood — for Diabetes sufferers a condition more difficult to spell than to spot
  • Character (n.) handwriting, style of writing: Shakes. Meas. for M. Here is the hand and seal of the Duke. You know the character, I doubt not
    • Small's Enlarged English Dictionary, 18th Edition, cited in Dexter, Colin (1999 (Second Reprint)). The Remorseful Day. London: BCA [Book Club Associates]. pp. 374. 
  • Alibi (adv.): in another place, elsewhere

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