Among picnics on the battlefield the déjeuner sur l’herbe in The Three Musketeers sets the pattern for sardonic humor. It’s meant as yet another instance of the Musketeers’ bravado, but Alexandre Dumas and Auguste Maquet (his co-author) add comic relief to the serious...
Leonid Andreyev’s The Red Laugh is antiwar horror story about Russia’s war in Manchuria. The novel is constantly downbeat and each of its chapters is a fragment, the first of which begins “Horror and Madness.” The picnic happens after soldiers on the front lines drag...
The picnic in Leonid Andreyev’s The Red Laugh is a nightmarish description of soldiers on the front lines dragging a comrade who is already dead to safety. Their universe the narrator says says is “red” and making a sardonic joke that no one else understands he says...
Ernest Hemingway thought Sloan Wilson’s The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1955) was trash, probably because he found the hero unbelievable, and the war just an excuse for a sexual romance. But the public thought otherwise. It was a best seller and immediately adapted...
When the war began in 1914, picnic baskets were shelved. But when the peace was being negotiated at Versailles in June 1919, they were dusted off and repacked. Signaling the change, editors of The Illustrated London News suggested that it was time for picnicking—in...
“A “family picnic” generally consists of a Buick, a father, a mother, a daughter, a small son, beef loaf, lettuce sandwiches, a young man (you), two blow-outs, one spare tire, and Aunt Florence.” Donald Ogden Stewart. “Correct Behavior on a Picnic” (1922)
“Over all the brown ploughlands, and under all the leafless hedgerows, there was a stout piece of labour abroad, and, as it were, a spirit of picnic.” R. L. Stevenson. “An Autumn Effect” (1875)
"People do all sorts of things at picnics."
William Dean HowellsApril Hopes (1887)
“We both sat there for a long time, silent and alone, like a washed-out picnic party, under dripping trees, waiting for the thunder to stop.” Len Deighton. Charity (1997)
"There are picnics and picnics—picnics of high and of low degree." William Hamilton Gibson. “Honey Dew Picnic” (1897)
"Picnickers who are determined to picnic will always find a spot somewhere."
Betty FussellMy Kitchen Wars (1999)
“I once mentioned to a young lady that I thought a pic-nic party would be very agreeable, and that I would propose it to some of our friends. She agreed that it would be delightful, but she added, “I fear you will not succeed; we are not used to such sort of things here, and I know it is considered very indelicate for ladies and gentlemen to sit down together on the grass.’” Frances Trollope. Domestic Manners of the Americans (1832)
“Now I sometimes say, joking, that war after all is only a long picnic.” Alberto Moravia
"Have a picnic at the slightest excuse." James Beard. Menus for Entertaining (1965)
James BeardMenus for Entertaining (1965)
"We ought to get started soon—if we’re ever going to make that picnic." Eugene O’Neill. Ah, Wilderness! (1933)
“I hate Pic-nics, squatting in the grass don't suit me at all; when once down, I find it no easy matter to get up again, I can tell you." Robert Seymour. “The Pic-Nic,” Sketches of Seymour (1835c.)
“There was no picnicking in those days—people had more serious matters to attend to—and it required no great keenness to conclude that no honest men were in the habit of occupying the place.” Allan Pinkerton. Criminal Reminiscences and Detective Sketches (1878)
“I know just what you want—you want a house where they go in for theatricals and picnics and that sort of thing.” Henry James. The Portrait of a Lady (1881)
“Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.” Tom Stoppard. Artist Descending a Staircase (1972)
“There are but few touchstones of our poor human hearts which can elicit any past remembrance wholly without pain; but I think this simple word [picnic], that is born of pleasure, and nicknamed in drollery, is one; poverty, ill-humour, illness, all things that deform or embitter our existence, are forgotten in the sound.” Georgina Battiscombe. English Picnics (1949)
“Life is a pic-nic en costume; one must take part, assume as character, stand ready in a sensible way to play the fool. Herman Melville. The Confidence Man (1857)
“Yet nobody, I think, would pretend that it was other than an ugly word, picnic, verging on chit-chat, or snip-snap. . .” Osbert Sitwell. “Picnics and Pavilions,” Sing High! Sing Low! (1944)
“But the wind is roaring now, and the sea is raving, and the rain is driving down, as if they had all set in for a real hearty picnic, and each had brought its own relations to the general festivity.” Charles Dickens [Letter to Clarkson Stanfield, August 24th, 1844]
"Oh, it's so beautiful! Let's have our picnic here!"
Philip K. DickEye in the Sky (1957)
“I have met a Snob on a dromedary in the desert, and picnicking under the Pyramid of Cheops.”
William Makepeace Thackeray. The Book of Snobs (1848)
“The weather here is simply supreme. It’s summer, hot enough for cold chicken, un peu de salade, champagne and ice-cream, all of which are very much here. The flowers are marvelous, Anne. We go for picnics up among the mountains and long day excursions by motor.” Katherine Mansfield. “March 1920,” Letters of Katherine Mansfield
“Fool,” says Mrs. Lee-Mittsen, “You can’t come here, it’s somebody else’s picnic. Elizabeth Bowen. The Hotel (1927)
“How would you like to go on a train ride—and picnic today?” he asked suddenly. “Stop it! I can’t take jokes before breakfast.” Harry Harrison. Make Room! Make Room! (1966)
“There are a few things so pleasant as a picnic lunch eaten in perfect comfort,” Elliott added sententiously. The old Duchesse d’Uzes used to tell me that the most recalcitrant male becomes amenable to suggestion in these conditions.” W. Somerset Maugham. The Razor's Edge (1944)
September 28th--A picnic party in the woods, yesterday, in honor of little Frank Dana's birthday, he being six years old. I strolled out, after dinner, with Mr. Bradford, and in a lonesome glade we met the apparition of an Indian chief, dressed in appropriate costume of blanket, feathers, and paint, and armed with a musket. Almost at the same time, a young gypsy fortune-teller came from among the trees, and proposed to tell my fortune. Nathaniel Hawthorne. “September 28th, 1841,” Passages from the American Note-Books (1883)
“I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow,” said Scarlett. “It's rained nearly every day for a week. There's nothing worse than a barbecue turned into an indoor picnic.” Margaret Mitchel. Gone With the Wind (1936)