The Return of Talking Time

Go Back   The Return of Talking Time > Talking about media > Talking about books

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #31  
Old 04-10-2011, 10:39 PM
Deptford's Avatar
Deptford Deptford is offline
Fifth Business
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,441
Default

Quote:
God is alive. Magic is afoot.
God is alive. Magic is afoot.
God is afoot. Magic is alive. Alive is afoot.
Magic never died.
God never sickened.
Many poor men lied. Many sick men lied.
Magic never weakened. Magic never hid. Magic always ruled.
God is afoot. God never died.
God was ruler though his funeral lengthened.
Though his mourners thickened Magic never fled.
Though his shrouds were hoisted the naked God did live.
Though his words were twisted the naked Magic thrived.
Though his death was published round and round the world the heart did not believe.
Many hurt men wondered. Many struck men bled.
Magic never faltered. Magic always led.
Many stones were rolled but God would not lie down.
Many wild men lied. Many fat men listened.
Though they offered stones Magic still was fed.
Though they locked their coffers God was always served.
Magic is afoot. God rules.
Alive is afoot. Alive is in command.
Many weak men hungered. Many strong men thrived.
Though they boasted solitude God was at their side.
Nor the dreamer in his cell, nor the captain on the hill.
Magic is alive.
Though his death was pardoned round and round the world the heart would not believe.
Though laws were carved in marble they could not shelter men.
Though altars built in parliaments they could not order men.
Police arrested Magic and Magic went with them for Magic loves the hungry.
But Magic would not tarry.
It moves from arm to arm.
It would not stay with them.
Magic is afoot. It cannot come to harm.
It rests in an empty palm.
It spawns in an empty mind.
But Magic is no instrument.
Magic is the end.
Many men drove Magic but Magic stayed behind.
Many strong men lied.
They only passed through Magic and out the other side.
Many weak men lied.
They came to God in secret and though they left him nourished they would not tell who healed.
Though mountains danced before them they said that God was dead.
Though his shrouds were hoisted the naked God did live.
This I mean to whisper to my mind.
This I mean to laugh with in my mind.
This I mean my mind to serve till service is but Magic moving through the world, and mind itself is Magic coursing through the flesh, and flesh itself is Magic dancing on a clock, and time itself the Magic Length of God.
From Beautiful Losers, by Leonard Cohen
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 04-10-2011, 11:04 PM
Figure Four's Avatar
Figure Four Figure Four is offline
This is what happens!
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 844
Default

Quote:
Reality is created out of confusion and contradiction, and if you exclude those elements, you're no longer talking about reality. You might think that--by following language and logic that appears consistent--you're able to exclude that aspect of reality, but it will always be lying in wait for you, ready to take its revenge.
Underground, Haruki Murakami
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 04-12-2011, 03:11 PM
Dizzy Dizzy is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 27,309
Default

Quote:
I enjoy playing with words, inventing new expressions. I believe there is much more wisdom in words than we normally assume.... Here is an example. One of my recent antagonists, Mancur Olson, uses the expression "logic of collective action" in order to demonstrate the illogic of collective action, that is, the virtual unlikelihood that collective action can ever happen. At some point I was thinking about the fundamental rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and that beautiful expression of American freedom as "the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'' I noted how, in addition to the pursuit of happiness, one might also underline the importance of the happiness of pursuit, which is precisely the felicity of taking part in collective action. I simply was happy when that play on words occurred to me.

Albert Hirschman
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 04-12-2011, 08:13 PM
Nyarlathotep's Avatar
Nyarlathotep Nyarlathotep is offline
Crawling Chaos
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Missoruh
Posts: 1,424
Default

Quote:
The asphalt is damp, and I catch the scent of roses. I can't bring myself to her. She wears a white sweater, and in her right hand she holds a cisp white envelope lacking only a stamp. So: She's written somebody a letter, mayber spent the whole evening writing, to judge from the sleepy look in her eyes. The envelope could contain every secret she's ever had.
On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning, Haruki Murakami
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 04-16-2011, 01:24 PM
ShakeWell's Avatar
ShakeWell ShakeWell is offline
Slammaster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Our Nation's Capital
Posts: 6,512
Default

Quote:
Cruel jokes are a big part of life in any environment where speed freaks, work addicts and obsessive-compulsive political junkies are ripped to the tits day and night for thirteen straight months on their own adrenaline and swollen more and more each day with the kind of hubris that comes when you try to cross Innocence and Ambition all at once and you start seeing yourself on the front page of the New York Times in a photo with the next president getting off a jet plane in Texas or Boston or Washington, surrounded by a gang of hard-eyed U.S. Secret Service agents escorting you through a cheering crowd...

It's a rush that a lot of people will tell you is higher than any drug they've ever tried or even heard about, and maybe better than sex...which is a weird theory and often raises unsettling personal questions, but it is a theory nonetheless, and on some days I've even believed it myself.

But not really, and days like that are so rare that I usually can't even remember them... But when I do, it is like a nail in my eye. The pain goes away, but the wound stays forever. The scar never quite heals over- and whenever it seems like it's going to, I pick at it. I have some scars that go back 33 years, and I still remember how they happened, just like it was yesterday.
Hunter S. Thompson, Better Than Sex: Confessions of a Political Junkie
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 04-28-2011, 12:43 PM
Evil Dead Junkie's Avatar
Evil Dead Junkie Evil Dead Junkie is offline
Inscaper
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,109
Default

Quote:
All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event- in the living act, the undoubted deed- there, some unknown but still reasoning thing put forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me. Sometimes I think there is naught beyond. But 'tis enough. He tasks me; he heaps me; I see in him outrageous strength, with an inscrutable malice sinewing it. That inscrutable thing which chiefly I hate; and be the white whale agent or be the white whale principal, I will wreak that hate upon him. Talk not to me of blasphemy for I would strike the sun if it insulted me.
Moby Dick, Herman Melville

I love the "he tasks me".
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 05-04-2011, 11:45 PM
Evil Dead Junkie's Avatar
Evil Dead Junkie Evil Dead Junkie is offline
Inscaper
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,109
Default

[QUOTE]The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far./QUOTE]

Call Of Cthulhu, HP Lovecraft
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 05-04-2011, 11:51 PM
ravinoff's Avatar
ravinoff ravinoff is offline
out of how many points?
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: a bit north of atlanta
Posts: 1,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pratchett's Mort's best footnote
The only things known to go faster than ordinary light is monarchy, according to the philosopher Ly Tin Weedle. He reasoned like this: you can't have more than one king, and tradition demands that there is no gap between kings, so when a king dies the succession must therefore pass to the heir instantaneously. Presumably, he said, there must be some elementary particles -- kingons, or possibly queons -- that do this job, but of course succession sometimes fails if, in mid-flight, they strike an anti-particle, or republicon. His ambitious plans to use his discovery to send messages, involving the careful torturing of a small king in order to modulate the signal, were never fully expanded because, at that point, the bar closed.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 05-05-2011, 12:07 AM
Krakenbrau's Avatar
Krakenbrau Krakenbrau is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Canadia
Posts: 544
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Dead Junkie View Post
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.

Call Of Cthulhu, HP Lovecraft
In this vein:

Quote:
That is not dead which can eternal lie;
And with strange aeons, even death may die.
The Call Of Cthulhu, H.P. Lovecraft.

Yes, it's a Metallica lyric, and yes, everyone knows it. I still like it.

Also:

Quote:
Warring his life long upon the contransmagnificandjewbangtantiality.
Ulysses, James Joyce.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 05-05-2011, 12:14 AM
ravinoff's Avatar
ravinoff ravinoff is offline
out of how many points?
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: a bit north of atlanta
Posts: 1,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krakenbrau View Post
Warring his life long upon the contransmagnificandjewbangtantiality. - Ulysses, James Joyce.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyce's Finnegans Wake
Bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronnt uonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk
I love Joyce, I'm just being a bit of an ass anyways.

Edit: my above quote is one of Joyce's onomonopia words for thunder.
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 05-05-2011, 12:17 AM
Krakenbrau's Avatar
Krakenbrau Krakenbrau is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Canadia
Posts: 544
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravinoff View Post
I love Joyce, I'm just being a bit of an ass anyways.

Edit: my above quote is one of Joyce's onomonopia words for thunder.
Ahaha man, that just makes me want to read Finnegan's Wake even more.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 05-05-2011, 12:25 AM
ravinoff's Avatar
ravinoff ravinoff is offline
out of how many points?
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: a bit north of atlanta
Posts: 1,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krakenbrau View Post
Ahaha man, that just makes me want to read Finnegan's Wake even more.
Read it aloud! The books as made to be done so, many jokes only really makes sense that way. Only read it straight through if you have a reading group to read it with aloud often and regularly. If not forget its a novel, that doesn't matter, instead treat it as book of poetry that works best read randomly. Flip to a page and start reading aloud. Tremendous fun.

Also it's Finnegans Wake no apostrophe (the book is, the song has the apostrophe).
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 05-05-2011, 12:35 AM
Krakenbrau's Avatar
Krakenbrau Krakenbrau is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Canadia
Posts: 544
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravinoff View Post
Read it aloud! The books as made to be done so, many jokes only really makes sense that way. Only read it straight through if you have a reading group to read it with aloud often and regularly. If not forget its a novel, that doesn't matter, instead treat it as book of poetry that works best read randomly. Flip to a page and start reading aloud. Tremendous fun.

Also it's Finnegans Wake no apostrophe (the book is, the song has the apostrophe).
Oh. James Joyce is a jerk then, for confusing my punctuation.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 05-07-2011, 12:47 AM
Loki's Avatar
Loki Loki is offline
Funko Superfan
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Pronouns: He/Him
Posts: 16,126
Default

Quote:
This man had saved his life, which was something; but, further, he was the ideal master. Other men saw to the welfare of their dogs from a sense of duty and business expediency; he saw to the welfare of his as if they were his own children, because he could not help it. And he saw further. He never forgot a kindly greeting or a cheering word, and to sit down for a long talk with them ("gas" he called it) was as much his delight as theirs. He had a way of taking Buck's head roughly between his hands, and resting his own head upon Buck's, of shaking him back and forth, the while calling him ill names that to Buck were love names. Buck knew no greater joy than that rough embrace and the sound of murmured oaths, and at each jerk back and forth it seemed that his heart would be shaken out of his body so great was its ecstasy. And when, released, he sprang to his feet, his mouth laughing, his eyes eloquent, his throat vibrant with unuttered sound, and in that fashion remained without movement, John Thornton would reverently exclaim, "God! you can all but speak!"

Buck had a trick of love expression that was akin to hurt. He would often seize Thornton's hand in his mouth and close so fiercely that the flesh bore the impress of his teeth for some time afterward. And as Buck understood the oaths to be love words, so the man understood this feigned bite for a caress.
The Call of the Wild Jack London
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 05-19-2011, 09:49 PM
Evil Dead Junkie's Avatar
Evil Dead Junkie Evil Dead Junkie is offline
Inscaper
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,109
Default

Quote:
The biggest problem with the world over there on the other side of the tough air membrane gliding around her, Eel gathered, was that it was both lunatic and poisonous... These faceless kings and queens, wilting girls, floating shirts, giant ranting warriors and the rest, these camels and dragons and curious pigs, failed to make sense because they were utterly incapable of logic or coherence. Rationality had no place in their world. They could not make sense. Sense was not in them. Meaning had come late to the world and they had no use for it.
Peter Straub, A Dark Matter
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 05-22-2011, 12:04 PM
Evil Dead Junkie's Avatar
Evil Dead Junkie Evil Dead Junkie is offline
Inscaper
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,109
Default

Quote:
The ordinary aesthetic anarchist who sets out to feel everything freely gets knotted at lat in paradox that prevents him from feeling at all. He breaks away from home limits to follow poetry. But in ceasing to feel home limits he has ceased to feel the Odyssey." He is free from national prejudices and outside patriotism. But being outside patriotism he is outside "Henry V." Such a literary man is simply outside all literate: he is more of a prisoner than any bigot. For if there is a wall between you and the world, it makes little difference whether you describe yourself as locked in or locked out.
GK Chesterton, Orthodoxy
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 05-22-2011, 06:49 PM
Savathun's Avatar
Savathun Savathun is offline
Time for singing
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,890
Default

Quote:
But when I'm around strangers, I turn into a conversational Mount St. Helens. I'm dormant, dormant, quiet, quiet, old-guy loners build log cabins on the slopes of my silence and then, boom, it's 1980. Once I erupt, they'll be wiping my verbal ashes off their windshields as far away as North Dakota.
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 05-23-2011, 11:38 AM
Nyarlathotep's Avatar
Nyarlathotep Nyarlathotep is offline
Crawling Chaos
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Missoruh
Posts: 1,424
Default

Quote:
I just stared up helplessly at the great mirage of the peeling wall. The entire wall, from the ground to the roof, was now the color of pink stucco, dwarfing me. The scratching sounds weren't coming from that wall anymore. That wall had completed itself, I realized, and the peeling was now occurring elsewhere, around front. When I moved past the corner of the house, the scratching noises stopped, but only for a moment. They resumed the second I located the patch of pain above my office window that was starting to peel off. In the glare of the street lamps I could see the house actually scarring of its own accord. Nothing was helping it. The paint was simply peeling off in a fine white shower revealing more of the pink stucco underneath. It was doing this without any assistance. I became entranced by the flecks of paint sifting down onto the lawn, and I moved closer to the house, in awe of the widening salmon-hued paint that was revealing itself.
-Bret Easton Ellis, Lunar Park
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 05-29-2011, 09:22 PM
Evil Dead Junkie's Avatar
Evil Dead Junkie Evil Dead Junkie is offline
Inscaper
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,109
Default

Quote:
All fantasy fiction is essentially about the concept of power; great fantasy fiction is about people who find it at great cost or lose it tragically; mediocre fantasy fiction is about people who have it and never lose it but simply wield it.
Stephen King, Danse Macabre
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 06-08-2011, 04:38 PM
Loki's Avatar
Loki Loki is offline
Funko Superfan
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Pronouns: He/Him
Posts: 16,126
Default

That's a very insightful line, EDJ, and can I say that I'm really enjoying your Son of Danse Macabre articles?

Quote:
And there would be time enough to murder Plovey later. Revenge--as others have noted--is a dish well worth eating even when cold.
Hugh Cook, The Walrus and the Warwolf
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 06-09-2011, 01:08 PM
Evil Dead Junkie's Avatar
Evil Dead Junkie Evil Dead Junkie is offline
Inscaper
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,109
Default

That's awful nice of you to say Loki.

In speaking of which a new one just went up today.
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 06-09-2011, 08:16 PM
Figure Four's Avatar
Figure Four Figure Four is offline
This is what happens!
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 844
Default

Quote:
She put her hand out to the machine. "I hope you will not have cause to regret this," she said, smiling.

It gripped her hand gently. "Regret is for humans," it said.

She laughed. "Really?"

The machine shrugged and let go of her hand. "Oh, no. It's just something we tell ourselves."
Iain M. Banks, Against a Dark Background
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 06-10-2011, 07:00 AM
BEAT's Avatar
BEAT BEAT is offline
SEARING RED GAZE
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SKELETON HELL.
Pronouns: DUDE/BRO
Posts: 24,420
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GREGORY
You! You never hated because you never lived. I know what you are all of you, from first to last -- you are the people in power! You are the police -- the great fat, smiling men in blue and buttons! You are the Law, and you have never been broken. But is there a free soul alive that does not long to break you, only because you have never been broken? We in revolt talk all kind of nonsense doubtless about this crime or that crime of the Government. It is all folly! The only crime of the Government is that it governs. The unpardonable sin of the supreme power is that it is supreme. I do not curse you for being cruel. I do not curse you (though I might) for being kind. I curse you for being safe! You sit in your chairs of stone, and have never come down from them. You are the seven angels of heaven, and you have had no troubles. Oh, I could forgive you everything, you that rule all mankind, if I could feel for once that you had suffered for one hour a real agony such as I!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SYME
I see everything, everything that there is. Why does each thing on the earth war against each other thing? Why does each small thing in the world have to fight against the world itself? Why does a fly have to fight the whole universe? Why does a dandelion have to fight the whole universe? For the same reason that I had to be alone in the dreadful Council of the Days. So that each thing that obeys law may have the glory and isolation of the anarchist. So that each man fighting for order may be as brave and good a man as the dynamiter. So that the real lie of Satan may be flung back in the face of this blasphemer, so that by tears and torture we may earn the right to say to this man, 'You lie!' No agonies can be too great to buy the right to say to this accuser, 'We also have suffered.'
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 06-10-2011, 09:27 AM
Nyarlathotep's Avatar
Nyarlathotep Nyarlathotep is offline
Crawling Chaos
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Missoruh
Posts: 1,424
Default

Quote:
"Because it's a brilliant Fim. It's funny, and violent, and it's got Harvey Keitel and Tim Roth in it, and everything. And a cracking sound track."

Maybe there's no comparison between Ian sleeping with Laura and Reservoir Dogs after all. Ian hasn't got Harvey Keitel and Tim Rith in him. And Ian's not funny. Or violent. And he's got a crap sound track, judging from what we used to hear through the ceiling. I've taken this as far as it will go.
Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 06-12-2011, 03:20 AM
Figure Four's Avatar
Figure Four Figure Four is offline
This is what happens!
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 844
Default

Quote:
Sorry be damned, and all your plans. Fuck the faithful, fuck the committed, the dedicated, the true believers; fuck all the sure and certain people prepared to maim and kill whoever gets in their way; fuck every cause that ends in murder and a child screaming.
Against a Dark Background, Iain M. Banks
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 06-12-2011, 11:45 AM
ThricebornPhoenix's Avatar
ThricebornPhoenix ThricebornPhoenix is offline
Current Objective:Survive
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,523
Default

Quote:
So there they go, Jim running slower to stay with Will, Will running faster to stay with Jim, Jim breaking two windows in a haunted house because Will's along, Will breaking one window instead of none, because Jim's watching. God, how we get our fingers in each other's clay. That's friendship, each playing the potter to see what shape we can make of the other.
Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 06-21-2011, 07:43 PM
Nyarlathotep's Avatar
Nyarlathotep Nyarlathotep is offline
Crawling Chaos
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Missoruh
Posts: 1,424
Default

Quote:
When he said that he looked back over to Harding and Billy and made a face, but he left that hand in front of me, big as a dinner plate.

I remember real clear the way that hand looked: there was carbon under the fingernails where he'd once worked in a garage; there was an anchor tattooed back from the knuckles; there was a dirty Band-Aid on the middle knuckle, peeling up at the edge. All the rest of the knuckles were covered with scars and cuts, old and new. I remember the palm was callused, and the calluses were cracked, and dirt was worked in the cracks. A road map of his travels up and down the west. That palm made a scuffing sound against my hand. I remember the fingers were thick and strong closing over mine, and my hand commenced to feel peculiar and went to swelling up there on my stick of an arm, like he was transmitting his own blood into it. It rand with blood and power. It blowed up near as big as his, I remember...
Quote:
It–everything else I see–looks like it sounded, like the inside of a tremendous dam. Huge brass tubes disappear upward in the dark. Wires run to transformers out of sight. Grease and cinders catch on everything, staining the couplings and motors and dynamos red and coal black
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 07-21-2011, 11:44 PM
Evil Dead Junkie's Avatar
Evil Dead Junkie Evil Dead Junkie is offline
Inscaper
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,109
Default

Quote:
He had grown up believing in America and the individual and it was a stronger faith than his faith in God. This was the land where no man had to bow. In this place at last a man cold stand up free of the past, free of tradition and blood ties and the curse of royalty and become what he wished to become. This was the first place on earth where the man mattered more than the state. True freedom had begun here and it would spread eventually over all the earth. But it had begun here. The fact of slavery upon this incredibly beautiful new clean earth was appalling, but even more than that was the horror of old Europe, the curse of nobility, which the South was transplanting to new soil. They were forming a new aristocracy, a new breed of glittering men, and Chamberlain had come to crush it.

But he was fighting for the dignity of man and in that way he was fighting for himself. If men were equal in America, all these former Poles and English and Czechs and Blacks, then they were equal everywhere, and there was really no such thing as a foreigner; there were only free men and slaves. And so it was not even patriotism but a new faith.
The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara

Last edited by Evil Dead Junkie; 07-22-2011 at 01:02 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 07-22-2011, 05:12 AM
Klatrymadon's Avatar
Klatrymadon Klatrymadon is offline
Frightful Hobgoblin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Road of Enemy
Pronouns: He / him
Posts: 3,410
Default

Quote:
The simplest truth about man is that he is a very strange being; almost in the sense of being a stranger on the earth. In all sobriety, he has much more of the external appearance of one bringing alien habits from another land than of a mere growth of this one. He has an unfair advantage and an unfair disadvantage. He cannot sleep in his own skin; he cannot trust his own instincts. He is at once a creator moving miraculous hands and fingers and a kind of cripple. He is wrapped in artificial bandages called clothes; he is propped on artificial crutches called furniture. His mind has the same doubtful liberties and the same wild limitations. Alone among the animals, he is shaken with the beautiful madness called laughter; as if he had caught sight of some secret in the very shape of the universe hidden from the universe itself. Alone among the animals he feels the need of averting his thought from the root realities of his own bodily being; of hiding them as in the presence of some higher possibility which creates the mystery of shame. Whether we praise these things as natural to man or abuse them as artificial in nature, they remain in the same sense unique.
G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man

Nice to see that a few others like Chesterton. When I was a kid, one of my favourite passages was this bit from Robert E. Howard's Almuric:

Quote:
I was living the life of the most primitive savage; I had neither companionship, books, clothing, nor any of the things which go to make
up civilization. According to the cultured viewpoint, I should have been most miserable. I was not. I revelled in my existence. My being grew and expanded. I tell you, the natural life of mankind is a grim battle for existence against the forces of nature, and any other form of life is artificial and without realistic meaning.

My life was not empty; it was crowded with adventures calling on every ounce of intelligence and physical power. When I swung down from my chosen eyrie at dawn, I knew that I would see the sun set only through my personal craft and strength and speed. I came to read the meaning of every waving grass tuft, each masking bush, each towering boulder. On every hand lurked Death in a thousand forms. My vigilance could not be relaxed, even in sleep. When I closed my eyes at night it was with no assurance that I would open them at dawn. I was fully alive. That phrase has more meaning than appears on the surface. The average civilized man is never fully alive; he is burdened with masses of atrophied tissue and useless matter. Life flickers feebly in him; his senses are dull and torpid. In developing his intellect he has sacrificed far more than he realizes.

I realized that I, too, had been partly dead on my native planet. But now I was alive in every sense of the word; I tingled and burned and stung with life to the finger tips and the ends of my toes. Every sinew, vein, and springy bone was vibrant with the dynamic flood of singing, pulsing, humming life. My time was too much occupied with food-getting and preserving my skin to allow the developing of the morbid and intricate complexes and inhibitions which torment the civilized individual. To those highly complex persons who would complain that the psychology of such a life is over-simple, I can but reply that in my life at that time, violent and continual action and the necessity of action crowded out most of the gropings and soul-searchings common to those whose safety and daily meals are assured them by the toil of others. My life was primitively simple; I dwelt altogether in the present. My life on Earth already seemed like a dream, dim and far away.
It isn't quite as rousing for me now, though, as an aspiring academic.
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 07-25-2011, 10:08 PM
Wolf's Avatar
Wolf Wolf is offline
Ancient Nameless Hero
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,930
Default

I could just say "the entirety of The Once and Future King, by T.H. White," but that would be cheating. So I'll pick a passage in particular that has stuck with me since I first read the book (nowhere near early enough in my life) in 2004. This one is easy to find for me. In my sadly falling-apart copy, it is bookmarked:

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.H. White
There is a thing called knowledge of the world, which people do not have until they are middle-aged. It is something which cannot be taught to younger people, because it is not logical and does not obey laws which are constant. It has no rules. Only, in the long years which bring women to the middle of life, a sense of balance develops. You can't teach a bby to walk by explaining the matter to her logically -- she has to learn the strange poise of walking by experience. In some way like that, you cannot teach a young woman to have knowledge of the world. She has to be left to the experience of the years. And then, when she is beginning to hate her used body, she suddenly finds that she can do it. She can go on living -- not by principle, not be deduction, not by knowledge of good and evil, but simply by a peculiar and shifting sense of balance which defies each of these things often. She no longer hopes to live by seeking the truth -- if women ever do hope this -- but continues henceforth under the guidance of a seventh sense. Balance was the sixth sense, which she won when she first learned to walk, and now she has the seventh one -- knowledge of the world.

The slow discovery of the seventh sense, by which both men and women contrive to ride the waves of a world in which there is war, adultery, compromise, fear, stultification and hypocrisy -- this discovery is not a matter for triumph. The baby, perhaps, cries out triumphantly: I have balance! But the seventh sense is recognized without a cry. We only carry on with our famous knowledge of the world, riding the queer waves in a habitual, petrifying way, because we have reached a stage of deadlock in which we can think of nothing else to do.

And at this stage we begin to forget that there ever was a time when we lacked the seventh sense. We begin to forget, as we go stolidly balancing along, that there could have been a time when we were young bodies flaming with the impetus of life. It is hardly consoling to remember such a feeling, and so it deadens in our minds.

But there was a time when each of us stood naked before the world, confronting life as a serious problem with which we were intimately and passionately concerned. There was a time when it was of vital interest to us to find out whether there was a God or not. Obviously the existence or otherwise of a future life must be of the very first importance to somebody who is going to live her present one, because her manner of living it must hinge on the problem. There was a time when Free Love versus Catholic Morality was a question of as much importance to our hot bodies as if a pistol had been clapped to our heads.

Further back, there were times when we wondered with all our souls what the world was, what love was, what we were ourselves.

All these problems and feelings fade away when we get the seventh sense. Middle-aged people can balance between believing in God and breaking all the commandments, without difficulty. The seventh sense, indeed, slowly kills all the other ones, so that at last there is no trouble about the commandments. We cannot see any more, or feel, or hear about them. The bodies which we loved, the truths which we sought, the Gods whom we questioned: we are deaf and blind to them now, safely and automatically balancing along toward the inevitable grave, under the protection of our last sense.
There seems to be a power of truth in it.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Your posts ©you, 2007