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Tag Archives: quotes

Fiction of the Untrammeled Imagination

The first thing to say about J.G. Ballard is not that he is among our finest writers of science fiction but that he is among our finest writers of fiction tout court period. Ballard himself might retort that, granted the first claim, the second is redundant, since the only important fiction being produced today is […]

In Which A Soldier Describes the Primary Act of War

It’s not the first man. It’s the second and third and fourth and fifth; and they all become that first man. And by the fiftieth, and at close range, they all become the same face. When you kill, you kill the same guy over and over and over again. —Samuel Fuller, quoted in The Typewriter, […]

The Age of the Shrug

Jessica saw the shrug, thought, This is the age of the shrug. […] Our civilization could well die of indifference within it before succumbing to external attack. — Frank Herbert, Children of Dune

We are of two different kinds…

“I am one of those who like to stay late at the café,” the older waiter said. “With all those who do not want to go to bed. With all those who need a light for the night.” — Ernest Hemingway, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

In Which Mr McCarthy Speaks

Some quotes from Cormac McCarthy, in this interview with The Wall Street Journal. Mr McCarthy says: Creative work is often driven by pain. It may be that if you don’t have something in the back of your head driving you nuts, you may not do anything. It’s not a good arrangement. If I were God, […]

In Which We Stand Completely Still

the tortoise in the wheelchair wrapped his forehead in a bandage with a cast they made from plaster for his phony broken leg so he’d get pushed around the sidewalk by the zookeeper’s assistant with the hummingbird observing from behind the yellow flower and he flapped his tiny wings they moved so fast you couldn’t […]

In Which Asimov Tells The Universe’s Secrets

“I believe that scientific knowledge has fractal properties; that no matter how much we learn, whatever is left, however small it may seem, is just as infinitely complex as the whole was to start with. That, I think, is the secret of the Universe.” – Isaac Asimov, I. Asimov

In Which I Enjoy de Saint-Exupery

Watch how de Saint-Exupery builds his ideas brick-by-brick, each sentence resting atop the previous, until the last sentence of each paragraph sets the keystone, and the paragraphs together create an arch: In a world in which life so perfectly responds to life, where flowers mingle with flowers in the wind’s eye, where the swan is […]

In Which We Contemplate Perspective

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun, Nor the furious winter’s rages; Thou thy worldly task hast done, Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages: Golden lads and girls all must, As chimney-sweepers, come to dust. — William Shakespeare, cymbaline

In Which We Consider Individual Movement In Terms of National Identity

Think of anything, of cowboys, of movies, of detective stories, of anybody who goes anywhere or stays home and is an American and you will realize that it is something strictly American to conceive a space that is filled with moving, a space of time that is filled always filled with moving … — Gertrude […]