Random Quotes

“The new culture that has emerged is the first in history to believe that patterns of society must be subordinate to patterns of the intellect.  The one dominating question of this century has been, ‘Are the social patterns of our world going to run our intellectual life, or is our intellectual life going to run our social patterns?’  And in that battle, the intellectual patterns have won.”

-Robert Pirsig, Lila
“That night they were visited with a plague of hail out of a faultless sky and the horses shied and moaned and the men dismounted and sat upon the ground with their saddles over their heads while the hail leaped in the sand like small lucent eggs concoted alchemically out of the desert darkness.  When they resaddled and rode on they went for miles through cobbled ice while a polar moon rose like a blind cat’s eye over the rim of the world…”

-Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the west”

“The other town, the one that exactly resembles our town, lies just beyond the north woods.”

-Steven Millhauser, Dangerous Laughter

“Look at the windshield,” I said.  “Is that rain or isn’t it?”

“I’m only telling you what they said.”

“Just because it’s on the radio doesn’t mean we have to suspend belief in the evidence of our senses.”

“Our senses?  Our senses are wrong a lot more often than they’re right.  This has been proven in the laboratory.  Don’t you know about all those theorems that say nothing is what it seems?  There’s no past, present or future outside our own mind.  The so-called laws of motion are a big hoax.  Even sound can trick the mind.  Just because you don’t hear a sound doesn’t mean it’s not out there.  Dogs can hear it.  Other animals.  And I’m sure there are sounds even dogs can’t hear.  But they exist in the air, in waves.  Maybe they never stop.  High, high, high-pitched.  Coming from somewhere.”

“Is it raining,” I said, “or isn’t it?”

“I wouldn’t want to have to say.”

“What if someone held a gun to your head?”

“Who, you?”

-Don Delillo, White Noise

“First he sold newspapers.  It was because he wanted to do something, he himself, standing in the city, shouting about what was happening in the world.  He used to shout so loud, and he used to need to shout so much, that he would forget he was supposed to be selling papers; he would get the idea that he was only supposed to shout, to make people understand what was going on.  He used to go through the city like an alley cat, prowling all over the place, into saloons, upstairs into whore houses, into gambling joints, to see: their faces, the faces of those who were alive with him on the earth, and the expressions of their faces, and their forms, the faces of old whores, and the way they talked, and the smell of all the ugly places, and the drabness of all the old and rotting buildings, all of it, of his time and his life, a  part of him.  He prowled through the city, seeing and smelling, talking, shouting about the big news, inhaling and exhaling, blood moving to the rhythm of the sea, coming and going, to the shore of self and back again to selflessness, inhale and newness, exhale and new death, and the boy in the city, walking through it like an alley cat, shouting headlines.”

-William Saroyan, Resurrection of a Life


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