Announcement Of Death Quotes

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Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it's often one of the great motivations for living. Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury. Some need its constant presence to even be aware of its antithesis. Others become so preoccupied with it that they go into the waiting room long before it has announced its arrival. We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.
Fredrik Backman (A Man Called Ove)
Eric called Al's suicide brave, and he was wrong. My mother's death was brave. I remember how calm she was, how determined. It isn't just brave that she died for me; it is brave that she did it without announcing it, without hesitation, and without appearing to consider another option.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Announcing your death should be like announcing that you are a lunar moth: It must be done quietly or it will not be believed.
Lemony Snicket (Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid)
By the time Bones announced it was Tammy's turn, I'd fallen in love with him all over again. Flowers and jewelry worked for most girls as a romantic gesture, but here I was, misty-eyed at watching him show my mother how to stab the shit out of him.
Jeaniene Frost (Death's Excellent Vacation)
You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid…. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer…. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you, or shoot at you or bomb your house; so you refuse to take the stand. Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you’re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.
Martin Luther King Jr.
The clear awareness of having been born into a losing struggle need not lead one into despair. I do not especially like the idea that one day I shall be tapped on the shoulder and informed, not that the party is over but that it is most assuredly going on—only henceforth in my absence. (It's the second of those thoughts: the edition of the newspaper that will come out on the day after I have gone, that is the more distressing.) Much more horrible, though, would be the announcement that the party was continuing forever, and that I was forbidden to leave. Whether it was a hellishly bad party or a party that was perfectly heavenly in every respect, the moment that it became eternal and compulsory would be the precise moment that it began to pall.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
I like places like this," he announced. I like old places too," Josh said, "but what's to like about a place like this?" The king spread his arms wide. "What do you see?" Josh made a face. "Junk. Rusted tractor, broken plow, old bike." Ahh...but I see a tractor that was once used to till these fields. I see the plow it once pulled. I see a bicycle carefully placed out of harm's way under a table." Josh slowly turned again, looking at the items once more. And i see these things and I wonder at the life of the person who carefully stored the precious tractor and plow in the barn out of the weather, and placed their bike under a homemade table." Why do you wonder?" Josh asked. "Why is it even important?" Because someone has to remember," Gilgamesh snapped, suddenly irritated. "Some one has to remember the human who rode the bike and drove the tractor, the person who tilled the fields, who was born and lived and died, who loved and laughed and cried, the person who shivered in the cold and sweated in the sun." He walked around the barn again, touching each item, until his palm were red with rust." It is only when no one remembers, that you are truely lost. That is the true death.
Michael Scott (The Sorceress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #3))
I wait for him to announce my presence, holding his gaze, refusing to look away, determined that this beautiful boy see the face he sentences to death with this next words.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
I find that the only way to get through life is to picture myself in an entirely disconnected reality. I often imagine how people would react to my death. Mr Dunthorne's quavering voice as he makes the announcement. The shocked faces of my classmates. A playground bedecked with flowers. The empty stillness of a school corridor. Local news analysis. . . . The steady stoicism of my parents. . . . Candlelit vigils. . . . And finally, my glorious resurrection.
Joe Dunthorne (Submarine)
*** A SMALL ANNOUNCEMENT *** ABOUT RUDY STEINER He didn't deserve to die the way he did.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
It feels bigger than I want it to be. Do I really have to announce this? Can't I just feel something and live inside it while it's happening and not analyze it to death?
Becky Albertalli (Imogen, Obviously)
Kekulé dreams the Great Serpent holding its own tail in its mouth, the dreaming Serpent which surrounds the World. But the meanness, the cynicism with which this dream is to be used. The Serpent that announces, "The World is a closed thing, cyclical, resonant, eternally-returning," is to be delivered into a system whose only aim is to violate the Cycle. Taking and not giving back, demanding that "productivity" and "earnings" keep on increasing with time, the System removing from the rest of the World these vast quantities of energy to keep its own tiny desperate fraction showing a profit: and not only most of humanity—most of the World, animal, vegetable, and mineral, is laid waste in the process. The System may or may not understand that it's only buying time. And that time is an artificial resource to begin with, of no value to anyone or anything but the System, which must sooner or later crash to its death, when its addiction to energy has become more than the rest of the World can supply, dragging with it innocent souls all along the chain of life. Living inside the System is like riding across the country in a bus driven by a maniac bent on suicide . . . though he's amiable enough, keeps cracking jokes back through the loudspeaker . . .
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
I brand you tonight not only to mark you as mine, téa, but to celebrate your devotion and courage as my submissive. To others it may symbolize my ownership over you, but to me it announces my undying commitment. There will be no other in my life. Even death will not stand in the way of my commitment to you.
Red Phoenix (Brie Embraces the Heart of Submission: After Graduation (Brie #2))
It was the first day in the life of the new lean and mean Peabody. An hour later, she lay on the grubby floor wheezing like the dying. Her quads and hamstrings burned, her glutes wept, and her arms couldn't stop screaming for mama. "Never doing this again," she announced. "Yes, you are," she corrected. "Can't. Dying. Can. Will. Help me, I think I broke my ass. Wimp, pussy. Shut up.
J.D. Robb (Treachery in Death (In Death, #32))
His clothing marked him as Italian. The cadence of his speech announced that he was Venetian. His eyes were all policeman.
Donna Leon (Death at La Fenice (Commissario Brunetti, #1))
Give death announcements each time you move instead of giving announcements of the change of address. Send the same when you die.
Yoko Ono (Grapefruit: A Book of Instructions and Drawings)
Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced is to be received with formal manifestations of respect, even by those most familiar with him.
Ambrose Bierce (Tales of Soldiers and Civilians and Other Stories)
Seven Cities was an ancient civilization, steeped in the power of antiquity, where Ascendants once walked on every trader track, every footpath, every lost road between forgotten places. It was said the sands hoarded power within their sussurating currents, that every stone had soaked up sorcery like blood, and that beneath every city lay the ruins of countless other cities, older cities, cities that went back to the First Empire itself. It was said each city rose on the backs of ghosts, the substance of spirits thick like layers of crushed bone; that each city forever wept beneath the streets, forever laughed, shouted, hawked wares and bartered and prayed and drew first breaths that brought life and the last breaths that announced death. Beneath the streets there were dreams, wisdom, foolishness, fears, rage, grief, lust and love and bitter hatred.
Steven Erikson (Deadhouse Gates (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2))
Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced is to be received with formal manifestations of respect, even by those most familiar with him. In the code of military etiquette silence and fixity are forms of deference.
Ambrose Bierce (An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge)
When he concentrated, a miniature tornado swirled around its three points, getting faster and larger the more he focused. When he planted the spear on the ground, the floor of the pit began to shake and crak. "Best weapon,"he announced." Right here." Brontes tossed them a third item. Hades caught this one-a gleaming bronze war helmet decorated with scenes of death and destruction. "You get weapons" Hades grumbled. "i get a hat
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson's Greek Gods)
Blue had never believed in death until then. Not in a real way. It happened to other people, other families, in other places. It happened in hospitals or automobile crashes or battle zones. It happened--now she remembered Gansey's words outside Gwenllian's tomb--with ceremony. With some announcement of itself. It didn't just happen in the attic on a sunny day while she was sitting in the reading room. It didn't just HAPPEN, in only a moment, an irreversible moment. It didn't happen to people she had always known. But it did. And there would now forever be two Blues: the Blue that was before, and the Blue that was after. The one who didn't believe, and the one who did.
Maggie Stiefvater (Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3))
You know, at least Gabriel showed up announced like a gentleman. He even told Mila that she looked beautiful. You and your toothpick just show up, scaring me half to death.
Skyla Madi (Sun Kissed (Guardian Angel, #2))
In accordance with the law the death sentence was announced to Cincinnatus C. in a whisper.
Vladimir Nabokov (Invitation to a Beheading)
The death of the spirit is the price of progress. Nietzsche revealed this mystery of the Western apocalypse when he announced that God was dead and that He had been murdered. This Gnostic murder is constantly committed by the men who sacrificed God to civilization. The more fervently all human energies are thrown into the great enterprise of salvation through world–immanent action, the farther the human beings who engage in this enterprise move away from the life of the spirit. And since the life the spirit is the source of order in man and society, the very success of a Gnostic civilization is the cause of its decline. A civilization can, indeed, advance and decline at the same time—but not forever. There is a limit toward which this ambiguous process moves; the limit is reached when an activist sect which represents the Gnostic truth organizes the civilization into an empire under its rule. Totalitarianism, defined as the existential rule of Gnostic activists, is the end form of progressive civilization.
Eric Voegelin (The New Science of Politics: An Introduction (Walgreen Foundation Lectures))
The brick is neither here nor there,' interrupted the stranger in an imposing fashion, 'it never merely falls on someone's head from out of nowhere. In your case, I can assure you that a brick poses no threat whatsoever. You will die another kind of death." 'And you know just what that will be?' queried Berlioz with perfectly understandable irony, letting himself be drawn into a truly absurd conversation. 'And can you tell me what that is?' 'Gladly,' replied the stranger. He took Berlioz's measure as if intending to make him a suit and muttered something through his teeth that sounded like 'One, two.. Mercury in the Second House... the moon has set... six-misfortune...evening-seven...' Then he announced loudly and joyously, 'Your head will be cut off!
Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita)
When I look at the clues that indicate the nature of Jesus – born in a barn, questionable parents, spotty ancestry, common name, misdirected announcement, unattractive looks, reared in a bad neighborhood, owning nothing, surrounding himself with unattractive co-workers, and dying a shameful death – I find his whole approach unable to fit into the methods that automatically come to mind when I think about “winning the world.” His whole approach could easily be described as nonthreatening or nonmanipulative. He seemed to lead with weakness in each step of life. He had nothing in the world and everything in God and the Spirit.
Gayle D. Erwin (The Jesus Style)
The radium girls,” the governor announced, “deserve the utmost respect and admiration…because they battled a dishonest company, an indifferent industry, dismissive courts and the medical community in the face of certain death. I hereby proclaim September 2, 2011, as Radium Girls Day in Illinois, in recognition of the tremendous perseverance, dedication, and sense of justice the radium girls exhibited in their fight.
Kate Moore (The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women)
Death in Somalia seldom bothers to announce its arrival. In fact, death calls with the arrogance of a guest confident on receiving a warm welcome at any time, no question asked.
Nuruddin Farah (Hiding in Plain Sight)
*** A SMALL ANNOUNCEMENT *** ***ABOUT RUDY STEINER*** He didn't deserve to die the way he did.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Triumphantly, he announced their deaths to the cheering crowd in a famous one-word euphemism: vixere, 'they have lived' – that is, 'they're dead'.
Mary Beard (SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome)
an old man with no destiny with our never knowing who he was, or what he was like, or even if he was only a figment of the imagination, a comic tyrant who never knew where the reverse side was and where the right of this life which we loved with an insatiable passion that you never dared even to imagine out of the fear of knowing what we knew only too well that it was arduous and ephemeral but there wasn't any other, general, because we knew who we were while he was left never knowing it forever with the soft whistle of his rupture of a dead old man cut off at the roots by the slash of death, flying through the dark sound of the last frozen leaves of his autumn toward the homeland of shadows of the truth of oblivion, clinging to his fear of the rotting cloth of death's hooded cassock and alien to the clamor of the frantic crowds who took to the streets singing hymns of joy at the jubilant news of his death and alien forevermore to the music of liberation and the rockets of jubilation and the bells of glory that announced to the world the good news that the uncountable time of eternity had come to an end.
Gabriel García Márquez (The Autumn of the Patriarch)
I know that a stranger's hand will write to me next, to say that the good and faithful servant has been called at length into the joy of his Lord. And why weep for this? No fear of death will darken St. John's last hour: his mind will be unclouded; his heart will be undaunted; his hope will be sure; his faith steadfast. His own words are a pledge of this: “My Master,” he says, “has forewarned me. Daily he announces more distinctly, ‘Surely I come quickly!’ and hourly I more eagerly respond, ‘Amen; even so come, Lord Jesus!
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
We look back on history, and what do we see? Empires rising and falling; revolutions and counter-revolutions succeeding one another; wealth accumulating and wealth dispersed; one nation dominant and then another. As Shakespeare’s King Lear puts it, “the rise and fall of great ones that ebb and flow with the moon.” In one lifetime I’ve seen my fellow countrymen ruling over a quarter of the world, and the great majority of them convinced – in the words of what is still a favorite song – that God has made them mighty and will make them mightier yet. I’ve heard a crazed Austrian announce the establishment of a German Reich that was to last for a thousand years; an Italian clown report that the calendar will begin again with his assumption of power; a murderous Georgian brigand in the Kremlin acclaimed by the intellectual elite as wiser than Solomon, more enlightened than Ashoka, more humane than Marcus Aurelius. I’ve seen America wealthier than all the rest of the world put together; and with the superiority of weaponry that would have enabled Americans, had they so wished, to outdo an Alexander or a Julius Caesar in the range and scale of conquest. All in one little lifetime – gone with the wind: England now part of an island off the coast of Europe, threatened with further dismemberment; Hitler and Mussolini seen as buffoons; Stalin a sinister name in the regime he helped to found and dominated totally for three decades; Americans haunted by fears of running out of the precious fluid that keeps their motorways roaring and the smog settling, by memories of a disastrous military campaign in Vietnam, and the windmills of Watergate. Can this really be what life is about – this worldwide soap opera going on from century to century, from era to era, as old discarded sets and props litter the earth? Surely not. Was it to provide a location for so repetitive and ribald a production as this that the universe was created and man, or homo sapiens as he likes to call himself – heaven knows why – came into existence? I can’t believe it. If this were all, then the cynics, the hedonists, and the suicides are right: the most we can hope for from life is amusement, gratification of our senses, and death. But it is not all.
Malcolm Muggeridge
In the trenches of the First World War, English men came to love one another decently, without shame or make-believe, under the easy likelihoods of their sudden deaths, and to find in the faces of other young men evidence of otherworldly visits, some poor hope that may have helped redeem even mud, shit, the decaying pieces of human meat... It was the end of the world, it was total revolution (though not quite in the way Walter Rathenau had announced): every day thousands of the aristocracy new and old, still haloed in their ideas of right and wrong, went to the loud guillotine of Flanders, run day in and out, on and on, by no visible hands, certainly not those of the people - an English class was being decimated, the ones who'd volunteered were dying for those who'd known something and hadn't, and despite it all, despite knowing, some of them, of the betrayal, while Europe died meanly in its own wastes, men loved. But the life-cry of that love has long since hissed away into no more than this idle and bitchy faggotry. In this latest War, death was no enemy, but a collaborator. Homosexuality in high places is just a carnal afterthought now, and the real and only fucking is done on paper...
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
When Herschel saw Flamsteed’s “star” drift against the background stars, he announced—operating under the unwitting assumption that planets were not on the list of things one might discover—that he had discovered a comet. Comets, after all, were known to move and to be discoverable. Herschel planned to call the newfound object Georgium Sidus (“Star of George”), after his benefactor, King George III of England. If the astronomical community had respected these wishes, the roster of our solar system would now include Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and George.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries)
Whenever I receive death announcements, I consistently notice that a kind of emotion grips me and I feel astonished disbelief. It is as though the departed had passed a difficult examination and achieved something I had not believed him capable of.
Ernst Jünger (A German Officer in Occupied Paris: The War Journals, 1941-1945 (European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism))
Since an emotion's an announcement of value, in this society of the death (of values) emotions moved like zombies through humans.
Kathy Acker (My Mother: Demonology)
Families learned of the deaths of kin mostly by telegram, but some knew or sensed their loss even when no telegram brought the news. Husbands and wives had promised to write letters or send cables to announce their safe arrival, but these were never sent. Passengers who had arranged to stay with friends in England and Ireland never showed up. The worst were those situations where a passenger was expected to be on a different ship but for one reason or another had ended up on the Lusitania
Erik Larson (Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania)
The blending, of course, is the challenge. Most creatures who are special cannot seem to stop themselves from announcing the fact, despite the dangers that come with being different from the rest of your species. If you tie a red string around a wren’s leg, the others in the flock will peck it to death.
Kim Wright (City of Darkness (City of Mystery, #1))
The thought of [our] destruction is like a light in the middle of the night that spreads its flames on the objects it will soon consume. We must get used to contemplating this light, since it announces nothing that has not been prepared by all that comes before; and since death is as natural as life, why should be so afraid of it?
Denis Diderot
On the morning of his funeral, the Baltimore Sun failed to announce the service, but mourned that his death “will cause poignant regret among all who admire genius, and have sympathy for the frailties too often attending it.
Paul Collins (Edgar Allan Poe: The Fever Called Living)
I became alive once more. At the dances I was one of the most untiring and gayest. One evening a cousin of Sasha, a young boy, took me aside. With a grave face, as if he were about to announce the death of a dear comrade, he whispered to me that it did not behoove an agitator to dance. Certainly not with such reckless abandon, anyway. It was undignified for one who was on the way to become a force in the anarchist movement. My frivolity would only hurt the Cause. I grew furious at the impudent interference of the boy. I told him to mind his own business. I was tired of having the Cause constantly thrown into my face. I did not believe that a Cause which stood for a beautiful ideal, for anarchism, for release and freedom from convention and prejudice, should demand the denial of life and joy. I insisted that our Cause could not expect me to become a nun and that the movement would not be turned into a cloister. If it meant that, I did not want it. "I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everybody's right to beautiful, radiant things." Anarchism meant that to me, and I would live it in spite of the whole world — prisons, persecution, everything. Yes, even in spite of the condemnation of my own closest comrades I would live my beautiful ideal
Emma Goldman (Living My Life (Penguin Classics))
."Holy crap." Char grabbed Jake's hand. "We have to make a run for it." "It's like hell, only worse." Jake agreed grabbing her arm. "Welcome, welcome!" Came a voice over a loudspeaker. "Holy shit, we're officially in the Hunger Games." Jake grabbed Char and put her behind him. "Just let me die first. Please God, let me die first." "I've been expecting you!" the female voice happily announced. "Somehow that doesn't make me feel better," Char whispered from behind Jake. "Oh, and by the way, it's only romantic to sacrifice yourself for me if death isn't the better option, twinkle toes!".
Rachel Van Dyken (The Wager (The Bet, #2))
did jesus have a baby sister? was she bitter? was she sweet? did she wind up in a convent? did she end up on the street? on the run? on the stage? did she dance? did he have a sister? a little baby sister? did jesus have a sister? did they give her a chance? did he have a baby sister? could she speak out by and large? or was she told by mother mary ask your brother he’s in charge he’s the whipped cream on the cake did he have a sister? a little baby sister? did jesus have a sister? did they give her a break? her brother’s birth announcement was pretty big pretty big i guess while she got precious little notice in the local press her mother was the virgin when she carried him carried him therein if the little girl came later then was she conceived in sin? and in sorrow? and in shame? did jesus have a sister? what was her name? and did she long to be the savior saving everyone she met? and in private to her mirror did she whisper saviorette? saviorwoman? saviorperson? save your breath! did he have a sister? a little baby sister? did jesus have a sister? was she there at his death? and did she cry for mary’s comfort as she watched him on the cross? and was mary too despairing ask your brother he’s the boss he’s the chief he’s the man he’s the show did he have a sister? a little baby sister? did jesus have a sister? doesn’t anyone know?
Dory Previn
Everything is boring, boredom is the other epidemic which is making Europe ripe for decline. Boredom is the end product of each and every civilization. It is the arteriosclerosis of the great thinking peoples. The moment always arrives where even God, whether he’s called Zeus, Zebaoth or Zoroaster, has finished creating the universe and asks: “What’s the point of it, actually?” He yawns and chucks it aside. Mankind does the same with civilization. Boredom is the condition of a people which no longer believes but all the same is doing just fine. Boredom is when every clock in the country is predestined to be correct. When the same naive flowers blossom again in the month of March. When every day the deaths of good family fathers are announced in the papers. When a war breaks out in the Balkans. When poems go on about the stars. Boredom is a symptom of aging. Boredom is the diagnosis that talent and virtue are slowly being spent. Boredom is the life-long determination to a form of being which has worn itself out.
Iwan Goll
Five Rules for Leaving a Room in Anger": One: Do not pick up your books or papers. Leave them there. They will serve as a perfect reminder that you are gone. Two: Do no shove your chair back for the table while you are still sitting in it. Push it back as you are standing up. Three: Do not try to put your jacket on as you leave. Don't even fling it over your shoulder. You'll never be Jack Kennedy. Leave it on the chair back. Four: Do not announce that you are departing. Say nothing. Just go. Five: Never...ever look back.
Charles Rosenberg (Death on a High Floor (Robert Tarza Book 1))
I love him, and I love us together more than I love myself. I will do what you ask, but if," Kara swallowed hard, "...if I lose him, I'll join him in death." Vena resisted the urge to stroke the fine mass of dark curls away from the heart-shaped face that gazed at her so fiercely. The woman who faced her, proudly announcing her ability to choose, was no longer the winsome, pliable girl of the garden.
Anna LaForge (The Marcella Fragment)
“The Black Death announces itself by the appearance of foul, egg-sized swellings that erupt on the bodies of its victims, followed by spreading boils and hideous discolorations of the skin. So excruciating is the pain that death, when it comes, is a mercy.” -THE BOOK OF THE ETERNAL ROSE
Fiona Paul (Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1))
So-called real life has only once interfered with me, and it had been a far cry from what the words, lines, books had prepared me for. Fate had to do with blind seers, oracles, choruses announcing death, not with panting next to the refrigerator, fumbling with condoms, waiting in a Honda parked round the corner and surreptitious encounters in a Lisbon hotel. Only the written word exists, everything one must do oneself is without form, subject to contingency without rhyme or reason. It takes too long. And if it ends badly the metre isn't right, and there's no way to cross things out.
Cees Nooteboom (The Following Story)
The coroner announced heart failure as the cause of death, but William Stoner always felt that in a moment of anger and despair Sloane had willed his heart to cease, as if in a last mute gesture of love and contempt for a world that had betrayed him so profoundly that he could not endure in it.
John Williams (Stoner)
A few months later, it was announced that Clement had purchased Avignon from the queen, who, as countess of Provence, held title to the city. The selling price, eighty thousand gold florins, was deemed very reasonable by most observers—indeed, perhaps even a bit low for what was, after all, the capital of Christendom.
John Kelly (The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time)
Very few, even among those who have taken the keenest interest in the progress of the revolution in natural knowledge set afoot by the publication of the 'Origin of Species'; and who have watched, not without astonishment, the rapid and complete change which has been effected both inside and outside the boundaries of the scientific world in the attitude of men's minds towards the doctrines which are expounded in that great work, can have been prepared for the extraordinary manifestation of affectionate regard for the man, and of profound reverence for the philosopher, which followed the announcement, on Thursday last, of the death of Mr Darwin.
Thomas Henry Huxley (Collected Essays of Thomas Henry Huxley)
My flight was announced by Donald Duck noises from a loudspeaker; I arose and shuffled off towards the statistical improbability of dying in an airplane crash. Personally, the thought of such a death appalls me little – what civilized man would not rather die like Icarus than be mangled to death on a Motorway by a Ford Popular?
Kyril Bonfiglioli (Don't Point That Thing at Me (Charlie Mortdecai #1))
Blue had never believed in death until then. Not in a real way. It happened to other people, other families, in other places. It happened in hospitals or automobile crashes or battle zones. It happened — now she remembered Gansey’s words outside Gwenllian’s tomb — with ceremony. With some announcement of itself. It didn’t just happen in the attic on a sunny day while she was sitting in the reading room. It didn’t just happen, in only a moment, an irreversible moment. It didn’t happen to people she had always known. But it did. And there would now forever be two Blues: the Blue that was before, and the Blue that was after. The one who didn’t believe, and the one who did.
Maggie Stiefvater (Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3))
Sooner or later, all talk among foreigners in Pyongyang turns to one imponderable subject. Do the locals really believe what they are told, and do they truly revere Fat Man and Little Boy? I have been a visiting writer in several authoritarian and totalitarian states, and usually the question answers itself. Someone in a café makes an offhand remark. A piece of ironic graffiti is scrawled in the men's room. Some group at the university issues some improvised leaflet. The glacier begins to melt; a joke makes the rounds and the apparently immovable regime suddenly looks vulnerable and absurd. But it's almost impossible to convey the extent to which North Korea just isn't like that. South Koreans who met with long-lost family members after the June rapprochement were thunderstruck at the way their shabby and thin northern relatives extolled Fat Man and Little Boy. Of course, they had been handpicked, but they stuck to their line. There's a possible reason for the existence of this level of denial, which is backed up by an indescribable degree of surveillance and indoctrination. A North Korean citizen who decided that it was all a lie and a waste would have to face the fact that his life had been a lie and a waste also. The scenes of hysterical grief when Fat Man died were not all feigned; there might be a collective nervous breakdown if it was suddenly announced that the Great Leader had been a verbose and arrogant fraud. Picture, if you will, the abrupt deprogramming of more than 20 million Moonies or Jonestowners, who are suddenly informed that it was all a cruel joke and there's no longer anybody to tell them what to do. There wouldn't be enough Kool-Aid to go round. I often wondered how my guides kept straight faces. The streetlights are turned out all over Pyongyang—which is the most favored city in the country—every night. And the most prominent building on the skyline, in a town committed to hysterical architectural excess, is the Ryugyong Hotel. It's 105 floors high, and from a distance looks like a grotesquely enlarged version of the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco (or like a vast and cumbersome missile on a launchpad). The crane at its summit hasn't moved in years; it's a grandiose and incomplete ruin in the making. 'Under construction,' say the guides without a trace of irony. I suppose they just keep two sets of mental books and live with the contradiction for now.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
Really? Gryffindor came from Godric’s Hollow?” “Harry, did you ever even open A History of Magic?” “Erm,” he said, smiling for what felt like the first time in months: The muscles in his face felt oddly stiff. “I might’ve opened it, you know, when I bought it…just the once…” “Well, as the village is named after him I’d have thought you might have made the connection,” said Hermione. She sounded much more like her old self than she had done of late; Harry half expected her to announce that she was off to the library.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
And I say to you this morning, that if you have never found something so dear and so precious to you that you will die for it, then you aren't fit to live. You may be 38 years old as I happen to be, and one day some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause--and you refuse to do it because you are afraid; you refuse to do it because you want to live longer; you're afraid that you will lose your job, or you're afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity or you're afraid that somebody will stab you or shoot at you or bomb your house, and so you refuse to take the stand. Well you may go on and live until you are 90, but you're just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90! And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit. You died when you refused to stand up for right, you died when you refused to stand up for truth, you died when you refused to stand up for justice.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Every Holy Saturday, the Church waits as it were beside the tomb, meditating on Christ's death while awaiting the announcement of his resurrection. Like John, we can take Mary into our homes and ponder with her the last words of Christ. Like her, we can rest in a place between anguish and joy, waiting in quiet hope. We can pray the Divine Office, which parts the veil to show us Christ defeating death and releasing sinners from captivity. The King is not dead; he rests from his work. A new day will come. His Cross is not defeat; it is victory!
Sarah Christmyer (Walk in Her Sandals: Experiencing Christ’s Passion through the Eyes of Women)
Conflicting stories continue to circulate concerning the death of the President. A second White House announcement has now called attention to the President's schedule for the day, pointing out that no mention is made there of dying. Also released was the President's schedule for tomorrow, wherein there also appears to be no plan on the part of the President or his advisers for him to die. "I think it would be best," said the White House Bilge Secretary, "in the light of these schcedules, to wait for a statement, one way or another, from the President himself.
Philip Roth (Our Gang)
In death, Franz at last belonged to his wife. He belonged to her as he had never belonged to her before. Marie-Claude took care of everything: she saw to the funeral, sent out announcements, bought the wreaths, and had a black dress made - a wedding dress, in reality. Yes, a husband's funeral is a wife's true wedding! The climax of her life's work! The reward of her sufferings!
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
The quantum death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. 24 hours before he was “officially” declared dead it was announced on the internet that he had already died. Many people were shocked to hear of his “official” death, especially those who had believed he was already dead. Philip Seymour Hoffman was both dead and alive in the minds of millions simultaneously. A rare death for a rare actor.
Dean Cavanagh
If the sameness of use is shown candidly for what it is—sameness—it looks monotonous. Superficially, this monotony might be thought of as a sort of order, however dull. But esthetically, it unfortunately also carries with it a deep disorder: the disorder of conveying no direction. In places stamped with the monotony and repetition of sameness you move, but in moving you seem to have gotten nowhere. North is the same as south, or east as west. Sometimes north, south, east and west are all alike, as they are when you stand within the grounds of a large project. It takes differences—many differences—cropping up in different directions to keep us oriented. Scenes of thoroughgoing sameness lack these natural announcements of direction and movement, or are scantly furnished with them, and so they are deeply confusing. This is a kind of chaos.
Jane Jacobs (The Death and Life of Great American Cities)
Most people who die in fires don't burn to death; they die from smoke inhalation that kills the respiratory system. that's why the fire service is going on and on about smoke detectors. These little ten-dollar gadgets are one of the truly wonderful inventions of man. The wake you up from a deep slumber so that you and your family and your dog or cat or whatever can get out of the house in time to live and call the fire department. If this sounds like a public service announcement, it is. If you don't have one, buy one today. They make great Christmas gifts. Plus they're cheap. Give a gift of love to a loved one you love. End of announcement.
Larry Brown
I should have had Rachel write a note or something before we left. But knowing Rachel, she might have already thought of that. In fact, knowing Rachel, she can probably make the absences disappear. Am I really thinking about school when my mom and Galen are in trouble? Yes, yes I am. Because this is the life bequeathed to me. Part human, part fish. Part straight-A student, part possessor of the Gift of Poseidon. Yep, I’m a natural-born overachiever. Fan-flipping-tastic. Behind me, I hear the most obnoxious belch in history. “Excuse me,” Toraf says. I hear him wrestle with his buckle and make a hasty retreat to the bathroom. And I’m officially glad I’m not sitting next to him. Let’s face it. He’s a loud puker. Syrena were not meant to fly. When we land, Toraf is asleep. He doesn’t even wake up despite the wobbly landing and the giggling girls and the announcement of “Aloha” by the captain. When everyone has disembarked I make my way back to Toraf and shake him until he wakes up. His breath smells like slightly microwaved death. “We’re in Hawaii,” I tell him. “Time to swim.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
For the first time, Soviet scientists admitted that 17.5 million people, including 2.5 million children under seven, had lived in the most seriously contaminated areas of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia at the time of the disaster. Of these, 696,000 had been examined by Soviet medical authorities by the end of 1986. Yet the official tally of deaths ascribed to the disaster to date remained the same as that announced the previous year: 31.
Adam Higginbotham (Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster)
Oh, by the way," Coop announces as he weaves his DeathBot ship through a barrage of space debris on his laptop screen. "In case you didn't know. It's national 'That's What She Said' Day." I give him a thumbs-up. "I like it." We're camping out in Sean's backyard tonight. It's another one of our traditions. One night, every summer, we buy a ton of junk food and energy drinks and set up Sean's six-person tent in the far corner of his yard. We've got an extension cord running from the garage so that we can rough it in style, with computers and a TV and DVD player. There's a citronella candle burning in the middle of the tent to ward off mosquitoes and to mask the thick stink of mildew. Everyone's brought sleeping bags and pillows, but we aren't planning on logging too many Zs. Sean enters the tent carrying his Xbox. "I don't think there are enough sockets for all of these." I waggle my eyebrows at Coop. "That's what she said." Coop busts up. Sean stands there, looking confused. "I don't get it." "That's what she says," Coop says, sending him and me into hysterics. Sean sighs and puts the Xbox down. "I can see this is going to be a long night." "That's what she said," me and Coop howl in chorus. "Are you guys done yet?" Coop is practically in tears. "That's what she said." "Okay. I'll just keep my mouth shut," Sean grumbles. "That's what she said." I can barely talk I'm laughing so hard. "Enough. No more. My cheeks hurt," Coop says, rubbing his face. I point at him. "That's what she said." And with that, the three of us fall over in fits. "Oh, man, now look what you made me do." Coop motions to his computer. "That was my last DeathBot ship." "That's what she said," Sean blurts out, laughing at his nonsensical joke. Coop and I stare at him, and then silmultaniously, we hit Sean in the face with our pillows.
Don Calame (Swim the Fly (Swim the Fly, #1))
Jesus' life is an invitation for us to believe, not primarily in him but in the relationship between himself and the God whom he names “Father.” Furthermore, Jesus comes into the world to communicate to those of us who are listening that this very same relationship is uniquely available to each one of us. By his life and death Jesus announces the yearning in the heart of Love Divine, to be in relationship with each individual person. For you or I to engage this primal encounter is for us to return “home.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Home Tonight: Further Reflections on the Parable of the Prodigal Son)
We were convinced of the inherent madness of codified inequity. All cooperation involves some measure of surrender. And coercion. But the alternative, being anarchy, is itself no worthy virtue. It is but an excuse for selfish aggression, and all that seeks justification from taking that stance is, each and every time, cold-hearted. Anarchists live in fear and long for death, because they despair of seeing in others the very virtues they lack in themselves. In this manner, they take pleasure in sowing destruction, if only to match their inner landscape of ruin. [...] We rejected civilization, but so too we rejected anarchy for its petty belligerence and the weakness of thought it announced. By these decisions, we made ourselves lost and bereft of purpose.
Steven Erikson (Forge of Darkness (The Kharkanas Trilogy, #1))
The poison that is war does not free us from the ethics of responsibility. There are times when we must take this poison - just as a person with cancer accepts chemotherapy to live. We can not succumb to despair. Force is and I suspect always will be part of the human condition. There are times when the force wielded by one immoral faction must be countered by a faction that, while never moral, is perhaps less immoral. We in the industrialized world bear responsibility for the world’s genocides because we had the power to intervene and did not. We stood by and watched the slaughter in Chechnya, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Rwanda where a million people died. The blood for the victims of Srebrenica- a designated UN safe area in Bosnia- is on our hands. The generation before mine watched, with much the same passivity, the genocides of Germany, Poland, Hungary, Greece, and the Ukraine. These slaughters were, as in, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s book Chronical of a Death Foretold, often announced in advance
Chris Hedges (War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning)
In the pursuit of my investigations I was unconsciously led into the border region of physics and physiology. To my amazement, I found boundary lines vanishing, and points of contact emerging, between the realms of the living and the non-living. Inorganic matter was perceived as anything but inert; it was athrill under the action of multitudinous forces. “A universal reaction seemed to bring metal, plant and animal under a common law. They all exhibited essentially the same phenomena of fatigue and depression, with possibilities of recovery and of exaltation, as well as the permanent irresponsiveness associated with death. Filled with awe at this stupendous generalization, it was with great hope that I announced my results before the Royal Society—results demonstrated by experiments.
Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi)
Oh, Haifa. City of glistering grime, smog hovering over foamy sea. Of blocky apartment buildings facing the coast, topped with white water tanks crowded together like flocks of squat storks. Of palm trees and pine trees and electric wires, twisting green and black toward the chalky beachfront and rows of factory smokestacks. The way you put it once, Laith, your voice warped to mimic a radio announcer: 'Welcome to Haifa: you may die an early and also agonizing carcinogenic death, but at least you'll have a killer view from your hospital room.
Moriel Rothman-Zecher (Sadness Is a White Bird)
In a city famed for its wealth, Paul proclaimed that it was the ‘low and despised in the world, mere nothings’,34 who ranked first. Among a people who had always celebrated the agon, the contest to be the best, he announced that God had chosen the foolish to shame the wise, and the weak to shame the strong. In a world that took for granted the hierarchy of human chattels and their owners, he insisted that the distinctions between slave and free, now that Christ himself had suffered the death of a slave, were of no more account than those between Greek and Jew.
Tom Holland (Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind)
To All My Mariners in One Forget the many who talk much, say little, mean less and matter least Forget we live in times when broadcasts of Tchaikovsky's 5th precede announcements of the death of tyrants. Forget that life for governments is priced war cheap but kidnap high Our seamanship is not with such. From port to port we learn that "depths last longer than heights", that years are meant to disappear like wakes, that nothing but the sun stands still. We share the sweeter alphabets of laughter and the slower languages of pain. Common as coal, we find in one another's eyes the quiet diamonds that are worth the world. Drawn by the song of our keel, who are we but horizons coming true? Let others wear their memories like jewelry We're of the few who work apart so well, together when we must. We speak cathedrals when we speak and trust no promise but the pure supremacy of tears. What more can we expect? The sea's blue mischief may be waiting for its time and place, but still we have the stars to guide us, we have the winds for company. We have ourselves. We have the sailor's faith that not even dying can divide us.
Samuel Hazo (The Holy Surprise of Right Now: Selected and New Poems)
The second I get into a car and we start driving, I imagine a fatal crash to the last detail. When I’m in the liquor store, I imagine a robbery by the time the cashier tells me the total. Every plane ride is an 8-hour movie in my head of me planning what I would say to the stranger on my right if the pilot announced the plane was crashing. I always imagine these scenarios. Family dying. Earthquakes. The earth suddenly falling because gravity left the party. It’s exhausting. Yesterday someone was afraid of me. I was bicycling with Austin and we saw a dead deer on the road. It was so large. Austin nearly fell off his bike when he saw it. Then he looked over at me confused. He asked why I didn't react to it. I told him it was because I’d already imagined one six miles back. There are always two worlds playing in my head at once: what’s in front of me and what could be.
Kristian Ventura (The Goodbye Song)
Religionists from pulpits and evangelical TV stations announced that this [AIDS] was all God’s punishment for the perverted vice of homosexuality, quite failing to explain why this vengeful deity had no interest in visiting plagues and agonized death upon child rapists, torturers, murderers, those who beat up old women for their pension money (or indeed those cheating, thieving, adulterous and hypocritical clerics and preachers who pop up on the news from time to time weeping their repentance), reserving this uniquely foul pestilence only for men who choose to go to bed with each other and addicts careless in the use of their syringes. What a strange divinity. Later he was to take his pleasure, as he still does, on horrifying numbers of women and very young girls raped in sub-Saharan Africa while transmitting his avenging wrath on the unborn children in their wombs. I should be interested to hear from the religious zealots why he is doing this and what kind of a kick he gets out of it.
Stephen Fry (More Fool Me (Memoir, #3))
in my voyages, when I was a man and commanded other men, I have seen the heavens overcast, the sea rage and foam, the storm arise, and, like a monstrous bird, beating the two horizons with its wings. Then I felt that my vessel was a vain refuge, that trembled and shook before the tempest. Soon the fury of the waves and the sight of the sharp rocks announced the approach of death, and death then terrified me, and I used all my skill and intelligence as a man and a sailor to struggle against the wrath of God. But I did so because I was happy, because I had not courted death, because to be cast upon a bed of rocks and seaweed seemed terrible, because I was unwilling that I, a creature made for the service of God, should serve for food to the gulls and ravens. But now it is different; I have lost all that bound me to life, death smiles and invites me to repose; I die after my own manner, I die exhausted and broken-spirited, as I fall asleep when I have paced three thousand times round my cell.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count Of Monte Cristo)
When I cry the hills laugh; When I humble myself the flowers rejoice; When I bow, all things are elated. The field and the cloud are lovers And between them I am a messenger of mercy. I quench the thirst of one; I cure the ailment of the other. The voice of thunder declares my arrival; The rainbow announces my departure. I am like earthly life, Which begins at the feet of the mad elements And ends under the upraised wings of death. I emerge from the heard of the sea Soar with the breeze. When I see a field in need, I descend and embrace the flowers and the trees in a million little ways. I touch gently at the windows with my soft fingers, And my announcement is a welcome song all can hear But only the sensitive can understand. The heat in the air gives birth to me, But in turn I kill it, As woman overcomes man with the strength she takes from him. I am the sigh of the sea; The laughter of the field; The tears of heaven. So with love— Sighs from the deep sea of affection; Laughter from the colourful field of the spirit; Tears from the endless heaven of memories.
Kahlil Gibran (The Khalil Gibran Megapack: 43 Classic Works)
When I heard about the ease with which the Four had been removed, I felt a wave of sadness. How could such a small group of second-rate tyrants ravage 900 million people for so long? But my main feeling was joy. The last tyrants of the Cultural Revolution were finally gone. My rapture was widely shared. Like many of my countrymen, I went out to buy the best liquors for a celebration with my family and friends, only to find the shops out of stock there was so much spontaneous rejoicing. There were official celebrations as well exactly the same kinds of rallies as during the Cultural Revolution, which infuriated me. I was particularly angered by the fact that in my department, the political supervisors and the student officials were now arranging the whole show, with unperturbed self-righteousness. The new leadership was headed by Mao's chosen successor, Hua Guofeng, whose only qualification, I believed, was his mediocrity. One of his first acts was to announce the construction of a huge mausoleum for Mao on Tiananmen Square. I was outraged: hundreds of thousands of people were still homeless after the earthquake in Tangshan, living in temporary shacks on the pavements. With her experience, my mother had immediately seen that a new era was beginning. On the day after Mao's death she had reported for work at her depas'uuent. She had been at home for five years, and now she wanted to put her energy to use again. She was given a job as the number seven deputy director in her department, of which she had been the director before the Cultural Revolution. But she did not mind. To me in my impatient mood, things seemed to go on as before. In January 1977, my university course came to an end. We were given neither examinations nor degrees. Although Mao and the Gang of Four were gone, Mao's rule that we had to return to where we had come from still applied. For me, this meant the machinery factory. The idea that a university education should make a difference to one's job had been condemned by Mao as 'training spiritual aristocrats.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
Shakespeare's plays do not present easy solutions. The audience has to decide for itself. King Lear is perhaps the most disturbing in this respect. One of the key words of the whole play is 'Nothing'. When King Lear's daughter Cordelia announces that she can say 'Nothing' about her love for her father, the ties of family love fall apart, taking the king from the height of power to the limits of endurance, reduced to 'nothing' but 'a poor bare forked animal'. Here, instead of 'readiness' to accept any challenge, the young Edgar says 'Ripeness is all'. This is a maturity that comes of learning from experience. But, just as the audience begins to see hope in a desperate and violent situation, it learns that things can always get worse: Who is't can say 'I am at the worst?' … The worst is not So long as we can say 'This is the worst.' Shakespeare is exploring and redefining the geography of the human soul, taking his characters and his audience further than any other writer into the depths of human behaviour. The range of his plays covers all the 'form and pressure' of mankind in the modern world. They move from politics to family, from social to personal, from public to private. He imposed no fixed moral, no unalterable code of behaviour. That would come to English society many years after Shakespeare's death, and after the tragic hypothesis of Hamlet was fulfilled in 1649, when the people killed the King and replaced his rule with the Commonwealth. Some critics argue that Shakespeare supported the monarchy and set himself against any revolutionary tendencies. Certainly he is on the side of order and harmony, and his writing reflects a monarchic context rather than the more republican context which replaced the monarchy after 1649. It would be fanciful to see Shakespeare as foretelling the decline of the Stuart monarchy. He was not a political commentator. Rather, he was a psychologically acute observer of humanity who had a unique ability to portray his observations, explorations, and insights in dramatic form, in the richest and most exciting language ever used in the English theatre.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
The boy, Max Rüst, will later on become a tinker, father of seven more Rüsts, he will go to work for the firm of Hallis & Co., Plumbing and Roofing, in Grünau. At the age of 52 he will win a quarter of a prize in the Prussian Class Lottery, then he will retire from business and die during an adjustment suit which he has started against the firm of Hallis & Co., at the age of 55. His obituary will read as follows: On September, suddenly, from heart-disease, my beloved husband, our dear father, son, brother, brother-in-law, and uncle, Paul Rüst, in his 55th year. This announcement is made with deep grief on behalf of his sorrowing family by Marie Rüst. The notice of thanks after the funeral will read as follows: Acknowledgment. Being unable to acknowledge individually all tokens of sympathy in our bereavement, we hereby express our profound gratitude to all relatives, friends, as well as to the tenants of No. 4 Kleiststrasse and to all our acquaintances. Especially do we thank Herr Deinen for his kind words of sympathy. At present his Max Rüst is 14 years old, has just finished public school, is supposed to call by on his way there at the clinic for the defective in speech, the hard of hearing, the weak-visioned, the weak-minded, the in-corrigible, he has been there at frequent intervals, because he stutters, but he is getting better now.
Alfred Döblin (Berlin Alexanderplatz)
The two friends went on and on toward the sierra, at times keeping the highway, at times. deviating from it. Whenever they passed through a town or a hamlet, the slow peal of bells tolling the death-knell announced to our hero that the Angel of Death was not losing his time; that his arm reached to every part of the world, and that, though Gil felt it now weighing upon his breast like a mountain of ice, none the less did it scatter ruin and desolation over the entire surface of the earth. As they went, the Angel of Death related many strange and wonderful things to his protege. The foe of history, he took pleasure in scoffing at its pretended utility, in disproof of which he narrated many facts as they had actually occurred, and not as they are recorded on monuments and in chronicles. The abysses of the past opened before the entranced imagination of Gil Gil, revealing to him facts of transcendent importance concerning the fate of man and of empires, disclosing to him the great mystery of the origin of life and the no less great and terrible mystery of the end to which we, wrongly called mortals, are progressing, and causing him, finally, to comprehend, by the light of this sublime philosophy, the laws which preside at the evolution of cosmic matter, and its various manifestations in those ephemeral and transitory forms which are called minerals, plants,animals, stars, constellations, nebula, and worlds. ("The Friend Of The Death")
Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (Ghostly By Gaslight)
Totalitarianism is the result of the hypostasis of the political and the correlative lowering of life as well as the individual. This term does not refer to one type of political regime that can be contrasted with other regimes. Its threat looms over any conceivable regime in which the political is taken as the essential and in which the concealment of life’s own way of appearing extends its reign over human beings, thereby determining a phase of their history. When politics appears on the center of the stage and claims to direct the plot, dangerous times are announced—the time of revolution, terror, and death. The horror of such times ought not hide their internal logic. For if public affairs are all that matters, if they are placed above the individual, and if they claim the right to their needs over those of the individual, then public affairs can also suppress the individual. The individual is considered to exist only in it, for it and by it. The individual is nothing without it.
Michel Henry (From Communism to Capitalism: Theory of a Catastrophe)
Before she could say anything more, Sabella swung around at the sound of Noah’s Harley purring to life behind the garage. God. He was dressed in snug jeans and riding chaps. A snug dark T-shirt covered his upper body, conformed to it. And he was riding her way. “Is there anything sexier than a man in riding chaps riding a Harley?” Kira asked behind her. “It makes a woman simply want to melt.” And Sabella was melting. She watched as he pulled around the side of the garage then took the gravel road that led to the back of the house. The sound of the Harley purred closer, throbbing, building the excitement inside her. “I think it’s time for me to leave,” Kira said with a light laugh. “Don’t bother to see me out.” Sabella didn’t. She listened as the Harley drew into the graveled lot behind the house and moved to the back door. She opened it, stepping out on the back deck as he swung his legs over the cycle and strode toward her. That long-legged lean walk. It made her mouth water. Made her heart throb in her throat as hunger began to race through her. “The spa treated you well,” he announced as he paused at the bottom of the steps and stared back at her. “Feel like messing your hair up and going out this evening? We could have dinner in town. Ride around a little bit.” She hadn’t ridden on a motorcycle since she was a teenager. She glanced at the cycle, then back to Noah. “I’d need to change clothes.” His gaze flickered over her short jeans skirt, her T-shirt. “That would be a damned shame too,” he stated. “I have to say, Ms. Malone, you have some beautiful legs there.” No one had ever been as charming as Nathan. She remembered when they were dating, how he would just show up, out of the blue, driving that monster pickup of his and grinning like a rogue when he picked her up. He’d been the epitome of a bad boy, and he had been all hers. He was still all hers. “Bare legs and motorcycles don’t exactly go together,” she pointed out. He nodded soberly, though his eyes had a wicked glint to them. “This is a fact, beautiful. And pretty legs like that, we wouldn’t want to risk.” She leaned against the porch post and stared back at him. “I have a pickup, you know.” She propped one hand on her hip and stared back at him. “Really?” Was that avarice she saw glinting in his eyes, or for just the slightest second, pure, unadulterated joy at the mention of that damned pickup? He looked around. “I haven’t seen a pickup.” “It’s in the garage,” she told him carelessly. “A big black monster with bench seats. Four-by-four gas-guzzling alpha-male steel and chrome.” He grinned. He was so proud of that damned pickup. “Where did something so little come up with a truck that big?” he teased her then. She shrugged. “It belonged to my husband. Now, it belongs to me.” That last statement had his gaze sharpening. “You drive it?” “All the time,” she lied, tormenting him. “I don’t have to worry about pinging it now that my husband is gone. He didn’t like pings.” Did he swallow tighter? “It’s pinged then?” She snorted. “Not hardly. Do you want to drive the monster or question me about it? Or I could change into jeans and we could ride your cycle. Which is it?” Which was it? Noah stared back at her, barely able to contain his shock that she had kept the pickup. He knew for a fact there were times the payments on the house and garage had gone unpaid—his “death” benefits hadn’t been nearly enough—almost risking her loss of both during those first months of his “death.” Knowing she had held on to that damned truck filled him with more pleasure than he could express. Knowing she was going to let someone who wasn’t her husband drive it filled him with horror. The contradictor feelings clashed inside him, and he promised himself he was going to spank her for this.
Lora Leigh (Wild Card (Elite Ops, #1))
The only thing that [Amaranta] did not keep in mind in her fearsome plan was that in spite of her pleas to God she might die before Rebeca. That was, in fact, what happened. At the final moment, however, Amaranta did not feel frustrated, but, on the contrary, free of all bitterness because death had awarded her the privilege of announcing itself several years ahead of time. She saw it on one burning afternoon sewing with her on the porch a short time after Meme had left for school. She saw it because it was a woman dressed in blue with long hair, with a sort of antiquated look, and with a certain resemblance to Pilar Ternera during the time when she had helped with the chores in the kitchen. Fernanda was present several times and did not see her, in spite of the fact that she was so real – so human and on one occasion asked of Amaranta the favor of threading a needle. Death did not tell her when she was going to die or whether her hour was assigned before that of Rebeca, but ordered her to begin sewing her own shroud on the next sixth of April. She was authorized to make it as complicated and as fine as she wanted, but just as honestly executed as Rebeca's, and she was told that she would die without pain, fear, or bitterness at dusk on the day that she finished it. Trying to waste the most time possible, Amaranta ordered some rough flax and spun the thread herself. She did it so carefully that the work alone took four years. Then she started the sewing. As she got closer to the unavoidable end she began to understand that only a miracle would allow her to prolong the work past Rebeca's death, but the very concentration gave her the calmness that she needed to accept the idea of frustration.
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
What, then, can Shakespearean tragedy, on this brief view, tell us about human time in an eternal world? It offers imagery of crisis, of futures equivocally offered, by prediction and by action, as actualities; as a confrontation of human time with other orders, and the disastrous attempt to impose limited designs upon the time of the world. What emerges from Hamlet is--after much futile, illusory action--the need of patience and readiness. The 'bloody period' of Othello is the end of a life ruined by unseasonable curiosity. The millennial ending of Macbeth, the broken apocalypse of Lear, are false endings, human periods in an eternal world. They are researches into death in an age too late for apocalypse, too critical for prophecy; an age more aware that its fictions are themselves models of the human design on the world. But it was still an age which felt the human need for ends consonant with the past, the kind of end Othello tries to achieve by his final speech; complete, concordant. As usual, Shakespeare allows him his tock; but he will not pretend that the clock does not go forward. The human perpetuity which Spenser set against our imagery of the end is represented here also by the kingly announcements of Malcolm, the election of Fortinbras, the bleak resolution of Edgar. In apocalypse there are two orders of time, and the earthly runs to a stop; the cry of woe to the inhabitants of the earth means the end of their time; henceforth 'time shall be no more.' In tragedy the cry of woe does not end succession; the great crises and ends of human life do not stop time. And if we want them to serve our needs as we stand in the middest we must give them patterns, understood relations as Macbeth calls them, that defy time. The concords of past, present, and future towards which the soul extends itself are out of time, and belong to the duration which was invented for angels when it seemed difficult to deny that the world in which men suffer their ends is dissonant in being eternal. To close that great gap we use fictions of complementarity. They may now be novels or philosophical poems, as they once were tragedies, and before that, angels. What the gap looked like in more modern times, and how more modern men have closed it, is the preoccupation of the second half of this series.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
You knew she was sick,” her mother said. She was trying to comfort her or maybe just alleviate her shock. “I know,” Jude said. “Still.” “It wasn’t painful. She was smilin and talkin to me, right up until the end.” “Are you all right, Mama?” “Oh, you know me.” “That’s why I’m asking.” Her mother laughed a little. “I’m fine,” she said. “Anyway, the service is Friday. I just wanted to let you know. I know you’re busy with school—” “Friday?” Jude said. “I’ll fly down—” “Hold on. No use in you comin all the way down here—” “My grandmother is dead,” Jude said. “I’m coming home.” Her mother didn’t try to dissuade her further. Jude was grateful for that. She’d already acted as if notifying her of her grandmother’s passing had been some inconvenience. What type of life did her mother think she was living that she couldn’t interrupt with that type of news? They hung up and Jude stepped out into the hallway. Students buzzed past. A friend from the biology department waved his coffee at her as he ducked into the lounge. A weedy orange-haired girl tacked a green poster for a protest onto the announcement board. That was the thing about death. Only the specifics of it hurt. Death, in a general sense, was background noise. She stood in the silence of it.
Brit Bennett (The Vanishing Half)
Hermione?” “Hmm?” “I’ve been thinking. I--I want to go to Godric’s Hollow.” She looked up at him, but her eyes were unfocused, and he was sure she was still thinking about the mysterious mark on the book. “Yes,” she said. “Yes, I’ve been wondering that too. I really think we’ll have to.” “Did you hear me right?” he asked. “Of course I did. You want to go to Godric’s Hollow. I agree, I think we should. I mean, I can’t think of anywhere else it could be either. It’ll be dangerous, but the more I think about it, the more likely it seems it’s there.” “Er--what’s there?” asked Harry. At that, she looked just as bewildered as he felt. “Well, the sword, Harry! Dumbledore must have known you’d want to go back there, and I mean, Godric’s Hollow is Godric Gryffindor’s birthplace--” “Really? Gryffindor came from Godric’s Hollow?” “Harry, did you ever even open A History of Magic?” “Erm,” he said, smiling for what felt like the first time in months: The muscles in his face felt oddly stiff. “I might’ve opened it, you know, when I bought it…just the once…” “Well, as the village is named after him I’d have thought you might have made the connection,” said Hermione. She sounded much more like her old self than she had done of late; Harry half expected her to announce that she was off to the library.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
They had grown out of childhood in the last few days. Christmas as Christmas had passed unnoticed since their father had died on Christmas day. Neeley’s thirteenth birthday had been lost somewhere in those last few days. They came to the brilliantly lighted façade of a big vaudeville house. Since they were reading children and read everything they came across, they stopped and automatically read the list of acts playing that week. Underneath the sixth act, was an announcement in large letters. 'Here next week! Chauncy Osborne, Sweet Singer of Sweet Songs. Don’t miss him!' Sweet Singer... Sweet Singer... Francie had not shed a tear since her father’s death. Neither had Neeley. Now Francie felt that all the tears she had were frozen together in her throat in a solid lump and the lump was growing... growing. She felt that if the lump didn't melt soon and change back into tears, she too would die. She looked at Neeley. Tears were falling out of his eyes. Then her tears came, too. They turned into a dark side street and sat on the edge of the sidewalk with their feet in the gutter. Neeley, though weeping, remembered to spread his handkerchief on the curb so that his new long pants wouldn't get dirty. They sat close together because they were cold and lonesome. They wept long and quietly, sitting there in the cold street. At last, when they could cry no more, they talked.
Betty Smith
Why do we care about Lizzie Borden, or Judge Crater, or Lee Harvey Oswald, or the Little Big Horn? Mystery! Because of all that cannot be known. And what if we did know? What if it were proved—absolutely and purely—that Lizzie Borden took an ax? That Oswald acted alone? That Judge Crater fell into Sicilian hands? Nothing more would beckon, nothing would tantalize. The thing about Custer is this: no survivors. Hence, eternal doubt, which both frustrates and fascinates. It’s a standoff. The human desire for certainty collides with our love of enigma. And so I lose sleep over mute facts and frayed ends and missing witnesses. God knows I’ve tried. Reams of data, miles of magnetic tape, but none of it satisfies even my own primitive appetite for answers. So I toss and turn. I eat pints of ice cream at two in the morning. Would it help to announce the problem early on? To plead for understanding? To argue that solutions only demean the grandeur of human ignorance? To point out that absolute knowledge is absolute closure? To issue a reminder that death itself dissolves into uncertainty, and that out of such uncertainty arise great temples and tales of salvation? I prowl and smoke cigarettes. I review my notes. The truth is at once simple and baffling: John Wade was a pro. He did his magic, then walked away. Everything else is conjecture. No answers, yet mystery itself carries me on.
Tim O'Brien (In the Lake of the Woods)
But Hans Beimler survived Dachau, escaping certain death just hours before the SS ultimatum expired. With the help of two rogue SS men, apparently, he squeezed through the small window high up in his cell, passed the barbed wire and electric fence around the camp, and disappeared into the night.7 After Private Steinbrenner unlocked Beimler’s cell early the next morning, on May 9, 1933, and found it empty, the SS went wild. Sirens sounded across the grounds as all available SS men turned the camp upside down. Steinbrenner battered two Communist inmates who had spent the night in the cells adjacent to Beimler, shouting: “Just you wait, you wretched dogs, you’ll tell me [where Beimler is].” One of them was executed soon after.8 Outside, a huge manhunt got under way. Planes circled near the camp, “Wanted” posters went up at railway stations, police raids hit Munich, and the newspapers, which had earlier crowed about Beimler’s arrest, announced a reward for recapturing the “famous Communist leader,” who was described as clean-shaven, with short-cropped hair and unusually large jug ears.9 Despite all their efforts, Beimler evaded his hunters. After recuperating in a safe house in Munich, he was spirited away in June 1933 by the Communist underground to Berlin and then, in the following month, escaped over the border to Czechoslovakia, from where he sent a postcard to Dachau telling the SS men to “kiss my ass.
Nikolaus Wachsmann (KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps)
It doesn’t matter what they think. Dance with me.” He took her hand, and for the first time in a long while, she felt safe. He pulled her to the center of the floor and into the motions of the dance. Ronan didn’t speak for a few moments, then touched a slim braid that curved in a tendril along Kestrel’s cheek. “This is pretty.” The memory of Arin’s hands in her hair made her stiffen. “Gorgeous?” Ronan tried again. “Transcendent? Kestrel, the right adjective hasn’t been invented to describe you.” She attempted a light tone. “What will ladies do, when this kind of exaggerated flirtation is no longer the fashion? We shall be spoiled.” “You know it’s not mere flirtation,” Ronan said. “You’ve always known.” And Kestrel had, it was true that she had, even if she hadn’t wanted to shake the knowledge out of her mind and look at it, truly see it. She felt a dull spark of dread. “Marry me, Kestrel.” She held her breath. “I know things have been hard lately,” Ronan continued, “and that you don’t deserve it. You’ve had to be so strong, so proud, so cunning. But all of this unpleasantness will go away the instant we announce our engagement. You can be yourself again.” But she was strong. Proud. Cunning. Who did he think she was, if not the person who mercilessly beat him at every Bite and Sting game, who gave him Irex’s death-price and told him exactly what to do with it? Yet Kestrel bit back her words. She leaned into the curve of his arm. It was easy to dance with him. It would be easy to say yes. “Your father will be happy. My wedding gift to you will be the finest piano the capital can offer.” Kestrel glanced into his eyes. “Or keep yours,” he said hastily. “I know you’re attached to it.” “It’s just…you are very kind.” He gave a short, nervous laugh. “Kindness has little to do with it.” The dance slowed. It would end soon. “So?” Ronan had stopped, even though the music continued and dancers swirled around them. “What…well, what do you think?” Kestrel didn’t know what to think. Ronan was offering everything she could want. Why, then, did his words sadden her? Why did she feel like something had been lost? Carefully, she said, “The reasons you’ve given aren’t reasons to marry.” “I love you. Is that reason enough?
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Heidegger considers the human condition coldly and announces that existence is humiliated. The only reality is "anxiety" in the whole chain of being. To the man lost in the world and its diversions this anxiety is a brief, fleeting fear. But if that fear becomes conscious of itself, it becomes anguish, the perpetual climate of the lucid man "in whom existence is concentrated." This professor of philosophy writes without trembling and in the most abstract language in the world that "the finite and limited character of human existence is more primordial than man himself." His interest in Kant extends only to recognizing the restricted character of his "pure Reason." This is to conclude at the end of his analyses that "the world can no longer offer anything to the man filled with anguish." This anxiety seems to him so much more important than all the categories in the world that he thinks and talks only of it. He enumerates its aspects: boredom when the ordinary man strives to quash it in him and benumb it; terror when the mind contemplates death. He too does not separate consciousness from the absurd. The consciousness of death is the call of anxiety and "existence then delivers itself its own summons through the intermediary of consciousness." It is the very voice of anguish and it adjures existence "to return from its loss in the anonymous They." For him, too, one must not sleep, but must keep alert until the consummation. He stands in this absurd world and points out its ephemeral character. He seeks his way amid these ruins.
Albert Camus
That’s when Eena cut in. Both Ravelly and Unan looked to her as she announced, “My favorite part of the book is at the very end.” “Where Imorih battles the three-headed dragon,” Unan presumed. Eena shook her head. “Nope.” “Afterwards, where Imorih befriends the beast and earns his trust,” Ravelly guessed. Eena shook her head again. “No, sir. I mean the very end.” Unan’s brow crinkled as he tried to recall what came next in the story. “Where she finds her prince who was held captive by none other than the same three-headed dragon?” The young Sha shook her head a third time. “I know! When the dragon flies them on his back to the edge of their homeland! That would be quite the experience, wouldn’t it?” Ravelly seemed certain he had guessed the finishing act of the story. “That’s not the very, very end,” Eena grinned. “But that’s the last page,” Unan contended, his finger pointing at the final leaf in the book. Wahlister was the one who finally guessed the correct answer. “They kiss on the dragon’s back at the very end. That’s where they promise to never allow anything, even death, to separate them again.” “Yes!” Eena chirped. “That’s the best scene of all.” “I don’t recall that promise,” Ravelly admitted. Unan assured the old Grott, “It’s right here.” He read the line that told of a promise made sure by a kiss. “Their lips sealed the whispered vow, ‘We shall never part again, even if our fate is to haunt one another in death.’” After reading it, he groaned aloud. “Only a woman would remember that line.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Tempter's Snare (The Harrowbethian Saga #5))
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “There has never yet been a man who led a life of ease, whose name is worth remembering. Certainly when the Lord calls us to be His disciples, He does not call us to a life of ease. A missionary whose story has influenced my life greatly is a man mentioned earlier named Henry Martyn. After a long and difficult life of Christian service in India, he announced he was going to go to Persia (modern Iran), because God had laid it upon his heart to translate the New Testament and the Psalms into the Persian language. By then he was an old man. People told him that if he stayed in India, he would die from the heat, and that Persia was hotter than India. But he went nonetheless. There he studied the Persian language and then translated the entire New Testament and Psalms in nine months. Then he learned that he couldn’t print or circulate them until he received the Shah’s permission. He traveled six hundred miles to Tehran; there he was denied permission to see the Shah. He turned around and made a four-hundred-mile trip to find the British ambassador, who gave him the proper letters of introduction and sent him the four hundred miles back to Tehran. This was in 1812, and Martyn made the whole trip on the back of a mule, traveling at night and resting by day, protected from the sweltering desert sun by nothing but a strip of canvas. He finally arrived back in Tehran, was received by the Shah, and secured permission for the Scriptures to be printed and circulated in Persia. Ten days later he died. But shortly before his death, he had written this statement in his diary: “I sat in the orchard, and thought, with sweet comfort and peace, of my God; in solitude my Company, my Friend, and Comforter.” He certainly did not live a life of ease, but it was a life worth remembering. And he’s one of many God used to turn redemptive history.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Hard to Believe: The High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus)
There is no silence upon the earth or under the earth like the silence under the sea; No cries announcing birth, No sounds declaring death. There is silence when the milt is laid on the spawn in the weeds and fungus of the rock-clefts; And silence in the growth and struggle for life. The bonitoes pounce upon the mackerel, And are themselves caught by the barracudas, The sharks kill the barracudas And the great molluscs rend the sharks, And all noiselessly-- Though swift be the action and final the conflict, The drama is silent. There is no fury upon the earth like the fury under the sea. For growl and cough and snarl are the tokens of spendthrifts who know not the ultimate economy of rage. Moreover, the pace of the blood is too fast. But under the waves the blood is sluggard and has the same temperature as that of the sea. There is something pre-reptilian about a silent kill. Two men may end their hostilities just with their battle-cries, 'The devil take you,' says one. 'I'll see you in hell,' says the other. And these introductory salutes followed by a hail of gutturals and sibilants are often the beginning of friendship, for who would not prefer to be lustily damned than to be half-heartedly blessed? No one need fear oaths that are properly enunciated, for they belong to the inheritance of just men made perfect, and, for all we know, of such may be the Kingdom of Heaven. But let silent hate be put away for it feeds upon the heart of the hater. Today I watched two pairs of eyes. One pair was black and the other grey. And while the owners thereof, for the space of five seconds, walked past each other, the grey snapped at the black and the black riddled the grey. One looked to say--'The cat,' And the other--'The cur.' But no words were spoken; Not so much as a hiss or a murmur came through the perfect enamel of the teeth; not so much as a gesture of enmity. If the right upper lip curled over the canine, it went unnoticed. The lashes veiled the eyes not for an instant in the passing. And as between the two in respect to candour of intention or eternity of wish, there was no choice, for the stare was mutual and absolute. A word would have dulled the exquisite edge of the feeling. An oath would have flawed the crystallization of the hate. For only such culture could grow in a climate of silence-- Away back before emergence of fur or feather, back to the unvocal sea and down deep where the darkness spills its wash on the threshold of light, where the lids never close upon the eyes, where the inhabitants slay in silence and are as silently slain.
E.J. Pratt
Nowadays, enormous importance is given to individual deaths, people make such a drama out of each person who dies, especially if they die a violent death or are murdered; although the subsequent grief or curse doesn't last very long: no one wears mourning any more and there's a reason for that, we're quick to weep but quicker still to forget. I'm talking about our countries, of course, it's not like that in other parts of the world, but what else can they do in a place where death is an everyday occurrence. Here, though, it's a big deal, at least at the moment it happens. So-and-so has died, how dreadful; such-and-such a number of people have been killed in a crash or blown to pieces, how terrible, how vile. The politicians have to rush around attending funerals and burials, taking care not to miss any-intense grief, or is it pride, requires them as ornaments, because they give no consolation nor can they, it's all to do with show, fuss, vanity and rank. The rank of the self-important, super-sensitive living. And yet, when you think about it, what right do we have, what is the point of complaining and making a tragedy out of something that happens to every living creature in order for it to become a dead creature? What is so terrible about something so supremely natural and ordinary? It happens in the best families, as you know, and has for centuries, and in the worst too, of course, at far more frequent intervals. What's more, it happens all the time and we know that perfectly well, even though we pretend to be surprised and frightened: count the dead who are mentioned on any TV news report, read the birth and death announcements in any newspaper, in a single city, Madrid, London, each list is a long one every day of the year; look at the obituaries, and although you'll find far fewer of them, because an infinitesimal minority are deemed to merit one, they're nevertheless there every morning. How many people die every weekend on the roads and how many have died in the innumerable battles that have been waged? The losses haven't always been published throughout history, in fact, almost never. People were more familiar with and more accepting of death, they accepted chance and luck, be it good or bad, they knew they were vulnerable to it at every moment; people came into the world and sometimes disappeared at once, that was normal, the infant mortality rate was extraordinarily high until eighty or even seventy years ago, as was death in childbirth, a woman might bid farewell to her child as soon as she saw its face, always assuming she had the will or the time to do so. Plagues were common and almost any illness could kill, illnesses we know nothing about now and whose names are unfamiliar; there were famines, endless wars, real wars that involved daily fighting, not sporadic engagements like now, and the generals didn't care about the losses, soldiers fell and that was that, they were only individuals to themselves, not even to their families, no family was spared the premature death of at least some of its members, that was the norm; those in power would look grim-faced, then carry out another levy, recruit more troops and send them to the front to continue dying in battle, and almost no one complained. People expected death, Jack, there wasn't so much panic about it, it was neither an insuperable calamity nor a terrible injustice; it was something that could happen and often did. We've become very soft, very thin-skinned, we think we should last forever. We ought to be accustomed to the temporary nature of things, but we're not. We insist on not being temporary, which is why it's so easy to frighten us, as you've seen, all one has to do is unsheathe a sword. And we're bound to be cowed when confronted by those who still see death, their own or other people's, as part and parcel of their job, as all in a day's work. When confronted by terrorists, for example, or by drug barons or multinational mafia men.
Javier Marías (Your Face Tomorrow: Fever and Spear / Dance and Dream / Poison, Shadow, and Farewell (Your face tomorrow, #1-3))
Kekulé dreams the Great Serpent holding its own tail in its mouth, the dreaming Serpent which surrounds the World. But the meanness, the cynicism with which this dream is to be used. The Serpent that announces, "The World is a closed thing, cyclical, resonant, eternally-returning," is to be delivered into a system whose only aim is to violate the Cycle. Taking and not giving back, demanding that "productivity" and "earnings" keep on increasing with time, the System removing from the rest of the World these vast quantities of energy to keep its own tiny desperate fraction showing a profit: and not only most of humanity—most of the World, animal, vegetable, and mineral, is laid waste in the process. The System may or may not understand that it's only buying time. And that time is an artificial resource to begin with, of no value to anyone or anything but the System, which must sooner or later crash to its death, when its addiction to energy has become more than the rest of the World can supply, dragging with it innocent souls all along the chain of life. Living inside the System is like riding across the country in a bus driven by a maniac bent on suicide . . . though he's amiable enough, keeps cracking jokes back through the loudspeaker . . . on you roll, across a countryside whose light is forever changing--castles, heaps of rock, moons of different shapes and colors come and go. There are stops at odd hours of teh mornings, for reasons that are not announced: you get out to stretch in lime-lit courtyards where the old men sit around the table under enormous eucalyptus trees you can smell in the night, shuffling the ancient decks oily and worn, throwing down swords and cups and trumps major in the tremor of light while behind them the bus is idling, waiting--"passengers will now reclaim their seats" and much as you'd like to stay, right here, learn the game, find your old age around this quiet table, it's no use: he is waiting beside the door of the bus in his pressed uniform, Lord of the Night he is checking your tickets, your ID and travel papers, and it's the wands of enterprise that dominate tonight...as he nods you by, you catch a glimpse of his face, his insane, committed eyes, and you remember then, for a terrible few heartbeats, that of course it will end for you all in blood, in shock, without dignity--but there is meanwhile this trip to be on ... over your own seat, where there ought to be an advertising plaque, is instead a quote from Rilke: "Once, only once..." One of Their favorite slogans. No return, no salvation, no Cycle--that's not what They, nor Their brilliant employee Kekule, have taken the Serpent to mean.
Thomas Pynchon
It doesn’t matter what they think. Dance with me.” He took her hand, and for the first time in a long while, she felt safe. He pulled her to the center of the floor and into the motions of the dance. Ronan didn’t speak for a few moments, then touched a slim braid that curved in a tendril along Kestrel’s cheek. “This is pretty.” The memory of Arin’s hands in her hair made her stiffen. “Gorgeous?” Ronan tried again. “Transcendent? Kestrel, the right adjective hasn’t been invented to describe you.” She attempted a light tone. “What will ladies do, when this kind of exaggerated flirtation is no longer the fashion? We shall be spoiled.” “You know it’s not mere flirtation,” Ronan said. “You’ve always known.” And Kestrel had, it was true that she had, even if she hadn’t wanted to shake the knowledge out of her mind and look at it, truly see it. She felt a dull spark of dread. “Marry me, Kestrel.” She held her breath. “I know things have been hard lately,” Ronan continued, “and that you don’t deserve it. You’ve had to be so strong, so proud, so cunning. But all of this unpleasantness will go away the instant we announce our engagement. You can be yourself again.” But she was strong. Proud. Cunning. Who did he think she was, if not the person who mercilessly beat him at every Bite and Sting game, who gave him Irex’s death-price and told him exactly what to do with it? Yet Kestrel bit back her words. She leaned into the curve of his arm. It was easy to dance with him. It would be easy to say yes. “Your father will be happy. My wedding gift to you will be the finest piano the capital can offer.” Kestrel glanced into his eyes. “Or keep yours,” he said hastily. “I know you’re attached to it.” “It’s just…you are very kind.” He gave a short, nervous laugh. “Kindness has little to do with it.” The dance slowed. It would end soon. “So?” Ronan had stopped, even though the music continued and dancers swirled around them. “What…well, what do you think?” Kestrel didn’t know what to think. Ronan was offering everything she could want. Why, then, did his words sadden her? Why did she feel like something had been lost? Carefully, she said, “The reasons you’ve given aren’t reasons to marry.” “I love you. Is that reason enough?” Maybe. Maybe it would have been. But as the music drained from the air, Kestrel saw Arin on the fringes of the crowd. He watched her, his expression oddly desperate. As if he, too, were losing something, or it was already lost. She saw him and didn’t understand how she had ever missed his beauty. How it didn’t always strike her as it did now, like a blow. “No,” Kestrel whispered. “What?” Ronan’s voice cut into the quiet. “I’m sorry.” Ronan swiveled to find the target of Kestrel’s gaze. He swore. Kestrel walked away, pushing past slaves bearing trays laden with glasses of pale gold wine. The lights and people blurred in her stinging eyes. She walked through the doors, down a hall, out of the palace, and into the cold night, knowing without seeing or hearing or touching him that Arin was at her side.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
To the infra-human specimens of this benighted scientific age the ritual and worship connected with the art of healing as practiced at Epidaurus seems like sheer buncombe. In our world the blind lead the blind and the sick go to the sick to be cured. We are making constant progress, but it is a progress which leads to the operating table, to the poor house, to the insane asylum, to the trenches. We have no healers – we have only butchers whose knowledge of anatomy entitles them to a diploma, which in turn entitles them to carve out or amputate our illnesses so that we may carry on in cripple fashion until such time as we are fit for the slaughterhouse. We announce the discovery of this cure and that but make no mention of the new diseases which we have created en route. The medical cult operates very much like the war office – the triumphs which they broadcast are sops thrown out to conceal death and disaster. The medicos, like the military authorities, are helpless; they are waging a hopeless fight from the start. What man wants is peace in order that he may live. Defeating our neighbor doesn’t give peace any more than curing cancer brings health. Man doesn’t begin to live through triumphing over his enemy nor does he begin to acquire health through endless cures. The joy of life comes through peace, which is not static but dynamic. No man can really say that he knows what joy is until he has experienced peace. And without joy there is no life, even if you have a dozen cars, six butlers, a castle, a private chapel and a bomb-proof vault. Our diseases are our attachments, be they habits, ideologies, ideals, principles, possessions, phobias, gods, cults, religions, what you please. Good wages can be a disease just as much as bad wages. Leisure can be just as great a disease as work. Whatever we cling to, even if it be hope or faith, can be the disease which carries us off. Surrender is absolute: if you cling to even the tiniest crumb you nourish the germ which will devour you. As for clinging to God, God long ago abandoned us in order that we might realize the joy of attaining godhood through our own efforts. All this whimpering that is going on in the dark, this insistent, piteous plea for peace which will grow bigger as the pain and the misery increase, where is it to be found? Peace, do people imagine that it is something to cornered, like corn or wheat? Is it something which can be pounded upon and devoured, as with wolves fighting over a carcass? I hear people talking about peace and their faces are clouded with anger or with hatred or with scorn and disdain, with pride and arrogance. There are people who want to fight to bring about peace- the most deluded souls of all. There will be no peace until murder is eliminated from the heart and mind. Murder is the apex of the broad pyramid whose base is the self. That which stands will have to fall. Everything which man has fought for will have to be relinquished before he can begin to live as man. Up till now he has been a sick beast and even his divinity stinks. He is master of many worlds and in his own he is a slave. What rules the world is the heart, not the brain, in every realm our conquests bring only death. We have turned our backs on the one realm wherein freedom lies. At Epidaurus, in the stillness, in the great peace that came over me, I heard the heart of the world beat. I know what the cure is: it is to give up, to relinquish, to surrender, so that our little hearts may beat in unison with the great heart of the world.
Henry Miller
Baron, Baroness Originally, the term baron signified a person who owned land as a direct gift from the monarchy or as a descendant of a baron. Now it is an honorary title. The wife of a baron is a baroness. Duke, Duchess, Duchy, Dukedom Originally, a man could become a duke in one of two ways. He could be recognized for owning a lot of land. Or he could be a victorious military commander. Now a man can become a duke simply by being appointed by a monarch. Queen Elizabeth II appointed her husband Philip the Duke of Edinburgh and her son Charles the Duke of Wales. A duchess is the wife or widow of a duke. The territory ruled by a duke is a duchy or a dukedom. Earl, Earldom Earl is the oldest title in the English nobility. It originally signified a chieftan or leader of a tribe. Each earl is identified with a certain area called an earldom. Today the monarchy sometimes confers an earldom on a retiring prime minister. For example, former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan is the Earl of Stockton. King A king is a ruling monarch. He inherits this position and retains it until he abdicates or dies. Formerly, a king was an absolute ruler. Today the role of King of England is largely symbolic. The wife of a king is a queen. Knight Originally a knight was a man who performed devoted military service. The title is not hereditary. A king or queen may award a citizen with knighthood. The criterion for the award is devoted service to the country. Lady One may use Lady to refer to the wife of a knight, baron, count, or viscount. It may also be used for the daughter of a duke, marquis, or earl. Marquis, also spelled Marquess. A marquis ranks above an earl and below a duke. Originally marquis signified military men who stood guard on the border of a territory. Now it is a hereditary title. Lord Lord is a general term denoting nobility. It may be used to address any peer (see below) except a duke. The House of Lords is the upper house of the British Parliament. It is a nonelective body with limited powers. The presiding officer for the House of Lords is the Lord Chancellor or Lord High Chancellor. Sometimes a mayor is called lord, such as the Lord Mayor of London. The term lord may also be used informally to show respect. Peer, Peerage A peer is a titled member of the British nobility who may sit in the House of Lords, the upper house of Parliament. Peers are ranked in order of their importance. A duke is most important; the others follow in this order: marquis, earl, viscount, baron. A group of peers is called a peerage. Prince, Princess Princes and princesses are sons and daughters of a reigning king and queen. The first-born son of a royal family is first in line for the throne, the second born son is second in line. A princess may become a queen if there is no prince at the time of abdication or death of a king. The wife of a prince is also called a princess. Queen A queen may be the ruler of a monarchy, the wife—or widow—of a king. Viscount, Viscountess The title Viscount originally meant deputy to a count. It has been used most recently to honor British soldiers in World War II. Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery was named a viscount. The title may also be hereditary. The wife of a viscount is a viscountess. (In pronunciation the initial s is silent.) House of Windsor The British royal family has been called the House of Windsor since 1917. Before then, the royal family name was Wettin, a German name derived from Queen Victoria’s husband. In 1917, England was at war with Germany. King George V announced that the royal family name would become the House of Windsor, a name derived from Windsor Castle, a royal residence. The House of Windsor has included Kings George V, Edward VII, George VI, and Queen Elizabeth II.
Nancy Whitelaw (Lady Diana Spencer: Princess of Wales)