Clown Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Clown. Here they are! All 200 of them:

There are two types of people in this world. People who hate clowns...and clowns. (Bobby Pendragon)
D.J. MacHale (The Quillan Games (Pendragon, #7))
Nobody likes a clown at midnight
Stephen King
I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments.
Jim Morrison
Heard joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, "Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears. Says, "But doctor...I am Pagliacci.
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it's a joke.
Søren Kierkegaard (Either/Or, Part I)
But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
Carl Sagan (Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science)
A wise man can play the part of a clown, but a clown can't play the part of a wise man.
Malcolm X
I look like a hobo?" "Worse," he said. "Like a sad hobo clown." "And you like it?" "I love it." As soon as he said it, she broke into a smile. And when Eleanor smiled, something broke inside of him. Something always did.
Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park)
Eddie discovered one of his childhood's great truths. Grownups are the real monsters, he thought.
Stephen King (It)
That's not a real answer.' Says who?' Says me. I mean real fear, like of failure, of death, of regret. Like that. Something that keeps you awake nights, questioning your very existence.' Clowns.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
The child's laughter is pure until he first laughs at a clown.
Angela Carter (Nights at the Circus)
I remain just one thing, and one thing only, and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician
Charlie Chaplin
and I laugh, I can still laugh, who can't laugh when the whole thing is so ridiculous that only the insane, the clowns, the half-wits, the cheaters, the whores, the horseplayers, the bankrobbers, the poets ... are interesting?
Charles Bukowski (The Roominghouse Madrigals: Early Selected Poems, 1946-1966)
You see, this heart, won't settle down; just like a child, running, scared, from a clown.
Demi Lovato
When fighting clowns, always go for the juggler.
Darynda Jones (First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1))
Every time I hear a political speech or I read those of our leaders, I am horrified at having, for years, heard nothing which sounded human. It is always the same words telling the same lies. And the fact that men accept this, that the people’s anger has not destroyed these hollow clowns, strikes me as proof that men attribute no importance to the way they are governed; that they gamble – yes, gamble – with a whole part of their life and their so called 'vital interests.
Albert Camus
A clown on a throne is still a clown. A king in rags is still a king.
C. JoyBell C. (The Sun Is Snowing: Poetry & Prose by C. Joybell C)
I've always been misrepresented. You know, I could dress in a clown costume and laugh with the happy people but they'd still say I'm a dark personality.
Tim Burton
I don't even like clowns. Clowns are not normal people.
Barbara Park (Junie B. Jones and That Meanie Jim's Birthday (Junie B. Jones, #6))
Everything's a lot tougher when it's for real. That's when you choke. When it's for real.
Stephen King (It)
Clown in the Moon" My tears are like the quiet drift Of petals from some magic rose; And all my grief flows from the rift Of unremembered skies and snows. I think, that if I touched the earth, It would crumble; It is so sad and beautiful, So tremulously like a dream.
Dylan Thomas (The Poems of Dylan Thomas)
I am a clown...and I collect moments.
Heinrich Böll (The Clown)
Everyone hates clowns," Otis said. "Even other clowns hate clowns.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
I think I'll be a clown when I get grown,' said Dill. Jem and I stopped in our tracks. Yes sir, a clown,' he said. 'There ain't one thing in this world I can do about folks except laugh, so I'm gonna join the circus and laugh my head off.' You got it backwards, Dill,' said Jem. 'Clowns are sad, it's folks that laugh at them.' Well I'm gonna be a new kind of clown. I'm gonna stand in the middle of the ring and laugh at the folks.
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Turn around and believe that the good news that we are loved is better than we ever dared hope, and that to believe in that good news, to live out of it and toward it, to be in love with that good news, is of all glad things in this world the gladdest thing of all. Amen, and come Lord Jesus.
Frederick Buechner (The Clown in the Belfry: Writings on Faith and Fiction)
I hate clowns. I've mentioned that, right?
D.J. MacHale
Somewhere, right at the bottom of one’s own being, one generally does know where one should go and what one should do. But there are times when the clown we call “I” behaves in such a distracting fashion that the inner voice cannot make its presence felt.
C.G. Jung
He was the class clown, the court jester, because he'd learn early that if you cracked jokes and pretended you weren't scared, you usually didn't get beat up. Even the baddest gangster kids would tolerate you, keep you around for laughs. Plus, humor was a good way to hide the pain
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
I started after him...and the clown looked back. I saw Its eyes, and all at once I understood who It was." "Who was it, Don?" Harold Gardner asked softly. "It was Derry," Don Hagarty said. "It was this town.
Stephen King (It)
I hate clowns. You can't see what they're thinking.
Geraldine McCaughrean (Peter Pan in Scarlet)
Kill you all!" The clown was laughing and screaming. "Try to stop me and I'll kill you all! Drive you crazy and then kill you all! You can't stop me!
Stephen King (It)
One day he said, "I'll tell this town How it feels to be an unfunny clown." And he told them all why he looked so sad, And he told them all why he felt so bad. He told of Pain and Rain and Cold, He told of Darkness in his soul, And after he finished his tale of woe, Did everyone cry? Oh no, no, no, They laughed until they shook the trees... And while the world laughed outside. Cloony the Clown sat down and cried.
Shel Silverstein (A Light in the Attic)
The cleverest character in comedy is the clown, for he who would make people take him for a fool, must not be one.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
When you put on a clown suit and a rubber nose, nobody has any idea what you look like inside.
Stephen King (11/22/63)
As I go clowning my sentimental way into eternity, wrestling with all my problems of estrangement and communion, sincerity and simulation, ambition and acquiescence, I shuttle between worrying whether I matter at all and whether anything else matters but me.
Stephen Fry (Moab Is My Washpot (Memoir #1))
Princes & Kings Isn't it strange how princes and kings, and clowns that caper in sawdust rings, and common people, like you and me, are builders for eternity? Each is given a list of rules; a shapeless mass; a bag of tools. And each must fashion, ere life is flown, A stumbling block, or a Stepping-Stone.
R. Lee Sharpe
The Blue Beetle was not a clown car," I said severely. "It was a machine of justice.
Jim Butcher (Skin Game (The Dresden Files, #15))
Travis: I didn’t know they made permanent makeup. I looked like a clown for a month. Connor: Yeah. They put a curse on me so that no matter what I wore, my clothes were two sizes too small and I felt like a geek. Travis: You are a geek.
Rick Riordan (The Demigod Files (Percy Jackson and the Olympians))
Creepy as hell. You ever see that TV movie about the clown in the sewer?
Stephen King (Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1))
An awful realization that I have been fooling myself all my life thinking there was a next thing to do to keep the show going and actually I'm just a sick clown and so is everybody else...
Jack Kerouac (Big Sur)
Saying I don't take my meds because they make me feel funny. Is like cannibals saying they don't eat clowns because the taste funny
Stanley Victor Paskavich
Kate, don't be like that. You know I only did so well because I yearn-see, SAT word- to follow you to college and steal your heart." "Uh-huh. Too bad for you I don't plan on attending clown college." He grinned. "Only you would ignore the incredibly sweet thing I just said." "Only you would describe one of your asinine comments as incredibly sweet.
Elizabeth Scott (Perfect You)
یک وسیلۀ درمان موقتی وجود دارد، آن اَلکُل است، و یک وسیلۀ درمان قطعی و همیشگی می‌تواند وجود داشته باشد، و آن ماری است. ماری مرا ترک کرده است. دلقکی که به مِی‌خوارگی بیُفتد زودتر از یک شیروانی‌ساز مست سقوط می‌کند.
Heinrich Böll (The Clown)
As a child, I read because books–violent and not, blasphemous and not, terrifying and not–were the most loving and trustworthy things in my life. I read widely, and loved plenty of the classics so, yes, I recognized the domestic terrors faced by Louisa May Alcott’s March sisters. But I became the kid chased by werewolves, vampires, and evil clowns in Stephen King’s books. I read books about monsters and monstrous things, often written with monstrous language, because they taught me how to battle the real monsters in my life. And now I write books for teenagers because I vividly remember what it felt like to be a teen facing everyday and epic dangers. I don’t write to protect them. It’s far too late for that. I write to give them weapons–in the form of words and ideas-that will help them fight their monsters. I write in blood because I remember what it felt like to bleed.
Sherman Alexie
The clown may be the source of mirth, but - who shall make the clown laugh?
Angela Carter (Nights at the Circus)
Damn everything but the circus!. . .The average 'painter' 'sculptor' 'poet' 'composer' 'playwright' is a person who cannot leap through a hoop from the back of a galloping horse, make people laugh with a clown's mouth, orchestrate twenty lions.
E.E. Cummings
It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning. They shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid the general applause from all the wits who believe that it is a joke.
Søren Kierkegaard
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am -- not stuck in the middle, but hovering above the entire farcical spectrum, weeping as I behold my fellow man's devotion to political illusion and self-destruction.
Robert Higgs
Clowns are sad, it's folks that laugh at them." "Well, I'm gonna be a new kind of clown. I'm gonna stand in the middle of the ring and laugh at the folks.
Harper Lee
What's this?" he inquired, none too pleasantly. "A circus?" "No, Julius. It's the end of the circus." "I see. And these are the clowns?" Foaly's head poked through the doorway. "Pardon me for interrupting your extended circus metaphor, but what the hell is that?
Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, #1))
Part of positive psychology is about being positive, but sometimes laughter and clowns are not appropriate. Some people don't want to be happy, and that's okay. They want meaningful lives, and those are not always the same as happy lives.
Eric Weiner (The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World)
Clown: Good Madonna, why mournest thou? Olivia: Good Fool, for my brother's death. Clown:I think his soul is in hell, Madonna. Olivia:I know his soul is in heaven, Fool. Clown: The more fool, Madonna, to mourn for your brother's soul being in heaven.
William Shakespeare (Twelfth Night)
I can't believe you jokers fixed it." Hi was picking his way down to the beach. "Believe it, clown. Too much brain power here to fail." Still pumped, Shelton threw another palm Ben's way. "Oh, I'm sure." Hi streched, yawned. "It was something highly technical, I suppose? Something requiring mechanical ability? Nothing as simple as tightening a wire or flippin a switch, right?" Ben reddened. Shelton developed an intrest in his sneakers. Score one for Hi.
Kathy Reichs (Virals (Virals, #1))
There are two types of people in this world. People who hate clowns...and clowns. -Bobby Pendragon
D.J. MacHale (The Quillan Games (Pendragon, #7))
You tear me down just to build me up again. All I can think is: you are a psycho-clown.
Coco J. Ginger
Did I ever tell you my pet peeve?' No,' I said. People who dress up their pets to look like Little Lord Fauntleroys or cowboys, clowns, ballerinas. As if it's not enough just to be a dog or cat or turtle.
Jerry Spinelli (Love, Stargirl (Stargirl, #2))
No clowns were funny. That was the whole purpose of a clown. People laughed at clowns, but only out of nervousness. The point of clowns was that, after watching them, anything else that happened seemed enjoyable.
Terry Pratchett (Men at Arms (Discworld, #15; City Watch #2))
So you actually need spectacles,” Leo finally said. “Of course I do,” Marks said crossly. “Why would I wear spectacles if I didn’t need them?” “I thought they might be part of your disguise.” “My disguise?” “Yes, Marks, disguise. A noun describing a means of concealing someone’s identity. Often used by clowns and spies. And now apparently governesses. Good God, can anything be ordinary for my family?
Lisa Kleypas (Married by Morning (The Hathaways, #4))
A legion of horribles, hundreds in number, half naked or clad in costumes attic or biblical or wardrobed out of a fevered dream with the skins of animals and silk finery and pieces of uniform still tracked with the blood of prior owners, coats of slain dragoons, frogged and braided cavalry jackets, one in a stovepipe hat and one with an umbrella and one in white stockings and a bloodstained wedding veil and some in headgear or cranefeathers or rawhide helmets that bore the horns of bull or buffalo and one in a pigeontailed coat worn backwards and otherwise naked and one in the armor of a Spanish conquistador, the breastplate and pauldrons deeply dented with old blows of mace or sabre done in another country by men whose very bones were dust and many with their braids spliced up with the hair of other beasts until they trailed upon the ground and their horses' ears and tails worked with bits of brightly colored cloth and one whose horse's whole head was painted crimson red and all the horsemen's faces gaudy and grotesque with daubings like a company of mounted clowns, death hilarious, all howling in a barbarous tongue and riding down upon them like a horde from a hell more horrible yet than the brimstone land of Christian reckoning, screeching and yammering and clothed in smoke like those vaporous beings in regions beyond right knowing where the eye wanders and the lip jerks and drools.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West)
What do we have here? Is my super-hot assassin boyfriend freaked out by clowns?
Jus Accardo (Untouched (Denazen, #1.5))
Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents.
William Shakespeare (Twelfth Night)
...Everyone knows there's only one thing less welcome on a stage than a mime, and that's a clown, because everyone knows that clowns eat people.
Laurie Notaro (There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell: A Novel of Sewer Pipes, Pageant Queens, and Big Trouble)
I would rather dance as a ballerina, though faultily, than as a flawless clown.
Margaret Atwood (Surfacing)
Do those clowns really believe what they teach?
Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire)
The energy you drew on so extravagantly when you were a kid, the energy you thought would never exhaust itself - that slipped away somewhere between eighteen and twenty-four, to be replaced by something much duller, something as bogus as a coke high: purpose, maybe, or goals, or whatever rah-rah Junior Chamber of Commerce word you wanted to use. It was no big deal; it didn't go all at once, with a bang. And maybe, Richie thought, that's the scary part. How you didn't stop being a kid all at once, with a big explosive bang, like one of that clown's trick balloons. The kid in you just leaked out, like the air of a tire.
Stephen King (It)
Comedians and jazz musicians have been more comforting and enlightening to me than preachers or politicians or philosophers or poets or painters or novelists of my time. Historians in the future, in my opinion, will congratulate us on very little other than our clowning and our jazz.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage)
Death's gruesome face taunts: soulless eyes, crimson grimace. I really hate clowns.
Katherine Applegate
An artist is like a woman who can do nothing but love, and who succumbs to every stray male jackass.
Heinrich Böll (The Clown)
A clown needn't be the same out of the ring as he has to be when he's in it. If you look at photographs of clowns when they're just being ordinary men, they've got quite sad faces.
Enid Blyton (Five Go Off in a Caravan (Famous Five, #5))
Of course, they're not clowning around trying to make me laugh. They're doing their best to live very serious lives, and they just happen to fall down sometimes. I think that's cool.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
We are in the same tent as the clowns and the freaks-that's show business.
Edward R. Murrow
When are the world's political parties going to get appropriate symbols: snake, louse, jackal, ... trash can, clown face, ... dollar bill with bat wings on it?
P.J. O'Rourke (All the Trouble in the World)
Despair is the constant companion of the clown.
Angela Carter (Nights at the Circus)
People like eccentrics. Therefore they will leave me alone, saying that I am a mad clown.
Vaslav Nijinsky (The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky)
My paranoia wasn't always right, but just to be on the safe side, I never went to sleep with a clown in the room.
Mark Henwick (Hidden Trump (Bite Back, #2))
Freak is easily spooked. Flesh-eating monsters tend to scare him away. So do fireworks, clowns, and the smell of Sadie's weird British Ribena drink. (Can't blame him on that last one. Sadie grew up in London and developed some pretty strange tastes.
Rick Riordan (The Son of Sobek (Percy Jackson & Kane Chronicles Crossover, #1))
Coyotes have the gift of seldom being seen; they keep to the edge of vision and beyond, loping in and out of cover on the plains and highlands. And at night, when the whole world belongs to them, they parley at the river with the dogs, their higher, sharper voices full of authority and rebuke. They are an old council of clowns, and they are listened to.
N. Scott Momaday (House Made of Dawn)
Satan, you clown, you want to dissolve me with your charms. Well, I want it. I want it! Stab me with a pitchfork, sprinkle me with fire!
Arthur Rimbaud (A Season in Hell and The Drunken Boat)
The Buddhists say if you meet somebody and your heart pounds, your hands shake, your knees go weak, that’s not the one. When you meet your ‘soul mate’ you’ll feel calm. No anxiety, no agitation.
Monica Drake (Clown Girl)
I don't trust Catholics," I said, "because they take advantage of you." "And Protestants?" he asked with a laugh. "I loathe the way they fumble around with their consciences." "And atheists?" He was still laughing. "They bore me because all they ever talk about is God.
Heinrich Böll (The Clown)
When I was twelve, I was interviewed by a doctoral candidate in education and asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said that I either wanted to be a philosopher or a clown, and I understood then, I think, that much depended on whether or not I found the world worth philosophizing about, and what the price of seriousness might be.
Judith Butler
A man is nothing without dreams. A man is called idiot while he dreams. Whatever he does, he'll be judged and thrown away from the circle of clowns. And yet he needs acceptance and security from sick society, which is discriminatory far too often. But a man is blinded by other people opinions. He wants to fly and they say, “You moron, you can't do that, it's forbidden, it's stupid.” And a man gives up on his dreams.
Asper Blurry (Train to the Edge of the Moon)
The fears of children were simpler and usually more powerful. The fears of children could often be summoned up in a single face... and if bait were needed, why, what child did not love a clown?
Stephen King (It)
When life gives you lemons, go murder a clown.
Festus Krex Skyrim
I want a dyke for president. I want a person with AIDS for president and I want a fag for vice president and I want someone with no health insurance and I want someone who grew up in a place where the earth is so saturated with toxic waste that they didn’t have a choice about getting leukemia. I want a president that had an abortion at sixteen and I want a candidate who isn’t the lesser of two evils and I want a president who lost their last lover to AIDS, who still sees that in their eyes every time they lay down to rest, who held their lover in their arms and knew they were dying. I want a president with no air-conditioning, a president who has stood in line at the clinic, at the DMV, at the welfare office, and has been unemployed and laid off and sexually harassed and gaybashed and deported. I want someone who has spent the night in the tombs and had a cross burned on their lawn and survived rape. I want someone who has been in love and been hurt, who respects sex, who has made mistakes and learned from them. I want a Black woman for president. I want someone with bad teeth and an attitude, someone who has eaten that nasty hospital food, someone who crossdresses and has done drugs and been in therapy. I want someone who has committed civil disobedience. And I want to know why this isn’t possible. I want to know why we started learning somewhere down the line that a president is always a clown. Always a john and never a hooker. Always a boss and never a worker. Always a liar, always a thief, and never caught.
Zoe Leonard
The stuff of nightmare is their plain bread. They butter it with pain. They set their clocks by deathwatch beetles, and thrive the centuries. They were the men with the leather-ribbon whips who sweated up the Pyramids seasoning it with other people's salt and other people's cracked hearts. They coursed Europe on the White Horses of the Plague. They whispered to Caesar that he was mortal, then sold daggers at half-price in the grand March sale. Some must have been lazing clowns, foot props for emperors, princes, and epileptic popes. Then out on the road, Gypsies in time, their populations grew as the world grew, spread, and there was more delicious variety of pain to thrive on. The train put wheels under them and here they run down the log road out of the Gothic and baroque; look at their wagons and coaches, the carving like medieval shrines, all of it stuff once drawn by horses, mules, or, maybe, men.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2))
When life sucks, throw yourself into art.
Monica Drake (Clown Girl)
For a moment he felt a wild hope: perhaps this really was a nightmare. Perhaps he would awake in his own bed, bathed in sweat, shaking, maybe even crying . . . but alive. Safe. Then he pushed the thought away. Its charm was deadly, its comfort fatal.
Stephen King (It)
In a theater, it happened that a fire started offstage. The clown came out to tell the audience. They thought it was a joke and applauded. He told them again, and they became still more hilarious. This is the way, I suppose, that the world will be destroyed-amid the universal hilarity of wits and wags who think it is all a joke.
Søren Kierkegaard (Either/Or: A Fragment of Life)
Ich bin ein Clown und sammle Augenblicke.
Heinrich Böll (The Clown)
The United States is the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, yet its inhabitants are strikingly unhappy. Accordingly, we present to the rest of mankind, on a planet rife with suffering and tragedy, the spectacle of a clown civilization. Sustained on a clown diet rich in sugar and fat, we have developed a clown physiognomy. We dress like clowns. We move about a landscape filled with cartoon buildings in clownmobiles, absorbed in clownish activities. We fill our idle hours enjoying the canned antics of professional clowns... Death, when we acknowledge it, is just another pratfall on the boob tube. Bang! You're dead!
James Howard Kunstler
There should be more magic. Not the creased-greasepaint performances of clowns and hack illusionists. Not card tricks. The magic he'd been promised would be found at the backs of wardrobes, under bridges, through mirrors. It was dangerous and alluring and it did not seek to entertain.
Leigh Bardugo (Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1))
Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage.
William Shakespeare (Twelfth Night)
The only value of wasted time is knowledge.
Monica Drake (Clown Girl)
It's a sort of piss-take on culture, because a drag queen is a clown - a parody of our society. It's a sarcastic spoof on culture, which allows us to laugh at ourselves - but in a way that is inclusive of everyone.
RuPaul
I know exactly how you feel," Schmendrick said eagerly. The unicorn looked at him out of dark, endless eyes, and he smiled nervously and looked at his hands. "It's a rare man who is taken for what he truly is," he said. "There is much misjudgment in the world. Now I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so must I be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem, and hardly ever what we dream. Still I have read, or heard it sung, that unicorns when time was young, could tell the difference 'twixt the two - the false shining and the true, the lips' laugh and the heart's rue.
Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1))
The future was coming nearer, one relentless goose step after the next. Juliet could still remember when Hitler had seemed like a harmless clown. No one was amused now. (“The clowns are the dangerous ones,” Perry said.)
Kate Atkinson (Transcription)
When you write, you can hide behind your words. When you talk, you are up front, like the clown in the midway booth; and passersby can bean you with a ball.
Willard R. Espy (Say it My Way: Ho)
To varying degrees, we all feel awkward. Whether we hide it with arrogance, shyness, modesty; whether we play the clown or the trendsetter, everyone struggles.
Miranda Hart (Is It Just Me?)
Human beings are unable to be about the serious business of living and building societies if they feel compelled to always clown or entertain others. People do not take you seriously if you don't take yourself seriously. A sense of humor brings necessary balance to an organized life, but a life of humor blinds one to life.
Na'im Akbar (Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery)
I heard joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Life seems harsh, and cruel. Says he feels all alone in threatening world. Doctor says: "Treatment is simple. The great clown - Pagliacci - is in town. Go see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears. "But doctor..." he says "I am Pagliacci." Good joke. Everybody laugh. Roll on snare drum. Curtains.
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
There are some people whose dread of human beings is so morbid that they reach a point where they yearn to see with their own eyes monsters of ever more horrible shapes. And the more nervous they are-the quicker to take fright-the more violent they pray that every storm will be … Painters who have had this mentality, after repeated wounds and intimidations at the hands of the apparitions called human beings, have often come to believe in phantasms-they plainly saw monsters in broad daylight, in the midst of nature. And they did not fob people off with clowning; they did their best to depict these monsters just as they had appeared. Takeichi was right: they had dared to paint pictures of devils.
Osamu Dazai (No Longer Human)
The inevitable triumph of illusion over reality that was the single most obvious truth about the history of the human race.
Salman Rushdie (Shalimar the Clown)
بی خداها حوصله ام را سر می برند، چون فقط درباره خدا حرف می زنند!
Heinrich Böll (The Clown)
In times of widespread chaos and confusion, it has been the duty of more advanced human beings--artists, scientists, clowns and philosophers--to create order. In times such as ours, however, when there is too much order, too much management, too much programming and control, it becomes the duty of superior men and women to fling their favorite monkey wrenches into the machinery. To relive the repression of the human spirit, they must sow doubt and disruption.
Tom Robbins (Even Cowgirls Get the Blues)
Freedom is not a tea party, India. Freedom is a war.
Salman Rushdie (Shalimar the Clown)
The clown was an evil one. They’re either good or bad, and this one was definitely the latter.
Chris Thrall (Eating Smoke: One Man's Descent Into Crystal Meth Psychosis in Hong Kong's Triad Heartland)
Console yourself knowing that, should you ever punch me while wearing it, you’ll probably take my eye out. And I’d very much like you to. Wear it, that is. Not punch me.” “Where did you get this thing?” “My mother gave it to me before she left. It’s the Lantsov emerald. She was wearing it at my birthday dinner the night we were attacked. Curiously enough, that was not the worst birthday I’ve had.” “No?” “When I was ten, my parents hired a clown.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
Christmas was almost four months in the rearview mirror, and there was something awful about Christmas music when it was nearly summer. It was like a clown in the rain, with his makeup running.
Joe Hill (NOS4A2)
I have frantically played the clown in order to distangle myself from these painful relationships, only to wear myself out as a result.
Osamu Dazai (No Longer Human)
Clowns, hoboes, gypsies, and furry animals of all kinds scattered madly and dived for cover. No doubt they thought I'd finally lost it and was planning to lob more grenades.
Donna Andrews (Murder with Peacocks (Meg Langslow, #1))
We strive for heights bit our natures betray us, Chamcha thought; clowns in search of crowns. The bitterness overcame him
Salman Rushdie (The Satanic Verses)
In the high school classroom you are a drill sergent, a rabbi, a shoulder to cry on, a disciplinarian, a singer, a low-level scholar, a clerk, a referee, a clown, a counselor, a dress-code enforcer, a conductor, an apologist, a philosopher, a collaborator, a tap dancer, a politician, a therapist, a fool, a traffic cop, a priest, a mother-father-brother-sister-uncle-aunt, a bookeeper, a critic, a psychologist, the last straw.
Frank McCourt
Want your boat, Georgie?' Pennywise asked. 'I only repeat myself because you really do not seem that eager.' He held it up, smiling. He was wearing a baggy silk suit with great big orange buttons. A bright tie, electric-blue, flopped down his front, and on his hands were big white gloves, like the kind Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck always wore. Yes, sure,' George said, looking into the stormdrain. And a balloon? I’ve got red and green and yellow and blue...' Do they float?' Float?' The clown’s grin widened. 'Oh yes, indeed they do. They float! And there’s cotton candy...' George reached. The clown seized his arm. And George saw the clown’s face change. What he saw then was terrible enough to make his worst imaginings of the thing in the cellar look like sweet dreams; what he saw destroyed his sanity in one clawing stroke. They float,' the thing in the drain crooned in a clotted, chuckling voice. It held George’s arm in its thick and wormy grip, it pulled George toward that terrible darkness where the water rushed and roared and bellowed as it bore its cargo of storm debris toward the sea. George craned his neck away from that final blackness and began to scream into the rain, to scream mindlessly into the white autumn sky which curved above Derry on that day in the fall of 1957. His screams were shrill and piercing, and all up and down Witcham Street people came to their windows or bolted out onto their porches. They float,' it growled, 'they float, Georgie, and when you’re down here with me, you’ll float, too–' George's shoulder socked against the cement of the curb and Dave Gardener, who had stayed home from his job at The Shoeboat that day because of the flood, saw only a small boy in a yellow rain-slicker, a small boy who was screaming and writhing in the gutter with muddy water surfing over his face and making his screams sound bubbly. Everything down here floats,' that chuckling, rotten voice whispered, and suddenly there was a ripping noise and a flaring sheet of agony, and George Denbrough knew no more. Dave Gardener was the first to get there, and although he arrived only forty-five seconds after the first scream, George Denbrough was already dead. Gardener grabbed him by the back of the slicker, pulled him into the street...and began to scream himself as George's body turned over in his hands. The left side of George’s slicker was now bright red. Blood flowed into the stormdrain from the tattered hole where his left arm had been. A knob of bone, horribly bright, peeked through the torn cloth. The boy’s eyes stared up into the white sky, and as Dave staggered away toward the others already running pell-mell down the street, they began to fill with rain.
Stephen King (It)
Though I have always made it my practice to be pleasant to everybody, I have not once actually experienced friendship. I have only the most painful recollections of my various acquaintances with the exception of such companions in pleasure as Horiki. I have frantically played the clown in order to disentangle myself from these painful relationships, only to wear myself out as a result. Even now it comes as a shock if by chance I notice in the street a face resembling someone I know however slightly, and I am at once seized by a shivering violent enough to make me dizzy. I know that I am liked by other people, but I seem to be deficient in the faculty to love others. (I should add that I have very strong doubts as to whether even human beings really possess this faculty.) It was hardly to be expected that someone like myself could ever develop any close friends—besides, I lacked even the ability to pay visits. The front door of another person’s house terrified me more than the gate of Inferno in the Divine Comedy, and I am not exaggerating when I say that I really felt I could detect within the door the presence of a horrible dragon-like monster writhing there with a dank, raw smell.
Osamu Dazai (No Longer Human)
Dear Die-ary, I stared, motionless, before the mirror. As always, I stayed until I'm convinced that there is no glass, nothing, separating me from the room I see on the other side. I imagine that everything is different over there. Better. There are people, in that world, who I would like. But, like always, my hand hits the glass. I know that if I'd only waited just one more second... Shit. I'm gonna go kill a party clown.
Jhonen Vásquez
Well, that's just all kinds of creepy," Puck muttered at my side, giving the doll a look of alarm. "If you see any clowns, do me a favor and don't point them out, okay? i'd rather live without the nightmares." I was about to snap at him for putting the thought of killer clown dolls in my head...
Julie Kagawa (Iron's Prophecy (The Iron Fey, #4.5))
Our human tragedy is that we are unable to comprehend our experience, it slips through our fingers, we can't hold on to it, and the more time passes, the harder it gets...My father said that the natural world gave us explanations to compensate for the meanings we could not grasp. The slant of the cold sunlight on a winter pine, the music of water, an oar cutting the lake and the flight of birds, the mountains' nobility , the silence of the silence. We are given life but must accept that it is unattainable and rejoice in what can be held in the eye, the memory, the mind.
Salman Rushdie (Shalimar the Clown)
Bulgakov always loved clowning and agreed with E. T. A. Hoffmann that irony and buffoonery are expressions of ‘the deepest contemplation of life in all its conditionality
Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita)
CASSIO: Dost thou hear, my honest friend? CLOWN: No, I hear not your honest friend, I hear you. CASSIO: Prithee, keep up thy quillets.
William Shakespeare (Othello)
Tried to escape, to block out the fact that I was being eaten alive by arachnids. For some reason the only thing I could replace it with was the image of being eaten by tiny clowns.
David Wong (This Book Is Full of Spiders (John Dies at the End, #2))
Young people, Lord. Do they still call it infatuation? That magic ax that chops away the world in one blow, leaving only the couple standing there trembling? Whatever they call it, it leaps over anything, takes the biggest chair, the largest slice, rules the ground wherever it walks, from a mansion to a swamp, and its selfishness is its beauty. Before I was reduced to singsong, I saw all kinds of mating. Most are two-night stands trying to last a season. Some, the riptide ones, claim exclusive right to the real name, even though everybody drowns in its wake. People with no imagination feed it with sex—the clown of love. They don’t know the real kinds, the better kinds, where losses are cut and everybody benefits. It takes a certain intelligence to love like that—softly, without props. But the world is such a showpiece, maybe that’s why folks try to outdo it, put everything they feel onstage just to prove they can think up things too: handsome scary things like fights to the death, adultery, setting sheets afire. They fail, of course. The world outdoes them every time. While they are busy showing off, digging other people’s graves, hanging themselves on a cross, running wild in the streets, cherries are quietly turning from greed to red, oysters are suffering pearls, and children are catching rain in their mouths expecting the drops to be cold but they’re not; they are warm and smell like pineapple before they get heavier and heavier, so heavy and fast they can’t be caught one at a time. Poor swimmers head for shore while strong ones wait for lightning’s silver veins. Bottle-green clouds sweep in, pushing the rain inland where palm trees pretend to be shocked by the wind. Women scatter shielding their hair and men bend low holding the women’s shoulders against their chests. I run too, finally. I say finally because I do like a good storm. I would be one of those people in the weather channel leaning into the wind while lawmen shout in megaphones: ‘Get moving!
Toni Morrison (Love)
You are so ugly that when your mom dropped you off at school, she got a ticket for littering.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
It's a rare man who is taken for what he truly is," he said. "There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clot, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem, and hardly ever what we dream.
Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1))
Our lives, our stories, flowed into one another's, were no longer our own, individual, discrete.
Salman Rushdie (Shalimar the Clown)
Is that love? It seems like a pale word, too easily tossed about by people who don’t know the meaning of it, who twist it for their own ends. I’m afraid of it now, right up there with clowns, close spaces, and open flames.
Ann Aguirre (Blue Diablo (Corine Solomon, #1))
I supposed images of an evil god who wanted to break free of his mythological prison and enslave the whole world weren't any scarier than a guy wearing big red shoes,yellow plaid pants,and white face paint.Clowns had always creeped me out. They were so not funny.
Jennifer Estep (Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy, #2))
I'll teach you later, but for now I just need someone to watch the signs for me. Come on up to the copilot chair." I jerked a thumb in the direction of Chubs. Liam only shook his head. "Are you kidding me? Yesterday he thought a mailbox was a clown." I unbuckle my seat belt with a sigh. As I climbed over Chubs's outstretched legs to the front, I glanced over my shoulder, my eyes going to his too-small glasses. " Is his eyesight really that bad?" "Worse," Liam said. "So, right after we got the hell out of Caledonia, we broke into this house to spend the night, right? I woke up in the middle of the night hearing the most awful noise, like a cow dying or something. I followed the wailing, clutching some kid's baseball bat, thinking I was going to have to beat someone's head in for us to make a clean getaway. then I saw what was sitting at the bottom of a drained pool." "No way," I said. "Way," he confirmed. "Hawkeye had gone out to relieve himself and had somehow missed the giant gaping hole in the ground. Twisted his ankle and couldn't climb out of the deep end. I tried so hard not to laugh, but it was impossible. The mental image was just too damn good.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Look. (Mark held up his hands for Nick’s inspection.) They’re all pruny and wet. I’ll never have my soft sweet hands again.” – Mark “You’re not right, are you?” – Nick “I know this clown. He keeps teasing me with these near death experiences. One day, I’m going to take his butt down even when I’m not supposed to. You can’t keep knocking on my door and then slamming it in my face. It’s just not right.” – Death
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Invincible (Chronicles of Nick, #2))
Gotta have a head like a wrecking ball, a spirit like one of them punching clown dummies that always weeble-wobbles back up to standing. This takes time. Stories need to find the right home, the right audience. Stick with it. Quitting is for sad pandas.
Chuck Wendig (250 Things You Should Know About Writing)
The Clown turned his powdered face to the mirror. "If to be fair is to be beautiful," he said, "who can compare with me in my white mask?" "Who can compare with him in his white mask?" I asked Death beside me. "Who can compare with me?" said Death, "for I am paler still." "You are very beautiful," sighed the Clown, turning his powdered face from the mirror.
Robert W. Chambers (The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories)
هرگز نباید سعی در تکرار لحظات داشت، باید آنها را همانگونه که یک بار اتفاق افتاده‌اند، فقط تنها به خاطر آورد.
Heinrich Böll (The Clown)
She saw him fracture into rainbow colors through the prism of her love.
Salman Rushdie (Shalimar the Clown)
You never know the answers to the questions of life until you are asked.
Salman Rushdie (Shalimar the Clown)
Today, young girls measure the quality of their beauty based upon its entertainment value. The more people are entertained by their beauty, the more beautiful they think they must be. This is very unfortunate and I would like young girls to know that their beauty is a crown; not a clown. And crowns are best worn with elegance and serenity.
C. JoyBell C.
The psychotic clown I sent for his birthday will feel like a feather falling on a pillow atop a cloud. The laxative in my lunch? Child's play. If you think it was bad when I sent that fake resume for his open assistant position and the stripper came for the interview? No. We're talking Defcon Five, Vietcong-level mind fucking, do you hear me, Chloe?
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Beginning (Beautiful Bastard, #3.5))
It was both odd and unjust, a real example of pitiful arbitrariness of existance, that you were born into a particular time & held prisoner there whether you wanted it or not. It gave you an indecent advantage over the past and made you a clown vis-a-vis the future.
Daniel Kehlmann
In the middle of a wrist's suicide slash-line, below the layered skin and above the pulse, there's an acupuncture point that says, Get back to who you were meant to be. This is the heart spot, the center. Your whole life the skin on that place will stay closest to being a baby's skin, as close as you can get anymore to the way you started, the way you once thought you'd always be.
Monica Drake (Clown Girl)
Harvey wasn't interested in the clothes, it was the masks that mesmerized him. They were like snowflakes: no two alike. Some were made of wood and of plastic; some of straw and cloth and papier-mâché. Some were as bright as parrots, others as pale as parchment. Some were so grotesque he was certain they'd been carved by crazy people; others so perfect they looked like the death masks of angels. There were masks of clowns and foxes, masks like skulls decorated with real teeth, and one with carved flames instead of hair.
Clive Barker (The Thief of Always)
Okay," I said, "what's your biggest fear?" As always, he took a second to think about the answer. "Clowns," he said. "Clowns." "Yup." I just looked at him. "What?" he said, glancing over at me. "That is not a real answer," I told him. "Says who?" "Says me. I meant a real fear, like of failure, of death, of regret. Like that. Something that keeps you awake nights, questioning your very existence." He thought for a second. "Clowns.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
She told me something that has stayed with me. Ferber said, ‘Beware the clowns.’ The leaders who start out as jokes—people make fun of them, they’re caricatures, cartoons in newspapers, and people decide they are harmless. Those men are the most dangerous. The day comes when they use their power against their own people.” Alda
Adriana Trigiani (All the Stars in the Heavens)
If you bake a cupcake, the world has one more cupcake. If you become a circus clown, the world has one more squirt of seltzer down someone's pants. But if you win an Olympic gold medal, the world will not have one more Olympic gold medalist. It will just have you instead of someone else.
Steven E. Landsburg (The Big Questions: Tackling the Problems of Philosophy with Ideas from Mathematics, Economics and Physics)
Why love the boy in a March field with his kite braving the sky? Because our fingers burn with the hot string singeing our hands. Why love some girl viewed from a train bent to a country well? The tongue remembers iron water cool on some long lost noon. Why weep at strangers dead by the road? They resemble friends unseen in forty years. Why laugh when clowns are hot by pies? We taste custard we taste life. Why love the woman who is your wife? Her nose breathes the air of a world that I know; therefore I love that nose. Her ears hear music I might sing half the night through; therefore I love her ears. Her eyes delight in seasons of the land; and so I love those eyes. Her tongue knows quince, peach, chokeberry, mint and lime; I love to hear it speaking. Because her flesh knows heat, cold, affliction, I know fire, snow, and pain. Shared and once again shared experience. Billions of prickling textures. Cut one sense away, cut part of life away. Cut two senses; life halves itself on the instant. We love what we know, we love what we are. Common cause, common cause, common cause of mouth, eye, ear, tongue, hand, nose, flesh, heart, and soul.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2))
The beautiful came to this city [Hollywood] in huge pathetic herds, to suffer, to be humiliated, to see the powerful currency of their beauty devalued like the Russian ruble or Argentine peso;to work as bellhops, as bar hostesses, as garbage collectors, as maids. The city was a cliff and they were its stampeding lemmings. At the foot of the cliff was the valley of the broken dolls.
Salman Rushdie (Shalimar the Clown)
I've become convinced that genius is a vastly overrated commodity. I think this country is full of geniuses, guys and gals so bright they make your average card carrying MENSA member look like Fucko the Clown. And I think that most of them are teachers, living and working in small town obscurity because that's the way they like it.
Stephen King (Insomnia)
On the edge of a laughing teacup Did Kubla Kat decree The the corn fritter festooned with medals Shall make the brownies free And so the walls turned to water To let our sorrows drown As the chairs burned themselves for warmth So they need not face the clown Then the spoons burst into song And all the forks they understood As I stared at my talking claws Becasue this catnip is just that good
Francesco Marciuliano (I Could Pee On This: And Other Poems By Cats)
When a clown kills somebody, that's new—that's something you've never seen before. Here's someone you thought was good, and he's doing something so terrible that normal human emotion can't even deal with it—and then he turns around and does something good again. That's fascinating. It's not weird to be obsessed with that, it's weird not to be.
Dan Wells (I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver #1))
Do you want to know how to write a song? Songwriting is about counterpoint. Counterpoint is the key. Putting two disparate images beside each other and seeing which way the sparks fly. Like letting a small child in the same room as, I don’t know, a Mongolian psychopath or something, and just sitting back and seeing what happens. Then you send in a clown, say, on a tricycle and again you wait and you watch. And if that doesn’t do it, you shoot the clown.
Nick Cave
بعضی کورها، با این که واقعا کور هستند، ولی نقش یک نابینا را بازی می کنند.
Heinrich Böll (The Clown)
If I gave you a penny for your thoughts, I'd get change.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
Do they still call it infatuation? That magic ax that chops away the world in one blow, leaving only the couple standing there trembling? Whatever they call it, it leaps over anything, takes the biggest chair, the largest slice, rules the ground wherever it walks, from a mansion to a swamp, and its selfishness is its beauty.... People with no imagination feed it with sex -- the clown of love. They don't know the real kinds, the better kinds, where losses are cut and everybody benefits. It takes a certain intelligence to love like that -- softly, without props.
Toni Morrison (Love)
My family tree spreads wide as well. I am a great ape, and you are a great ape, and so are chimpanzees and orangutans and bonobos, all of us distant and distrustful cousins. I know this is troubling. I too find it hard to believe there is a connection across time and space, linking me to a race of ill-mannered clowns. Chimps. There's no excuse for them.
Katherine Applegate (The One and Only Ivan)
If I said anything to offend you it was purely intentional.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
The clown figure has had so many meanings in different times and cultures. The jolly, well-loved joker familiar to most people is actually but one aspect of this protean creature. Madmen, hunchbacks, amputees, and other abnormals were once considered natural clowns; they were elected to fulfill a comic role which could allow others to see them as ludicrous rather than as terrible reminders of the forces of disorder in the world. But sometimes a cheerless jester was required to draw attention to this same disorder, as in the case of King Lear's morbid and honest fool, who of course was eventually hanged, and so much for his clownish wisdom. Clowns have often had ambiguous and sometimes contradictory roles to play. ("The Last Feast Of The Harlequin")
Thomas Ligotti (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940's Until Now)
Be so good as to cease to cast yourself in fictions. Pinch yourself, or slap yourself across the face if that's what it takes, but understand, please, that you are nonfictional, and this is real life.
Salman Rushdie (Shalimar the Clown)
We may paint our faces. We may fuck around. But pussy-ass bitches here wont be found. My homies stand behind me all the way. My true family and forever we'll stay. Don't fuck with me, cause they got my back. Where do your friends go, when they know you can't hack? Do they stay and help? Fuck no, they run! Back to their mommies while we have our fun. My juggalo family, we don't fuck around. So tell me this now, are you down with the clown?
Insane Clown Posse
Many native traditions held clowns and tricksters as essential to any contact with the sacred. People could not pray until they had laughed, because laughter opens and frees from rigid preconception. Humans had to have tricksters within the most sacred ceremonies for fear that they forget the sacred comes through upset, reversal, surprise. The trickster in most native traditions is essential to creation, to birth.
Byrd Gibbens
I'm not offended by what you say. I'm just glad that you're stringing words into sentences now.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
انسان نه قادر به تکرار لحظات است و نه قادر به بیان آن هاست
Heinrich Böll (The Clown)
If you had one more brain cell, it would be lonely.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
When you pray for what you most want in the world, its opposite comes along with it. I was given a woman whom I truly loved and who truly loved me. The opposite side of such a love is the pain of its loss. I can only feel such pain today because until yesterday I knew that love.
Salman Rushdie (Shalimar the Clown)
You know the irony of life is that you have like this big dream to get where you wanna be. But once you get there you start to dream about where you came from. I guess that's the part of the circle of our lives, like the hands of a clock going round. If only we could wind them back and return to a time where the dream began. It's all too soon that's all we'll be is a dream in someone's mind.
Insane Clown Posse
The part that wasn't a jackpot was his baseball mound of red pubic hair that looked like it had literally been attached with a glue gun. I couldn't believe how much there was, and wondered how he had never heard of scissors, or--more appropriate for that kind of growth--hedge trimmers. I didn't understand what porn he was watching to not be aware of the trimming that was happening all across the world among his compatriots. I'm not a finicky person when it comes to pubic hair maintenance and I certainly don't expect men to shave it all off, leaving themselves to look like a hairless cat. That's even creepier then than seeing what Austin had, which could really only be compared to one thing: A clown in a leg lock.
Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea)
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!     No hungry generations tread thee down;   The voice I hear this passing night was heard     In ancient days by emperor and clown:   Perhaps the self-same song that found a path      Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,       She stood in tears amid the alien corn;             The same that ofttimes hath     Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam       Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.
John Keats
And they wanted to know, if I would trade 10 juggalo's for 100 mainstream fans. And I said, I wouldn't trade 10 juggalo's for 100,000 mainstream fans, 10 juggalo's is priceless to me!
Insane Clown Posse
In the mid 1980's I was asked by an american legal institution known as the Christic Legal Institute to compile a comic book that would detail the murky history of the C.I.A., from the end of the second world war, to the present day. Covering such things as the heroin smuggling during the Vietnam war, the cocaine smuggling during the war in Central America, the Kennedy assasination and other highlights. What I learned during the frankly horrifying research that I had to slog through in order to accomplish this, was that yes, there is a conspiracy, in fact there are a great number of conspiracies that are all tripping each other up. And all of those conspiracies are run by paranoid fantasists, and ham fisted clowns. If you are on a list targeted by the C.I.A., you really have nothing to worry about. If however you have a name similar to someone on a list targeted by the C.I.A., then you are dead? The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory, is that conspiracy theorists believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is actually chaotic. The truth is that it is not The Iluminati, or The Jewish Banking Conspiracy, or the Gray Alien Theory. The truth is far more frightening. Nobody is in control. The world is rudderless...
Alan Moore
I didn’t really know who I was, but improv had taught me that I could be anyone. I didn’t have to wait to be cast—I could give myself the part. I could be an old man or a teenage babysitter or a rodeo clown. In three short years Chicago had taught me that I could decide who I was. My only job was to surround myself with people who respected and supported that choice. Being foolish was the smartest thing to do.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
Do you want to know how to write a song? Songwriting is about counterpoint. Counterpoint is the key. Putting two disparate images beside each other and seeing which way the sparks fly. Like letting a small child in the same room as… I don’t know, a Mongolian psychopath or something, and just sitting back and seeing what happens. Then you send in a clown, say, on a tricycle and again you wait and you watch. And if that doesn’t do it, you shoot the clown.
Nick Cave
He said that academia reminded him of a badly run circus. The faculty members were like underfed animals -- weary of their cages, which were never large enough to begin with -- and they responded sluggishly to the whip. The trapeze artists fell with monotonous regularity into poorly strung nets. The clowns looked hungry. The tent leaked. The crowd was inattentive, shouting incoherently at inappropriate moments. And when the show was over, no one cheered.
Susan Hubbard
There was something about clowns that was worse than zombies. (Or maybe something that was the same. When you see a zombie, you want to laugh at first. When you see a clown, most people get a little nervous. There's the pallor and the cakey mortician-style makeup, the shuffling and the untidy hair. But clowns were probably malicious, and they moved fast on those little bicycles and in those little crammed cars. Zombies weren't much of anything. They didn't carry musical instruments and they didn't care whether or not you laughed at them. You always knew what zombies wanted.)
Kelly Link (The Living Dead (The Living Dead, #1))
Everybody in!" I said. Which was when we discovered the final problem. Little Echos aren't designed to hold six, count them six, larger-than-average-sized children. And their wings. And a dog. "This is like a clown car," Total grumbled front my lap in the front seat. "Why does the dog get to sit in your lap?'' Gazzy asked plaintively, as we rattled and banged down the dark streets. "How about a kid?" "Oh. 'The dog.' Very nice," said Total. "Because you're not allowed to have people on your lap in the front seats," I explained. "It's not safe. If a cop saw us, we'd be stopped for sure. You want Total back there?" Everyone in the back screamed no at the same time.
James Patterson (School's Out—Forever (Maximum Ride, #2))
O your life, your lonely life What have you ever done with it, And done with the great gift of consciousness? What will you ever do before Death's knife Provides the answer ultimate and appropriate? As I for my part felt in my heart as one who falls, Falls in a parachute, falls endlessly, and feels the vast Draft of the abyss sucking him down and down, An endlessly helplessly falling and appalled clown: This is the way the night passes by, this Is the overnight endless trip to the famous unfathomable abyss.
Delmore Schwartz
The principle of laughter and the carnival spirit on which the grotesque is based destroys this limited seriousness and all pretense of an extratemporal meaning and unconditional value of necessity. It frees human consciousness, thought, and imagination for new potentialities. For this reason, great changes, even in the field of science, are always preceded by a certain carnival consciousness that prepares the way.
Mikhail Bakhtin
I am convinced that human life is filled with many pure, happy, serene examples of insincerity, truly splendid of their kind - of people deceiving one another without (strangely enough) any wounds being inflicted, of people who seem unaware that they are deceiving one another. But I have no special interest in instances of mutual deception. I myself spent the whole day long deceiving human beings with my clowning. I have not been able to work much up much concern over the morality prescribed in textbooks of ethics under the name as “righteousness.” I find it difficult to understand the kind of human being who lives, or who is sure he can live, purely, happily, serenely while engaged in deceit. Human beings never did teach me that abstruse secret. If I had only known that one thing I should never have had to dread human beings so, nor should I have opposed myself to human life, nor tasted such torments of hell every night.
Osamu Dazai (No Longer Human)
Last Will Prologue: We, Sacco and Vanzetti, sound of body and mind, Devise and bequeath to all we leave behind, The worldly wealth we inherited at our birth, Each one to share alike as we leave this earth. To Wit: To babies we will their mothers’ love, To youngsters we will the sun above. To spooners who wont to tryst the night, We give the moon and stars that shine so bright. To thrill them in their hours of joy, When boy hugs maid and maid hugs boy. To nature’s creatures we allot the spring and summer, To the doe, the bear, the gold-finch and the hummer. To the fishes we ascribe the deep blue sea, The honey we apportion to the bustling bee. To the pessimist—good cheer—his mind to sooth, To the chronic liar we donate the solemn truth. And Lastly: To those who judge solely seeking renown, With blaring trumpets of the fakir and clown; To the prosecutor, persecutor, and other human hounds, Who’d barter another’s honor, recognizing no bounds, To the Governor, the Jury, who another’s life they’d sell— We endow them with the fiery depths of HELL! (Industrial Worker, Aug. 20, 1927)
Nicola Sacco
Nat is already laughing. We go through this every morning. She tells Nik I own a clown car. I glower at her while I put my foot up onto Nik’s lap and kick the passenger door while turning the ignition. She starts. Works every time. Nik looks like he’s not sure whether to laugh or get the hell out of the car. We’re on our way to work and Nat says, “Nik, turn on the radio.” He shakes his head and replies cynically, “I would but I’m scared the roof might fly off.” Nat and I burst into laughter. We laugh so much we both sob and laugh at the same time.
Belle Aurora (Friend-Zoned (Friend-Zoned, #1))
I recognized the handwriting, and my heart gave a skip; when I opened it I got a turn, for it began, 'To my beloved Hector,' and I thought, by God she's cheating on me, and has sent me the wrong letter by mistake. But in the second line was a reference to Achilles, and another to Ajax, so I understood she was just addressing me in terms which she accounted fitting for a martial paladin; she knew no better. It was a common custom at that time, in the more romantic females, to see their soldier husbands and sweethearts as Greek heroes, instead of the whore-mongering, drunken clowns most of them were. However, the Greek heroes were probably no better, so it was not far off the mark.
George MacDonald Fraser (Flashman (The Flashman Papers, #1))
Zach glanced out the window to what had to be the quietest town he’d ever been in. “Big gang problem around here? Lots of cow jacking?” “We have all sorts pass through our little town, thank you very much. Bikers. Cowboys. The always dangerous rodeo clowns.” “Rodeo clowns?” “Don’t ask.” Zach shrugged. “I don’t want to know.” “Any other condescending questions about my town?” “Oh, I’m not being condescending. I’m very interested in your tiny little town, with its tiny little people. I bet you guys even have a movie theater.” Sara barked out a laugh. “You certainly are a charmer.
Shelly Laurenston (Pack Challenge (Magnus Pack, #1))
It begins when he’s still a man in a suit, doing the kinds of boring things that men in suits do. The things that no one writes about because they know that boys don’t really have nightmares about clowns or three-eyed tentacled beasts that rise from deep within volcanoes. When boys wake up screaming in the night, it’s because they know that, one day, they’ll have to grow into men who wear suits and spend their days doing boring things that cause them to rot from within, so their skin withers and blackens and cracks, leaking out their juices until they finally lie decaying and putrid, forgotten by a world that deemed them unworthy of remembering. It begins there because it’s important to know that a superhero with no past began as a man with no future.
Shaun David Hutchinson (The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley)
Happy the writer who, passing by characters that are boring, disgusting, shocking in their mournful reality, approaches characters that manifest the lofty dignity of man, who from the great pool of daily whirling images has chosen only the rare exceptions, who has never once betrayed the exalted turning of his lyre, nor descended from his height to his poor, insignificant brethren, and, without touching the ground, has given the whole of himself to his elevated images so far removed from it. Twice enviable is his beautiful lot: he is among them as in his own family; and meanwhile his fame spreads loud and far. With entrancing smoke he has clouded people's eyes; he has flattered them wondrously, concealing what is mournful in life, showing them a beautiful man. Everything rushes after him, applauding, and flies off following his triumphal chariot. Great world poet they name him, soaring high above all other geniuses in the world, as the eagle soars above the other high fliers. At the mere mention of his name, young ardent hearts are filled with trembling, responsive tears shine in all eyes...No one equals him in power--he is God! But such is not the lot, and other is the destiny of the writer who has dared to call forth all that is before our eyes every moment and which our indifferent eyes do not see--all the stupendous mire of trivia in which our life in entangled, the whole depth of cold, fragmented, everyday characters that swarm over our often bitter and boring earthly path, and with the firm strength of his implacable chisel dares to present them roundly and vividly before the eyes of all people! It is not for him to win people's applause, not for him to behold the grateful tears and unanimous rapture of the souls he has stirred; no sixteen-year-old girl will come flying to meet him with her head in a whirl and heroic enthusiasm; it is not for him to forget himself in the sweet enchantment of sounds he himself has evoked; it is not for him, finally, to escape contemporary judgment, hypocritically callous contemporary judgment, which will call insignificant and mean the creations he has fostered, will allot him a contemptible corner in the ranks of writers who insult mankind, will ascribe to him the quality of the heroes he has portrayed, will deny him heart, and soul, and the divine flame of talent. For contemporary judgment does not recognize that equally wondrous are the glasses that observe the sun and those that look at the movement of inconspicuous insect; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that much depth of soul is needed to light up the picture drawn from contemptible life and elevate it into a pearl of creation; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that lofty ecstatic laughter is worthy to stand beside the lofty lyrical impulse, and that a whole abyss separates it from the antics of the street-fair clown! This contemporary judgment does not recognize; and will turn it all into a reproach and abuse of the unrecognized writer; with no sharing, no response, no sympathy, like a familyless wayfarer, he will be left alone in the middle of the road. Grim is his path, and bitterly he will feel his solitude.
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
Obviously, a rigid, blinkered, absolutist world view is the easiest to keep hold of, whereas the fluid, uncertain, metamorphic picture I've always carried about is rather more vulnerable. Yet I must cling with all my might to … my own soul; must hold on to its mischievous, iconoclastic, out-of-step clown-instincts, no matter how great the storm. And if that plunges me into contradiction and paradox, so be it; I've lived in that messy ocean all my life. I've fished in it for my art. This turbulent sea was the sea outside my bedroom window in Bombay. It is the sea by which I was born, and which I carry within me wherever I go.
Salman Rushdie
There are many reasons to steer clear of  Christianity. No question. I fully understand why people make that choice. Christianity has survived some unspeakable abominations: the Crusades, clergy sex-scandals, papal corruption, televangelist scams, and clown ministry. But it will survive us, too. It will survive our mistakes and pride and exclusion of others. I believe that the power of  Christianity — the thing that made the very first disciples drop their nets and walk away from everything they knew, the thing that caused Mary Magdalene to return to the tomb and then announce the resurrection of Christ, the thing that the early Christians martyred themselves for, and the thing that keeps me in the Jesus business (or, what my Episcopal priest friend Paul calls “working for the company”) — is something that cannot be killed. The power of unbounded mercy, of what we call The Gospel, cannot be destroyed by corruption and toothy TV preachers. Because in the end, there is still Jesus.
Nadia Bolz-Weber (Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People)
Now goes under, and I watch it go under, the sun That will not rise again. Today has seen the setting, in your eyes cold and senseless as the sea, Of friendship better than bread, and of bright charity That lifts a man a little above the beasts that run. That this could be! That I should live to see Most vulgar Pride, that stale obstreperous clown, So fitted out with purple robe and crown To stand among his betters! Face to face With outraged me in this once holy place, Where Wisdom was a favoured guest and hunted Truth was harboured out of danger, He bulks enthroned, a lewd, an insupportable stranger! I would have sworn, indeed I swore it: The hills may shift, the waters may decline, Winter may twist the stem from the twig that bore it, But never your love from me, your hand from mine. Now goes under the sun, and I watch it go under. Farewell, sweet light, great wonder! You, too, farewell,-but fare not well enough to dream You have done wisely to invite the night before the darkness came.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Dylan's friend Linus Millberg appears out of the crowd with a cup of beer and shouts, 'Dorothy is John Lennon, the Scarecrow is Paul McCartney, the Tin Woodman is George Harrison, the Lion's Ringo.' 'Star Trek,' commands Dylan over the lousy twangy country CB's is playing between sets. 'Easy,' Linus shouts back. "Kirk's John, Spock's Paul, Bones is George, Scotty is Ringo. Or Chekov, after the first season. Doesn't matter, it's like a Scotty-Chekov-combination Ringo. Spare parts are always surplus Georges or Ringos.' 'But isn't Spock-lacks-a-heart and McCoy-lacks-a-brain like Woodman and Scarecrow? So Dorothy's Kirk?' 'You don't get it. That's just a superficial coincidence. The Beatle thing is an archetype, it's like the basic human formation. Everything naturally forms into a Beatles, people can't help it.' 'Say the types again.' 'Responsible-parent genius-parent genius-child clown-child.' 'Okay, do Star Wars.' 'Luke Paul, Han Solo John, Chewbacca George, the robots Ringo.' 'Tonight Show.' 'Uh, Johnny Carson Paul, the guest John, Ed McMahon Ringo, whatisname George.' 'Doc Severinson.' 'Yeah, right. See, everything revolves around John, even Paul. That's why John's the guest.' 'And Severinson's quiet but talented, like a Wookie.' 'You begin to understand.
Jonathan Lethem (The Fortress of Solitude)
He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog.
Gene Hill
In the movie I was played by an actor who actually looked more like me than the character the author portrayed in the book: I wasn't blond, I wasn't tan, and neither was the actor. I also suddenly became the movie's moral compass, spouting AA jargon, castigating everyone's drug use and trying to save Julian. (I'll sell my car," I warn the actor playing Julian's dealer. "Whatever it takes.") This was slightly less true of Blair's character, played by a girl who actually seemed like she belonged in our group-- jittery, sexually available, easily wounded. Julian became the sentimentalized version of himself, acted by a talented, sad-faced clown, who has an affair with Blair and then realizes he has to let her go because I was his best bud. "Be good to her," Julian tells Clay. "She really deserves it." The sheer hypocrisy of this scene must have made the author blanch. Smiling secretly to myself with perverse satisfaction when the actor delivered that line, I then glanced at Blair in the darkness of the screening room.
Bret Easton Ellis (Imperial Bedrooms)
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
The energy you drew on so extravagantly when you were a kid, the energy you thought would never exhaust itself -- that slipped away somewhere between eighteen and twenty-four, to be replaced by something much duller, something as bogus as coke high: purpose, maybe, or goals, or whatever rah-rah Junior Chamber of Commerce word you wanted to use. It was no big deal; it didn't go all at once with a bang. And maybe, Richie thought, that's the scary part. How you don't stop being a kid all at once, with a big explosive bang, like one of that clown's trick balloons with the Burma-Shave slogans on the sides. The kid in you just leaked out, like the air out of a tire. And one day you looked in the mirror and there was a grownup looking back at you. You could go on wearing blue-jeans, you could keep going to Springsteen and Seger concerts, you could dye your hair, but that was a grownup's face in the mirror just the same. It all happened while you were asleep, maybe, like a visit from a Tooth Fairy.
Stephen King (It)
The point of these studies is that moral judgment is like aesthetic judgment. When you see a painting, you usually know instantly and automatically whether you like it. If someone asks you to explain your judgment, you confabulate. You don’t really know why you think something is beautiful, but your interpreter module (the rider) is skilled at making up reasons, as Gazzaniga found in his split-brain studies. You search for a plausible reason for liking the painting, and you latch on to the first reason that makes sense (maybe something vague about color, or light, or the reflection of the painter in the clown’s shiny nose). Moral arguments are much the same: Two people feel strongly about an issue, their feelings come first, and their reasons are invented on the fly, to throw at each other. When you refute a person’s argument, does she generally change her mind and agree with you? Of course not, because the argument you defeated was not the cause of her position; it was made up after the judgment was already made.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
It came down to that flexibility of a person’s mind. An ability to withstand horrors and snap back, like a fresh elastic band. A flinty mind shattered. In this way, he was glad not to be an adult. A grown-up’s mind—even one belonging to a decent man like Scoutmaster Tim—lacked that elasticity. The world had been robbed of all its mysteries, and with those mysteries went the horror. Adults didn’t believe in old wives’ tales. You didn’t see adults stepping over sidewalk cracks out of the fear that they might somehow, some way, break their mothers’ backs. They didn’t wish on stars: not with the squinty-eyed fierceness of kids, anyway. You’ll never find an adult who believes that saying “Bloody Mary” three times in front of a mirror in a dark room will summon a dark, blood-hungry entity. Adults were scared of different things: their jobs, their mortgages, whether they hung out with the “right people,” whether they would die unloved. These were pallid compared to the fears of a child—leering clowns under the bed and slimy monsters capering beyond the basement’s light and faceless sucking horrors from beyond the stars. There’s no 12-step or self-help group for dealing with those fears. Or maybe there is: you just grow up. And when you do, you surrender the nimbleness of mind required to believe in such things—but also to cope with them. And so when adults find themselves in a situation where that nimbleness is needed . . . well, they can’t summon it. So they fall to pieces: go insane, panic, suffer heart attacks and aneurysms brought on by fright. Why? They simply don’t believe it could be happening. That’s what’s different about kids: they believe everything can happen, and fully expect it to.
Nick Cutter (The Troop)
What’s the best practical joke you’ve ever played on another camper? Connor: The golden mango! Travis: Oh, dude, that was awesome. Connor: So anyway, we took this mango and spray painted it gold, right? We wrote: “For the hottest” on it and left it in the Aphrodite cabin while they were at archery class. When they came back, they started fighting over it, trying to figure out which of them was the hottest. It was so funny. Travis: Gucci shoes were flying out the windows. The Aphrodite kids were ripping each other’s clothes and throwing lipstick and jewelry. It was like a rabid herd of wild Bratz. Connor: Then they figured out what we’d done, and they tracked us down. Travis: That was not cool. I didn’t know they made permanent makeup. I looked like a clown for a month. Connor: Yeah. They put a curse on me so that no matter what I wore, my clothes were two sizes too small and I felt like a geek. Travis: You are a geek.
Rick Riordan (The Demigod Files (Percy Jackson and the Olympians))
Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer were a very notorious couple of cats. As knockabout clowns, quick-change comedians, Tight-rope walkers and acrobats They had an extensive reputation. [...] When the family assembled for Sunday dinner, With their minds made up that they wouldn’t get thinner On Argentine joint, potatoes and greens, And the cook would appear from behind the scenes And say in a voice that was broken with sorrow "I'm afraid you must wait and have dinner tomorrow! For the joint has gone from the oven like that!" Then the family would say: "It's that horrible cat! It was Mungojerrie – or Rumpleteazer!" - And most of the time they left it at that. Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer had a wonderful way of working together. And some of the time you would say it was luck And some of the time you would say it was weather. They would go through the house like a hurricane, And no sober person could take his oath Was it Mungojerrie – or Rumpleteazer? Or could you have sworn that it mightn't be both? And when you heard a dining room smash Or up from the pantry there came a loud crash Or down from the library came a loud ping From a vase which was commonly said to be Ming Then the family would say: "Now which was which cat? It was Mungojerrie! And Rumpleteazer!" And there's nothing at all to be done about that!
T.S. Eliot (Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats)
... WHEN ONE LOOKS INTO THE DARKNESS THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING THERE... Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose, Enfold me in my hour of hours; where those Who sought thee in the Holy Sepulchre, Or in the wine-vat, dwell beyond the stir And tumult of defeated dreams; and deep Among pale eyelids, heavy with the sleep Men have named beauty. Thy great leaves enfold The ancient beards, the helms of ruby and gold Of the crowned Magi; and the king whose eyes Saw the pierced Hands and Rood of elder rise In Druid vapour and make the torches dim; Till vain frenzy awoke and he died; and him Who met Fand walking among flaming dew By a grey shore where the wind never blew, And lost the world and Emer for a kiss; And him who drove the gods out of their liss, And till a hundred morns had flowered red Feasted, and wept the barrows of his dead; And the proud dreaming king who flung the crown And sorrow away, and calling bard and clown Dwelt among wine-stained wanderers in deep woods: And him who sold tillage, and house, and goods, And sought through lands and islands numberless years, Until he found, with laughter and with tears, A woman of so shining loveliness That men threshed corn at midnight by a tress, A little stolen tress. I, too, await The hour of thy great wind of love and hate. When shall the stars be blown about the sky, Like the sparks blown out of a smithy, and die? Surely thine hour has come, thy great wind blows, Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose? Out of sight is out of mind: Long have man and woman-kind, Heavy of will and light of mood, Taken away our wheaten food, Taken away our Altar stone; Hail and rain and thunder alone, And red hearts we turn to grey, Are true till time gutter away. ... the common people are always ready to blame the beautiful.
W.B. Yeats (The Secret Rose and Rosa Alchemica by W.B.Yeats, Fiction, Literary, Classics)
I know what you are thinking - you need a sign. What better one could I give than to make this little one whole and new? I could do it, but I will not. I am the Lord and not a conjurer. I gave this mite a gift I denied to all of you - eternal innocence. To you, he looks imperfect but to me he is flawless like the bud that dies unopened or the fledgling that falls from the nest to be devoured by the ants. He will never offend me, as all of you have done. He will never pervert or destroy the work of my Father's hands. He is necessary to you. He will evoke the kindness that will keep you human. His infirmity will prompt you to gratitude for your own good fortune. More! He will remind you every day that I am who I am, that my ways are not yours, and that the smallest dust mite, while in darkest space, does not fall out of my hand. I have chosen you. You have not chosen me. This little one is my sign to you. Treasure him!
Morris L. West (The Clowns of God (The Vatican Trilogy Book 2))
The alley is a pitch for about twenty women leaning in doorways, chain-smoking. In their shiny open raincoats, short skirts, cheap boots, and high-heeled shoes they watch the street with hooded eyes, like spies in a B movie. Some are young and pretty, and some are older, and some of them are very old, with facial expressions ranging from sullen to wry. Most of the commerce is centred on the slightly older women, as if the majority of the clients prefer experience and worldliness. The younger, prettier girls seem to do the least business, apparent innocence being only a minority preference, much as it is for the aging crones in the alley who seem as if they’ve been standing there for a thousand years. In the dingy foyer of the hotel is an old poster from La Comédie Française, sadly peeling from the all behind the desk. Cyrano de Bergerac, it proclaims, a play by Edmond Rostand. I will stand for a few moments to take in its fading gaiety. It is a laughing portrait of a man with an enormous nose and a plumed hat. He is a tragic clown whose misfortune is his honour. He is a man entrusted with a secret; an eloquent and dazzling wit who, having successfully wooed a beautiful woman on behalf of a friend cannot reveal himself as the true author when his friend dies. He is a man who loves but is not loved, and the woman he loves but cannot reach is called Roxanne. That night I will go to my room and write a song about a girl. I will call her Roxanne. I will conjure her unpaid from the street below the hotel and cloak her in the romance and the sadness of Rostand’s play, and her creation will change my life.
Sting (Broken Music)
What could he say that might make sense to them? Could he say love was, above all, common cause, shared experience? That was the vital cement, wasn't it? Could he say how he felt about their all being here tonight on this wild world running around a big sun which fell through a bigger space falling through yet vaster immensities of space, maybe toward and maybe away from Something? Could he say: we share this billion-mile-an-hour rid. We have common cause against the night. You start with little common causes. Why love the boy in a March field with his kite braving the sky? Because our fingers burn with the hot string singeing our hands. Why love some girl viewed from a train bent to a country well? The tongue remembers iron water cool on some long lost noon. Why weep at strangers dead by the road? They resemble friends unseen in forty years. Why laugh when clowns are hot by pies? We taste custard we taste life. Why love the woman who is your wife? Her nose breathes the air of a world that I know; therefore I love that nose. Her ears hear music I might sing half the night through; therefore I love her ears. Her eyes delight in seasons of the land; and so I love those eyes. Her tongue knows quince, peach, chokeberry, mint and lime; I love to hear it speaking. Because her flesh knows heat, cold, affliction, I know fire, snow, and pain. Shared and once again shared experience. Billions of prickling textures. Cut one sense away, cut part of life away. Cut two senses; life halves itself on the instant. We love what we know, we love what we are. Common cause, common cause, common cause of mouth, eye, ear, tongue, hand, nose, flesh, heart, and soul. But... how to say it?
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2))
Life is a great big beautiful three-ring circus. There are those on the floor making their lives among the heads of lions and hoops of fire, and those in the stands, complacent and wowed, their mouths stuffed with popcorn. I know less now than ever about life, but I do know its size. Life is enormous. Much grander than what we’ve taken for ourselves, so far. When the show is over and the tent is packed, the elephants, lions and dancing poodles are caged and mounted on trucks to caravan to the next town. The clown’s makeup has worn, and his bright, red smile has been washed down a sink. All that is left is another performance, another tent and set of lights. We rest in the knowledge: the show must go on. Somewhere, behind our stage curtain, a still, small voice asks why we haven’t yet taken up juggling. My seminars were like this. Only, instead of flipping shiny, black bowling balls or roaring chainsaws through the air, I juggled concepts. The world is intrinsically tied together. All things march through time at different intervals but move ahead in one fashion or another. Though we may never understand it, we are all part of something much larger than ourselves—something anchoring us to the spot we have mentally chosen. We sniff out the rules, through spiritual quests and the sciences. And with every new discovery, we grow more confused. Our inability to connect what seems illogical to unite and to defy logic in our understanding keeps us from enlightenment. The artists and insane tiptoe around such insights, but lack the compassion to hand-feed these concepts to a blind world. The interconnectedness of all things is not simply a pet phrase. It is a big “T” truth that the wise spend their lives attempting to grasp.
Christopher Hawke (Unnatural Truth)
In the jumbled, fragmented memories I carry from my childhood there are probably nearly as many dreams as images from waking life. I thought of one which might have been my earliest remembered nightmare. I was probably about four years old - I don't think I'd started school yet - when I woke up screaming. The image I retained of the dream, the thing which had frightened me so, was an ugly, clown-like doll made of soft red and cream-coloured rubber. When you squeezed it, bulbous eyes popped out on stalks and the mouth opened in a gaping scream. As I recall it now, it was disturbingly ugly, not really an appropriate toy for a very young child, but it had been mine when I was younger, at least until I'd bitten its nose off, at which point it had been taken away from me. At the time when I had the dream I hadn't seen it for a year or more - I don't think I consciously remembered it until its sudden looming appearance in a dream had frightened me awake. When I told my mother about the dream, she was puzzled. 'But what's scary about that? You were never scared of that doll.' I shook my head, meaning that the doll I'd owned - and barely remembered - had never scared me. 'But it was very scary,' I said, meaning that the reappearance of it in my dream had been terrifying. My mother looked at me, baffled. 'But it's not scary,' she said gently. I'm sure she was trying to make me feel better, and thought this reasonable statement would help. She was absolutely amazed when it had the opposite result, and I burst into tears. Of course she had no idea why, and of course I couldn't explain. Now I think - and of course I could be wrong - that what upset me was that I'd just realized that my mother and I were separate people. We didn't share the same dreams or nightmares. I was alone in the universe, like everybody else. In some confused way, that was what the doll had been telling me. Once it had loved me enough to let me eat its nose; now it would make me wake up screaming. ("My Death")
Lisa Tuttle (Best New Horror 16 (The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, #16))
Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, by use all gently, for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant. It out-herods Herod. Pray you avoid it. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature. For anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve, the censure of the which one must in your allowance o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly (not to speak profanely), that neither having th' accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably. Reform it altogether! And let those that play your clowns speak no more than is set down for them, for there be of them that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too, though in the mean time some necessary question of the play be then to be considered. That's villainous and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go make you ready.
William Shakespeare
As I’ve told you many times, I’m split in two. One side contains my exuberant cheerfulness, my flippancy, my joy in life and, above all, my ability to appreciate the lighter side of things. By that I mean not finding anything wrong with flirtations, a kiss, an embrace, an off-color joke. This side of me is usually lying in wait to ambush the other one, which is much purer, deeper and finer. No one knows Anne’s better side, and that’s why most people can’t stand me. Oh, I can be an amusing clown for an afternoon, but after that everyone’s had enough of me to last a month. Actually, I’m what a romantic movie is to a profound thinker—a mere diversion, a comic interlude, something that is soon forgotten: not bad, but not particularly good either. I hate having to tell you this, but why shouldn’t I admit it when I know it’s true? My lighter, more superficial side will always steal a march on the deeper side and therefore always win. You can’t imagine how often I’ve tried to push away this Anne, which is only half of what is known as Anne—to beat her down, hide her. But it doesn’t work, and I know why. I’m afraid that people who know me as I usually am will discover I have another side, a better and finer side. I’m afraid they’ll mock me, think I’m ridiculous and sentimental and not take me seriously. I’m used to not being taken seriously, but only the “lighthearted” Anne is used to it and can put up with it; the “deeper” Anne is too weak. If I force the good Anne into the spotlight for even fifteen minutes, she shuts up like a clam the moment she’s called upon to speak, and lets Anne number one do the talking. Before I realize it, she’s disappeared. So the nice Anne is never seen in company. She’s never made a single appearance, though she almost always takes the stage when I’m alone. I know exactly how I’d like to be, how I am … on the inside. But unfortunately I’m only like that with myself. And perhaps that’s why—no, I’m sure that’s the reason why—I think of myself as happy on the inside and other people think I’m happy on the outside. I’m guided by the pure Anne within, but on the outside I’m nothing but a frolicsome little goat tugging at its tether. As I’ve told you, what I say is not what I feel, which is why I have a reputation for being boy-crazy as well as a flirt, a smart aleck and a reader of romances. The happy-go-lucky Anne laughs, gives a flippant reply, shrugs her shoulders and pretends she doesn’t give a darn. The quiet Anne reacts in just the opposite way. If I’m being completely honest, I’ll have to admit that it does matter to me, that I’m trying very hard to change myself, but that I’m always up against a more powerful enemy. A voice within me is sobbing, “You see, that’s what’s become of you. You’re surrounded by negative opinions, dismayed looks and mocking faces, people who dislike you, and all because you don’t listen to the advice of your own better half.” Believe me, I’d like to listen, but it doesn’t work, because if I’m quiet and serious, everyone thinks I’m putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke, and then I’m not even talking about my own family, who assume I must be sick, stuff me with aspirins and sedatives, feel my neck and forehead to see if I have a temperature, ask about my bowel movements and berate me for being in a bad mood, until I just can’t keep it up anymore, because when everybody starts hovering over me, I get cross, then sad, and finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if … if only there were no other people in the world. Yours, Anne M. Frank ANNE’S DIARY ENDS HERE.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)