Horror Night Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Horror Night. Here they are! All 100 of them:

Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley (Invictus)
Oh, the terrible struggle that I have had against sleep so often of late; the pain of the sleeplessness, or the pain of the fear of sleep, and with such unknown horror as it has for me! How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no dreads; to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams.
Bram Stoker (Dracula (Signet Classics))
Here is a list of terrible things, The jaws of sharks, a vultures wings The rabid bite of the dogs of war, The voice of one who went before, But most of all the mirror's gaze, Which counts us out our numbered days.
Clive Barker (Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War)
Get off me, you lard-ass, halitosis, flea-infested horror-movie reject! (Alexion)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Sins of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #7))
Love is just another dirty lie. Love is ergoapiol pills to make me come around because you were afraid to have a baby. Love is quinine and quinine and quinine until I'm deaf with it. Love is that dirty aborting horror that you took me to. Love is my insides all messed up. It's half catheters and half whirling douches. I know about love. Love always hangs up behind the bathroom door. It smells like lysol. To hell with love. Love is making me happy and then going off to sleep with your mouth open while I lie awake all night afraid to say my prayers even because I know I have no right to anymore. Love is all the dirty little tricks you taught me that you probably got out of some book. All right. I'm through with you and I'm through with love.
Ernest Hemingway
The sky hides the night behind it and shelters the people beneath from the horror that lies above.
Paul Bowles
What looked like morning was the beginning of endless night
William Peter Blatty (The Exorcist)
Strange is the night where black stars rise, and strange moons circle through the skies, but stranger still is lost Carcosa.
Robert W. Chambers (The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories)
Everything changes. Everything is temporary, except for the sky. When you find yourself caught up in the horrors or heroes of a lifetime, look up. Don't look down. That which is beneath our feet is liquid, but the sky, the sky is solid, constant, ever ready and ever hopeful that the sun will rise in the morning and the moon will rise at night. They don't really set, you know. They're always rising, just rising for someone else.
Amber Kizer (Meridian (Fenestra, #1))
I need more than anything right now what is, of course, most impossible, someone to love me, to be with me at night when I wake up in shuddering horror and fear of the cement tunnels leading down to the shock room, to comfort me with an assurance that no psychiatrist can quite manage to convey.
Sylvia Plath (The Journals of Sylvia Plath)
It's only you," whispered Orphan Girl. She was holding his hand crouched down next to him. "Why do you hate you?" Ronan thought about it. The albino night horror swept in, talons opening. Ronan stood up, stretching out his arm like he would to Chainsaw. "I don't," he said. And he woke up.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
We are all freaks. Yes! Alone in our rooms at night, we are all weirdoes and outcasts and losers. That is what being a teenager is all about! Whether you admit it or not, you are all worried that the others won’t accept you, that if they knew the real you, they would recoil in horror. Each of us carries with us a secret shame that we think is somehow unique…And if we are, each of us, freaks – then can’t we accept what’s different in each other and move on?
James St. James
Night was a very different matter. It was dense, thicker than the very walls, and it was empty, so black, so immense that within it you could brush against appalling things and feel roaming and prowling around a strange, mysterious horror.
Guy de Maupassant (The Complete Short Stories of Guy de Maupassant, Part One)
A new ignorance is on the horizon, an ignorance borne not of a lack of knowledge but of too much knowledge, too much data, too many theories, too little time.
Eugene Thacker (Tentacles Longer Than Night: Horror of Philosophy Vol. 3)
Good Lord, who spread the Daimon fertilizer around? They're cropping up like a bad horror flick. (Tabitha)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Seize the Night (Dark-Hunter #6))
I'ts how I want to remember him, the way he was that night: with horrors up ahead and horrors at our back, and Lockwood standing in between them, calm and unafraid.
Jonathan Stroud (The Hollow Boy (Lockwood & Co., #3))
I have no fear of God, and yet fear keeps me awake at night,fear of the devil. And if I believe in the devil, I must believe in God. And if evil is abhorrent to me, I must be a saint. Henry, save me from beatification, from the horrors of static perfection. Precipitate me into the inferno.
Anaïs Nin (Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love": The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1932)
Isn't it only through laughter that we become one with the gods and thus can endure life and can overcome all the horror and waste and suffering here on earth? Like tonight, watching all those brave men meet their fate here, on this shore, on this gentle night, through a karma ordained a thousand lifetimes ago, or perhaps even one. Isn’t it only through laughter we can stay human?
James Clavell (Shōgun (Asian Saga, #1))
I have sat here at my desk, day after day, night after night, a blank sheet of paper before me, unable to lift my pen, trembling and weeping too.
Susan Hill (The Woman in Black)
I slept in your ashes last night. It was like you laid your shadow down before you left. It smelled like hearth smoke and winter air. I made a blanket of the empty space. I pressed my cheek against the place where yours had been.
Victoria Schwab (Gallant)
There was something about her playing... a knowledge of darkness in the most extreme form.
Marisha Pessl (Night Film)
There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either after one of those dreamless nights that make one almost enamoured of death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques, and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one might fancy, especially the art of those whose minds have been troubled with the malady of reverie.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled a great and glorious nation. Favourite amongst his subjects was the court painter of whom he was very proud. Everybody agreed this wizzened old man pianted the greatest pictures in the whole kingdom and the king would spend hours each day gazing at them in wonder. However, one day a dirty and dishevelled stranger presented himself at the court claiming that in fact he was the greatest painter in the land. The indignant king decreed a competition would be held between the two artists, confident it would teach the vagabond an embarrassing lesson. Within a month they were both to produce a masterpiece that would out do the other. After thirty days of working feverishly day and night, both artists were ready. They placed their paintings, each hidden by a cloth, on easels in the great hall of the castle. As a large crowd gathered, the king ordered the cloth be pulled first from the court artist’s easel. Everyone gasped as before them was revealed a wonderful oil painting of a table set with a feast. At its centre was an ornate bowl full of exotic fruits glistening moistly in the dawn light. As the crowd gazed admiringly, a sparrow perched high up on the rafters of the hall swooped down and hungrily tried to snatch one of the grapes from the painted bowl only to hit the canvas and fall down dead with shock at the feet of the king. ’Aha!’ exclaimed the king. ’My artist has produced a painting so wonderful it has fooled nature herself, surely you must agree that he is the greatest painter who ever lived!’ But the vagabond said nothing and stared solemnly at his feet. ’Now, pull the blanket from your painting and let us see what you have for us,’ cried the king. But the tramp remained motionless and said nothing. Growing impatient, the king stepped forward and reached out to grab the blanket only to freeze in horror at the last moment. ’You see,’ said the tramp quietly, ’there is no blanket covering the painting. This is actually just a painting of a cloth covering a painting. And whereas your famous artist is content to fool nature, I’ve made the king of the whole country look like a clueless little twat.
Banksy (Wall and Piece)
The girl looked up to the ceiling and just before she disappeared completely she spoke one last time. ‘They made him eat more flesh,’ she said. ‘Not dead flesh this time. They made him eat the flesh from something that was still alive. He ate flesh from the creature who wept at night.
Frank Lambert (Xyz)
My parents had torn through my innocence and left me with a tar-like substance that was corrupting what was left of me. I could feel it at night; slithering and curling around my soul as it slowly devoured me. It was draining my energy and replacing it with an evil I was afraid to confront.
J.D. Stroube (Caged in Darkness (Caged, #1))
I want to be your last thought at night, and your first taste at dawn.
Nenia Campbell (Horrorscape (Horrorscape, #2))
The Blushing Pansy," his cousin read aloud, in a tone of abject horror. "Tea shop and confectionery." Bram swore. This was going to be ugly.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
A picnic. Picture a forest, a country road, a meadow. Cars drive off the country road into the meadow, a group of young people get out carrying bottles, baskets of food, transistor radios, and cameras. They light fires, pitch tents, turn on the music. In the morning they leave. The animals, birds, and insects that watched in horror through the long night creep out from their hiding places. And what do they see? Old spark plugs and old filters strewn around... Rags, burnt-out bulbs, and a monkey wrench left behind... And of course, the usual mess—apple cores, candy wrappers, charred remains of the campfire, cans, bottles, somebody’s handkerchief, somebody’s penknife, torn newspapers, coins, faded flowers picked in another meadow.
Arkady Strugatsky (Roadside Picnic)
Someone once had said to her that the sky hides the night behind it, shelters the person beneath from the horror that lies above. Unblinking, she fixed the solid emptiness, and the anguish began to move in her. At any moment the rip can occur, the edges fly back, and the giant maw will be revealed.
Paul Bowles (The Sheltering Sky)
I have seen an evil thing this night,' he said; 'I have seen how the dead drink the blood of the living. And the blood is the life.
F. Marion Crawford (For the Blood is the Life and Other Stories)
There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either after one of those dreamless nights that make us almost enamoured of death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques, and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one might fancy, especially the art of those whose minds have been troubled with the malady of reverie. Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains, and they appear to tremble. In black fantastic shapes, dumb shadows crawl into the corners of the room and crouch there. Outside, there is the stirring of birds among the leaves, or the sound of men going forth to their work, or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down from the hills and wandering round the silent house, as though it feared to wake the sleepers and yet must needs call forth sleep from her purple cave. Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. The flameless tapers stand where we had left them, and beside them lies the half-cut book that we had been studying, or the wired flower that we had worn at the ball, or the letter that we had been afraid to read, or that we had read too often. Nothing seems to us changed. Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known. We have to resume it where we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colours, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness and the memories of pleasure their pain.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Of course real horror does not depend upon the melodrama of shadows or even the conspiracies of night.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
He fills me with horror and I do not hate him. How can I hate him, Raoul? Think of Erik at my feet, in the house on the lake, underground. He accuses himself, he curses himself, he implores my forgiveness!...He confesses his cheat. He loves me! He lays at my feet an immense and tragic love. ... He has carried me off for love!...He has imprisoned me with him, underground, for love!...But he respects me: he crawls, he moans, he weeps!...And, when I stood up, Raoul, and told him that I could only despise him if he did not, then and there, give me my liberty...he offered it...he offered to show me the mysterious road...Only...only he rose too...and I was made to remember that, though he was not an angel, nor a ghost, nor a genius, he remained the voice...for he sang. And I listened ... and stayed!...That night, we did not exchange another word. He sang me to sleep.
Gaston Leroux (The Phantom of the Opera)
I can't bury another friend." "You won't." "If anything ever happened to you, Rowan-" "Don't" he breathed. "Don't even say it. We dealt with that enough the other night." He lifted a hand - hesitated, and then brushed back a strand of hair that had fallen across her face. His callused fingers scrapped against her cheekbone, then caressed the shell of her ear. It was foolish to even start down that road, when every other man she'd let in had left some wound, in one way or another, accidentally or not. There was nothing tender in his face. Only a predator's glittering gaze. "When we get back," he said, "remind me to prove you wrong about every thought that just went through your head." She lifted an eyebrow. "Oh?" He gave her a sly smile that made thinking impossible. Exactly what he wanted - to distract her from the horrors of tomorrow. "I'll even let you decide how I tell you: with words"- his eyes flickered once to her mouth- "or with my teeth and tongue.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
Walk with this tomorrow night. If nothing happens, then don’t come back. Forget about us, this place, but if you feel the Nightwalker in you awaken, then return to where you belong. Return to me, and the streets will run red with blood.
Keith Kekic (Chloe of the Night)
A kind of second childhood falls on so many men. They trade their violence for the promise of a small increase of life span. In effect, the head of the house becomes the youngest child. And I have searched myself for this possibility with a kind of horror. For I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I've lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment. I did not want to surrender fierceness for a small gain in yardage. My wife married a man; I saw no reason why she should inherit a baby.
John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley: In Search of America)
The night was filled with horrors, and he thought he knew how Christ must have felt as he walked through the world, like a psychiatrist through a ward full of nuts, like a victim through a prison full of thieves. What a welcome sight a leper must have been!
Joseph Heller
For all the pain you suffered, my mama. For all the torment of your past and future years, my mama. For all the anguish this picture of pain will cause you. For the unspeakable mystery that brings good fathers and sons into the world and lets a mother watch them tear at each other’s throats. For the Master of the Universe, whose suffering world I do not comprehend. For dreams of horror, for nights of waiting, for memories of death, for the love I have for you, for all the things I remember, and for all the things I should remember but have forgotten, for all these I created this painting—an observant Jew working on a crucifixion because there was no aesthetic mold in his own religious tradition into which he could pour a painting of ultimate anguish and torment.
Chaim Potok (My Name Is Asher Lev)
Our own era is one haunted by the shadow of futurity, precisely because there is no future.
Eugene Thacker (Tentacles Longer Than Night: Horror of Philosophy Vol. 3)
She was a predator - a creature of the night who rejoiced in the thrill of the hunt.
Alan Kinross (Longinus The Vampire: Redemption)
Alone,” Aiden said behind her. She turned, puzzled. “I beg your pardon?” He paused. His eyes settled on her lips. “You asked how I slept at night.
Diane L. Kowalyshyn (Double Cross (Cross Your Heart and Die, #2))
The night was full of horrors, and he thought he knew how Christ must have felt as he walked through the world, like a psychiatrist through a ward full of nuts.......
Joseph Heller
Even a zombie lurching through the night can seem pretty cheerful compared to the existential comedy/horror of the ozone layer dissolving under the combined assault of a million fluorocarbon spray cans of deodorant.
Stephen King (Skeleton Crew)
Did you hear that?" Casper said. "Bats," Cheyenne replied. Casper gasped with horror. "You know I hate bats," he hissed. "Bats bats bats bats bats," Cheyenne said. "Stop it! We're not kids anymore!" Casper shouted. "This way, Braveheart.
Peter Lerangis (The Dead of Night (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, #3))
People always pay a lot of money for things that make them stupid.
Dan Simmons (Summer of Night (Seasons of Horror, #1))
That night, the Raka conspirators had plenty of news to report, particularly Ochobu. Aly had not known that the mages of the Chain had been laboring to eliminate any mages who had worked magic on the Crown’s behalf. So far they had killed seven of the most powerful. Chelaol would call this count of the dead another ‘good start,’ Aly thought grimly. This crude business of counting up lives taken struck her as a bad idea. It took the horror from death. When Ochobu named four mages on Lombyn who had had been killed in the streets of their towns, it had been about numbers, not lives. Maybe this is how you become a Rittevon, she thought. You get used to the dead being described as numbers, not fathers or daughters or grandparents. She turned to Dove when Ochobu finished, 'don’t ever be like this,' she urged. 'don’t think that it doesn’t matter if you only hear of murder as a number. If you keep it at a distance.
Tamora Pierce (Trickster's Queen (Daughter of the Lioness, #2))
You were dropped as a child, weren't you?" Varen asked her. "Maybe once or twice," Gwen said, "but at least I wasn't raised by highly literate vampires who, every night just before bed, fed me a steady diet of dark sarcasm and gothic horror fiction." "Every morning before bed," Varen corrected. Stepping forward, he moved toward the headstone. "We slept during the day.
Kelly Creagh (Oblivion (Nevermore, #3))
I heard my step daughter's voice calling for help from the basement, in the middle of the night. I rushed down, only to remember that I had pushed her down the stairs to her death, the night before.
Victorius Kingston
The universal pervasion of ugliness, hideous landscapes, vile noises, foul language...everything. Unnatural, broken, blasted; the distortion of the dead, whose unburiable bodies sit outside the dug outs all day, all night, the most execrable sights on earth. In poetry we call them the most glorious.
Wilfred Owen (The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen)
THIS PAST, THE NEGRO’S PAST, OF ROPE, FIRE, TORTURE…DEATH AND HUMILIATION; FEAR BY DAY AND NIGHT, FEAR AS DEEP AS THE MARROW OF THE BONE…THIS PAST, THIS ENDLESS STRUGGLE TO ACHIEVE AND CONFIRM A HUMAN IDENTITY…YET CONTAINS, FOR ALL ITS HORROR, SOMETHING VERY BEAUTIFUL…. PEOPLE WHO CANNOT SUFFER CAN NEVER GROW UP, CAN NEVER DISCOVER WHO THEY ARE…. —James Baldwin
50 Cent (The 50th Law)
To know of the existence of evil, true evil that corrupted the world, had forever altered her heart and mind. If she had chosen a different path, she wouldn't have slept another night. Her head would have been restless as she thought only of the horrors that might be creeping outside her door, waiting to rend her flesh. She would not live a life as the hunted; she would be the hunter.
Andrea Cremer (Rift (Nightshade Prequel, #1; Nightshade World, #1))
I have almost forgotten the taste of fears: The time has been, my senses would have cool’d to hear a night-shriek; and my fell of hair would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir as life were in’t: I have supt full with horrors; Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts, cannot once start me.
William Shakespeare (Macbeth)
In a culture that prizes the can-do, self-starter attitude, to be a pessimist is simply to be a complainer – if you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem. To live in such a culture is to constantly live in the shadow of an obligatory optimism, a novel type of coercion that is pathologized early on in child education in the assessment: “Does not like to play with others.
Eugene Thacker (Tentacles Longer Than Night: Horror of Philosophy Vol. 3)
The sunset was that long, achingly beautiful balance of stillness in which the sun seemed to hover like a red balloon above the western horizon, the entire sky catching fire from the death of day; a sunset unique to the American Midwest and ignored by most of its inhabitants. The twilight brought the promise of coolness and the certain threat of night.
Dan Simmons (Summer of Night (Seasons of Horror, #1))
You're probably wondering why there's never any good news. I mean, I've been doing this job a few months now. I've been soaking up the paper every week, same as you, and watching the same newsfeeds as you. I got the same list burned into the front of my head as you. Death. Horror. Bad sex. Living nightmares. Each day a little further down the spiral. There's never any good news because they know you. I mean, here's the top of today's column that I discarded: I had a really good time last night down the bar with my assistant and some cheerfully doomed sex fiends of our acquaintance. No one ever sold newspapers by telling you the truth; life just ain't that bad.
Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Vol. 0: Tales of Human Waste)
Outside the window, there slides past that unimaginable and deserted vastness where night is coming on, the sun declining in ghastly blood-streaked splendour like a public execution across, it would seem, half a continent, where live only bears and shooting stars and the wolves who lap congealing ice from water that holds within it the entire sky. All white with snow as if under dustsheets, as if laid away eternally as soon as brought back from the shop, never to be used or touched. Horrors! And, as on a cyclorama, this unnatural spectacle rolls past at twenty-odd miles an hour in a tidy frame of lace curtains only a little the worse for soot and drapes of a heavy velvet of dark, dusty blue.
Angela Carter (Nights at the Circus)
I sat at the foot of a huge tree, a statue of the night, and tried to make an inventory of all I had seen, heard, smelled, and felt: dizziness, horror, stupor, astonishment, joy, enthusiasm, nausea, inescapable attraction. What had attracted me? It was difficult to say: Human kind cannot bear much reality. Yes, the excess of reality had become an unreality, but that unreality had turned suddenly into a balcony from which I peered into—what? Into that which is beyond and still has no name…
Octavio Paz (In Light Of India)
How come you’re in such a good mood? You couldn't have gotten much more sleep than I did last night. Are you a morning person?” I ask in mock horror.“A mornin’ person, well maybe, but let’s just say I got to experience the nicest parts of hell last night,” he says quietly,taking the shirt I offer him. As he rises out of thebed, I can’t help looking over his perfect abdomen and chest before he shrugs into his shirt.“I’m sorry, the nicest parts of hell? What does that mean?” I ask.“Red, yer not a guy, so there’s no point explainin’,
Amy A. Bartol (Inescapable (The Premonition, #1))
I Hear the sledges with the bells - Silver bells! What a world of merriment their melody foretells! How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, In the icy air of night! While the stars that oversprinkle All the heavens, seem to twinkle With a crystalline delight; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells From the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells - From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells. II Hear the mellow wedding bells - Golden bells! What a world of happiness their harmony foretells! Through the balmy air of night How they ring out their delight! - From the molten - golden notes, And all in tune, What a liquid ditty floats To the turtle - dove that listens, while she gloats On the moon! Oh, from out the sounding cells, What a gush of euphony voluminously wells! How it swells! How it dwells On the Future! - how it tells Of the rapture that impels To the swinging and the ringing Of the bells, bells, bells - Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells - To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells! III Hear the loud alarum bells - Brazen bells! What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells! In the startled ear of night How they scream out their affright! Too much horrified to speak, They can only shriek, shriek, Out of tune, In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire, In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire, Leaping higher, higher, higher, With a desperate desire, And a resolute endeavor Now - now to sit, or never, By the side of the pale - faced moon. Oh, the bells, bells, bells! What a tale their terror tells Of Despair! How they clang, and clash and roar! What a horror they outpour On the bosom of the palpitating air! Yet the ear, it fully knows, By the twanging, And the clanging, How the danger ebbs and flows; Yet the ear distinctly tells, In the jangling, And the wrangling, How the danger sinks and swells, By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells - Of the bells - Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells - In the clamor and the clanging of the bells! IV Hear the tolling of the bells - Iron bells! What a world of solemn thought their monody compels! In the silence of the night, How we shiver with affright At the melancholy menace of their tone! For every sound that floats From the rust within their throats Is a groan. And the people - ah, the people - They that dwell up in the steeple, All alone, And who, tolling, tolling, tolling, In that muffled monotone, Feel a glory in so rolling On the human heart a stone - They are neither man nor woman - They are neither brute nor human - They are Ghouls: - And their king it is who tolls: - And he rolls, rolls, rolls, Rolls A paean from the bells! And his merry bosom swells With the paean of the bells! And he dances, and he yells; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the paean of the bells: - Of the bells: Keeping time, time, time In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the throbbing of the bells - Of the bells, bells, bells: - To the sobbing of the bells: - Keeping time, time, time, As he knells, knells, knells, In a happy Runic rhyme, To the rolling of the bells - Of the bells, bells, bells - To the tolling of the bells - Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells, - To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.
Edgar Allan Poe
So in that sense, I and my fellow horror writers are absorbing and defusing all your fears and anxieties and insecurities and taking them upon ourselves. We’re sitting in the darkness beyond the flickering warmth of your fire, cackling into our caldrons and spitting out spider webs of words, all the time sucking the sickness from your minds and spewing it out into the night.
Stephen King
I know what you think of me, O Great Acheron. I know how much you pity me and I don’t need it. Do you honestly think I could ever forget the way you looked at me the first night we met? You stood there with horror in your eyes as you tried not to show it to me. Well, you achieved your good deed. You cleaned up your little foundling and made him all pretty and healthy. But don’t even think that means I have to lick your boots or kiss your ass for it. My days of subjugation are over. (Zarek)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Embrace (Dark-Hunter, #2))
And she arose from her deathbed in a gossamer gown, with eyes the color of starlight and hair as black as the night. And those who were her captors trembled, for the scent of death and madness emanated from her soul, and yet she was not dead. She moved like the spiders that creep in the treetops, and none could look away. Taking her first captor in hand, she fed deep and ravenous. And so it was that Myst, Queen of the Indigo Court, was born from the blood of the dead.
Yasmine Galenorn (Night Myst (Indigo Court, #1))
The dark is settling in. The sky glows yellow- pale- anemic from the city lights. The Tenderloin at night is a real horror show. Every 3 feet someone is accosting you with a plea for a handout or the offer of drug or sex. The men and women wander the streets and alleys with a threatening, violont want. Takers looking to take, hustlers looking to hustle, all trying to satisfy a craving that is parpatually unsatisfiable. And tonight I'm one of them.
Nic Sheff (Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines)
There had stood a great house in the centre of the gardens, where now was left only that fragment of ruin. This house had been empty for a great while; years before his—the ancient man's—birth. It was a place shunned by the people of the village, as it had been shunned by their fathers before them. There were many things said about it, and all were of evil. No one ever went near it, either by day or night. In the village it was a synonym of all that is unholy and dreadful.
William Hope Hodgson (The House on the Borderland)
Allan: That's quite a lovely Jackson Pollock, isn't it? Museum Girl: Yes, it is. Allan: What does it say to you? Museum Girl: It restates the negativeness of the universe. The hideous lonely emptiness of existence. Nothingness. The predicament of Man forced to live in a barren, Godless eternity like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void with nothing but waste, horror and degradation, forming a useless bleak straitjacket in a black absurd cosmos. Allan: What are you doing Saturday night? Museum Girl: Committing suicide. Allan: What about Friday night?
Woody Allen (Play It Again, Sam)
The horror of profound depression, and the hopelessness that usually accompanies it, are hard to imagine for those who have not experienced them. Because the despair is private, it is resistant to clear and compelling description. Novelist William Styron, however, in recounting his struggle with suicidal depression, captures vividly the heavy, inescapable pain that can lead to suicide: What I had begun to discover is that, mysteriously and in ways that are totally remote from normal experience, the gray drizzle of horror induced by depression takes on the quality of physical pain. But it is not an immediately identifiable pain, like that of a broken limb. It may be more accurate to say that despair, owing to some evil trick played upon the sick brain by the inhabiting psyche, comes to resemble the diabolical discomfort of being imprisoned in a fiercely overheated room. And because no breeze stirs this cauldron, because there is no escape from this smothering confinement, it is entirely natural that the victim begins to think ceaselessly of oblivion.
Kay Redfield Jamison (Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide)
Before getting to my mother's house, I would always think of her on the porch or even on the street, sweeping. She had a light way of sweeping, as if removing the dirt were not as important as moving the broom over the ground. Her way of sweeping was symbolic; so airy, so fragile, with a broom she tried to sweep away all the horrors, all the loneliness, all the misery that had accompanied her all her life...
Reinaldo Arenas (Before Night Falls)
It is love. I will have to run or hide. The walls of its prison rise up, as in a twisted dream. The beautiful mask has changed, but as always it is the one. Of what use are my talismans: the literary exercises, the vague erudition, the knowledge of words used by the harsh North to sing its seas and swords, the temperate friendship, the galleries of the Library, the common things, the habits, the young love of my mother, the militant shadow of my dead, the timeless night, the taste of dreams? Being with you or being without you is the measure of my time. Now the pitcher breaks about the spring, now the man arises to the sound of birds, now those that watch at the windows have gone dark, but the darkness has brought no peace. It, I know, is love: the anxiety and the relief at hearing your voice, the expectation and the memory, the horror of living in succession. It is love with its mythologies, with its tiny useless magics. There exists a corner that I dare not cross. Now the armies confine me, the hordes. (This room is unreal; she has not seen it.) The name of a woman gives me away. A woman hurts me in all of my body.
Jorge Luis Borges
He talked about terrible meetings in lonely places, of cyclopean ruins in the heart of the Maine woods beneath which vast staircases led down to abysses of nighted secrets, of complex angles that led through invisible walls to other regions of space and time, and of hideous exchanges of personality that permitted explorations in remote and forbidden places, on other worlds, and in different space-time continua.
H.P. Lovecraft (The Thing on the Doorstep)
Then Night came down like the feathery soot of a smoky lamp, and smutted[9] first the bedquilt, then the hearth-rug, then the window-seat, and then at last the great, stormy, faraway outside world. But sleep did not come. Oh, no! Nothing new came at all except that particularly wretched, itching type of insomnia which seems to rip away from one's body the whole kind, protecting skin and expose all the raw, ticklish fretwork of nerves to the mercy of a gritty blanket or a wrinkled sheet. Pain came too, in its most brutally high night-tide; and sweat, like the smother of furs in summer; and thirst like the scrape of hot sand-paper; and chill like the clammy horror of raw fish.
Eleanor Hallowell Abbott (Molly Make-believe)
She had a horror he would die at night. And sometimes when the light began to fade She could not keep from noticing how white The birches looked — and then she would be afraid, Even with a lamp, to go about the house And lock the windows; and as night wore on Toward morning, if a dog howled, or a mouse Squeaked in the floor, long after it was gone Her flesh would sit awry on her. By day She would forget somewhat, and it would seem A silly thing to go with just this dream And get a neighbor to come at night and stay. But it would strike her sometimes, making tea: _She had kept that kettle boiling all night long, for company._
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Mademoiselle De Lafontaine – in right of her father, who was a German, assumed to be psychological, metaphysical and something of a mystic – now declared that when the moon shone with a light so intense it was well known that it indicated a special spiritual activity. The effect of the full moon in such a state of brilliancy was manifold. It acted on dreams, it acted on lunacy, it acted on nervous people; it had marvelous physical influences connected with life. Mademoiselle related that here cousin, who was mate of a merchant ship, having taken a nap on deck on such a night, lying on his back, with his face full in the light of the moon, had wakened, after a dream of an old woman clawing him by the cheek, with his features horribly drawn to one side; and his countenance had never quite recovered its equilibrium.
J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
Trippers and askers surround me, People I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward and city I live in, or the nation, The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old and new, My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues, The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love, The sickness of one of my folks or of myself, or ill-doing or loss or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations, Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news, the fitful events; These come to me days and nights and go from me again, But they are not the Me myself. Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am, Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary, Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest, Looking with side-curved head curious what will come next, Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it. Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with linguists and contenders, I have no mockings or arguments, I witness and wait.
Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)
For Werner, doubts turn up regularly. Racial purity, political purity—Bastian speaks to a horror of any sort of corruption, and yet, Werner wonders in the dead of night, isn’t life a kind of corruption? A child is born, and the world sets in upon it. Taking things from it, stuffing things into it. Each bite of food, each particle of light entering the eye—the body can never be pure. But this is what the commandant insists upon, why the Reich measures their noses, clocks their hair color. The entropy of a closed system never decreases.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
My sweetheart, my love, my love, my love—do you know what—all the happiness of the world, the riches, power and adventures, all the promises of religions, all the enchantment of nature and even human fame are not worth your two letters. It was a night of horror, terrible anguish, when I imagined that your undelivered letter, stuck at some unknown post office, was being destroyed like a sick little stray dog . . . But today it arrived—and now it seems to me that in the mailbox where it was lying, in the sack where it was shaking, all the other letters absorbed, just by touching it, your unique charm and that that day all Germans received strange wonderful letters—letters that had gone mad because they had touched your handwriting. The thought that you exist is so divinely blissful in itself that it is ridiculous to talk about the everyday sadness of separation—a week’s, ten days’—what does it matter? since my whole life belongs to you. I wake at night and know that you are together with me,—I sense your sweet long legs, your neck through your hair, your trembling eyelashes—and then such happiness, such simmering bliss follows me in my dreams that I simply suffocate . . .
Vladimir Nabokov (Letters to Vera)
If there was a moment that determined the course of my future, I'm pretty sure this was it. I had two somewhat simple choices. I could make a run for it and go back to Uncle Al's. Back to the bonfire where my cousins and dear sister would be drinking and revel in the normalcy of a Saturday night and forget I ever went to this horrid place and ran into this weirdo. Or I could go with said weirdo up the stairs in this decrepit old lighthouse, which was most likely condemned and unsafe, towards some unknown person (or thing) that was walking around, potentially waiting to murder us in horrific ways. It didn't seem like a very hard decision to make. In fact, I think 99.7% of people in the right frame of mind would have picked from column A and gone on with their merry lives. But for some freaking crazy reason, I thought that maybe, just maybe I should go with this stranger up those kelp-ridden stairs and toward the lair of unimaginable horror. You know, because it was the more interesting alternative.
Karina Halle (Darkhouse (Experiment in Terror, #1))
Oh, we can populate the dark with horrors, even we who think ourselves informed and sure, believing nothing we cannot measure or weigh. I knew beyond all doubt that the dark things crowding in on me either did not exist or were not dangerous to me, and still I was afraid. I thought how terrible the nights must have been in a time when men knew the things were there and were deadly. But no, that's wrong. If I knew they were there, I would have weapons against them, charms, prayers, some kind of alliance with forces equally strong but on my side. Knowing they were not there made me defenseless against them and perhaps more afraid.
John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley: In Search of America)
[M]y mother read a horror novel every night. She had read every one in the library. When birthdays and Christmas would come, I would consider buying her a new one, the latest Dean R. Koontz or Stephen King or whatever, but I couldn't. I didn't want to encourage her. I couldn't touch my father's cigarettes, couldn't look at the Pall Mall cartons in the pantry. I was the sort of child who couldn't even watch commercials for horror movies - the ad for Magic, the movie where marionette kills people. sent me into a six-month nightmare frenzy. So I couldn't look at her books, would turn them over so their covers wouldn't show, the raised lettering and splotches of blood - especially the V.C. Andrews oeuvre, those turgid pictures of those terrible kids, standing so still, all lit in blue.
Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
Walpurgis Night, when, according to the belief of millions of people, the devil was abroad - when the graves were opened and the dead came forth and walked. When all evil things of earth and air and water held revel. This very place the driver had specially shunned. This was the depopulated village of centuries ago. This was where the suicide lay; and this was the place where I was, alone - unmanned, shivering with cold in a shroud of snow with a wild storm gathering again upon me! It took all my philosophy, all the religion I had been taught, all my courage, not to collapse in a paroxysm of fright. (Dracula's Guest)
Bram Stoker (Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Tales)
He looks up. Again, it is there in the sky. The planet of awesome size, lit by no sun. An invisible titan, all thick black forests and jagged mountains and deep, turbulent oceans. It is very close now. So close that he wonders if he could touch it. As he reaches up, he thinks he sees movement on its surface. Through the canopy of the forests and upon the slopes of the mountains and on the shores of the churning ocean. People maybe. Crowds of people all wrapped in white cloth. They are leaning into each other like dropped puppets. They sway lifelessly. He feels horror in the back of his throat, but still he reaches up.  He can’t help himself. It’s just what he does next.
Joseph Fink (Welcome to Night Vale)
Love was the greatest thing, wasn't it? Love was what we had that no one else had or could ever have? And you were a genius and I was your whole life. I was your partner and your little black flower. Slop. Love is just another dirty lie. Love is ergoapiol pills to make me come around because you were afraid to have a baby. Love is quinine and quinine and quinine until I'm deaf with it. Love is that aborting horror you took me to. Love is my insides all messed up. It's half catheters and half whirling douches. I know about love. Love always hangs up behind the bathroom door. It smells like lysol. To hell with love. Love is you making me happy and then going off to sleep with your mouth open while I lie awake all night afraid to say my prayers even because I know I have no right to say anymore. Love is all the dirty little tricks you taught me that you probably got out of some book. All right. I'm through with you and I'm through with love. Your kind of picknose love. You writer.
Ernest Hemingway (To Have and Have Not)
When the great ship containing the hopes and aspirations of the world, when the great ship freighted with mankind goes down in the night of death, chaos and disaster, I am willing to go down with the ship. I will not be guilty of the ineffable meanness of paddling away in some orthodox canoe. I will go down with the ship, with those who love me, and with those whom I have loved. If there is a God who will damn his children forever, I would rather go to hell than to go to heaven and keep the society of such an infamous tyrant. I make my choice now. I despise that doctrine. It has covered the cheeks of this world with tears. It has polluted the hearts of children, and poisoned the imaginations of men. It has been a constant pain, a perpetual terror to every good man and woman and child. It has filled the good with horror and with fear; but it has had no effect upon the infamous and base. It has wrung the hearts of the tender; it has furrowed the cheeks of the good. This doctrine never should be preached again. What right have you, sir, Mr. clergyman, you, minister of the gospel, to stand at the portals of the tomb, at the vestibule of eternity, and fill the future with horror and with fear? I do not believe this doctrine: neither do you. If you did, you could not sleep one moment. Any man who believes it, and has within his breast a decent, throbbing heart, will go insane. A man who believes that doctrine and does not go insane has the heart of a snake and the conscience of a hyena.
Robert G. Ingersoll (The Liberty Of Man, Woman And Child)
Just look at this life: the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and brutishness of the weak, impossible poverty all around us, overcrowding, degeneracy, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lies...Yet in all the houses and streets it's quiet, peaceful; of the fifty thousand people who live in town there is not one who would cry out or become loudly indignant. We see those who go to the market to buy food, eat during the day, sleep during the night, who talk their nonsense, get married, grow old, complacently drag their dead to the cemetery; but we don't see or hear those who suffer, and the horrors of life go on somewhere behind the scenes. Everything is quiet, peaceful, and only mute statistics protest: so many gone mad, so many buckets drunk, so many children dead of malnutrition... And this order is obviously necessary; obviously the happy man feels good only because the unhappy bear their burden silently, and without that silence happiness would be impossible. It's a general hypnosis. At the door of every happy, contented man somebody should stand with a little hammer, constantly tapping, to remind him that unhappy people exist, that however happy he may be, sooner or later life will show him its claws, some calamity will befall him--illness, poverty, loss--and nobody will hear or see, just as he doesn't hear or see others now. But there is nobody with a little hammer, the happy man lives on, and the petty cares of life stir him only slightly, as wind stirs an aspen--and everything is fine.
Anton Chekhov (Five Great Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions: Short Stories))
Here's what you need to know: some cliches are true, and war is definitely hell. It's being afraid all the time, and when you're not afraid it's because you're pumped full of adrenaline you could literally burst. It's watching people who you love- really profoundly love- get blown to pieces right next to you. It's seeing a leg lying in the ditch and picking it up to put it in a bag because no man- or part of a man, your friend- can be left behind. It's the dark night of the soul. There's no front line over there. The war is all around them, every day, everywhere they go. Some handle it better than others. We don't know why, but we do know this: the human mind can't safely or healthily process that kind of carnage and uncertainty and horror. It just can't. No one comes back from war the same.
Kristin Hannah (Home Front)
The He reaches out and lays His cold hand on my head, and His grace and understanding fill me, burning away all vestiges of d'Albret's evil darkness weighing on my soul until the only darkness that remains is that of beauty. The darkness of mystery, and questions, and the endless night sky, and the deep caverns of the earth. I know then that what Beast said was true: I am a survivor, and the taint of the d'Albrets was but a disguise I wore so that I could pass among them. It is no more a true part of me than the cloak on my back or the jewels I wear. And just as love has two sides, so too does Death. While Ismae will serve as His mercy. I will not, for that is not how He fashioned me. Every death I have witnessed, every horror I have endured, has forged me to be who I am - Death's justice. If I had not experienced these things firsthand, then the desire to protect the innocent would not burn so brightly within me. There in the darkness, shielded by my father's grace, I bow my head and weep. I weep for all that I have lost, but also for what I have found, for there are tears of joy mixed in with those of sorrow. I let the light of His great love fill me, burning away all the tendrils and traces of d'Albret's darkness, until I am clean, and whole, and new.
R.L. LaFevers (Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2))
She said to me, over the phone She wanted to see other people I thought, Well then, look around. They're everywhere Said that she was confused... I thought, Darling, join the club 24 years old, Mid-life crisis Nowadays hits you when you're young I hung up, She called back, I hung up again The process had already started At least it happened quick I swear, I died inside that night My friend, he called I didn't mention a thing The last thing he said was, Be sound Sound... I contemplated an awful thing, I hate to admit I just thought those would be such appropriate last words But I'm still here And small So small.. How could this struggle seem so big? So big... While the palms in the breeze still blow green And the waves in the sea still absolute blue But the horror Every single thing I see is a reminder of her Never thought I'd curse the day I met her And since she's gone and wouldn't hear Who would care? What good would that do? But I'm still here So I imagine in a month...or 12 I'll be somewhere having a drink Laughing at a stupid joke Or just another stupid thing And I can see myself stopping short Drifting out of the present Sucked by the undertow and pulled out deep And there I am, standing Wet grass and white headstones all in rows And in the distance there's one, off on its own So I stop, kneel My new home... And I picture a sober awakening, a re-entry into this little bar scene Sip my drink til the ice hits my lip Order another round And that's it for now Sorry Never been too good at happy endings...
Eddie Vedder
What's the deal with the bossman?" Urian asked him. Alexion shrugged. "I don't know. He came in last night with a book, went to his room to read, I suppose, and then he came out here this morning and has been playing . . . those songs ever since." Those songs were ballads, which Acheron never played. God-smack, Sex Pistols, TSOL, Judas Priest, but not . . . "Is that . . ." Urian physically cringed before he spat out the name, "Julio Iglesias?" "Enrique." Urian grimaced in horror. "I didn't even know he knew any mellow shit. Dear gods . . .is he ill?" "I don't know. In nine thousand years, I've never seen him like this before." Urian shuddered. "I'm beginning to get scared. This has to be a sign of the Apocalypse. If he breaks out into Air Supply, I say we sneeak up on him, drag him outside and beat the holy shit out of him.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
Let us suppose that the great empire of China, with all its myriads of inhabitants, was suddenly swallowed up by an earthquake, and let us consider how a man of humanity in Europe, who had no sort of connection with that part of the world, would be affected upon receiving intelligence of this dreadful calamity. He would, I imagine, first of all, express very strongly his sorrow for the misfortune of that unhappy people, he would make many melancholy reflections upon the precariousness of human life, and the vanity of all the labours of man, which could thus be annihilated in a moment. He would too, perhaps, if he was a man of speculation, enter into many reasonings concerning the effects which this disaster might produce upon the commerce of Europe, and the trade and business of the world in general. And when all this fine philosophy was over, when all these humane sentiments had been once fairly expressed, he would pursue his business or his pleasure, take his repose or his diversion, with the same ease and tranquillity, as if no such accident had happened. The most frivolous disaster which could befall himself would occasion a more real disturbance. If he was to lose his little finger to-morrow, he would not sleep to-night; but, provided he never saw them, he will snore with the most profound security over the ruin of a hundred millions of his brethren, and the destruction of that immense multitude seems plainly an object less interesting to him, than this paltry misfortune of his own. To prevent, therefore, this paltry misfortune to himself, would a man of humanity be willing to sacrifice the lives of a hundred millions of his brethren, provided he had never seen them? Human nature startles with horror at the thought, and the world, in its greatest depravity and corruption, never produced such a villain as could be capable of entertaining it. But what makes this difference? When our passive feelings are almost always so sordid and so selfish, how comes it that our active principles should often be so generous and so noble? When we are always so much more deeply affected by whatever concerns ourselves, than by whatever concerns other men; what is it which prompts the generous, upon all occasions, and the mean upon many, to sacrifice their own interests to the greater interests of others? It is not the soft power of humanity, it is not that feeble spark of benevolence which Nature has lighted up in the human heart, that is thus capable of counteracting the strongest impulses of self-love. It is a stronger power, a more forcible motive, which exerts itself upon such occasions. It is reason, principle, conscience, the inhabitant of the breast, the man within, the great judge and arbiter of our conduct.
Adam Smith (The Theory of Moral Sentiments)
[excerpt] The usual I say. Essence. Spirit. Medicine. A taste. I say top shelf. Straight up. A shot. A sip. A nip. I say another round. I say brace yourself. Lift a few. Hoist a few. Work the elbow. Bottoms up. Belly up. Set ‘em up. What’ll it be. Name your poison. I say same again. I say all around. I say my good man. I say my drinking buddy. I say git that in ya. Then a quick one. Then a nightcap. Then throw one back. Then knock one down. Fast & furious I say. Could savage a drink I say. Chug. Chug-a-lug. Gulp. Sauce. Mother’s milk. Everclear. Moonshine. White lightning. Firewater. Hootch. Relief. Now you’re talking I say. Live a little I say. Drain it I say. Kill it I say. Feeling it I say. Wobbly. Breakfast of champions I say. I say candy is dandy but liquor is quicker. I say Houston, we have a drinking problem. I say the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. I say god only knows what I’d be without you. I say thirsty. I say parched. I say wet my whistle. Dying of thirst. Lap it up. Hook me up. Watering hole. Knock a few back. Pound a few down. My office. Out with the boys I say. Unwind I say. Nurse one I say. Apply myself I say. Toasted. Glow. A cold one a tall one a frosty I say. One for the road I say. Two-fisted I say. Never trust a man who doesn’t drink I say. Drink any man under the table I say. Then a binge then a spree then a jag then a bout. Coming home on all fours. Could use a drink I say. A shot of confidence I say. Steady my nerves I say. Drown my sorrows. I say kill for a drink. I say keep ‘em comin’. I say a stiff one. Drink deep drink hard hit the bottle. Two sheets to the wind then. Knackered then. Under the influence then. Half in the bag then. Out of my skull I say. Liquored up. Rip-roaring. Slammed. Fucking jacked. The booze talking. The room spinning. Feeling no pain. Buzzed. Giddy. Silly. Impaired. Intoxicated. Stewed. Juiced. Plotzed. Inebriated. Laminated. Swimming. Elated. Exalted. Debauched. Rock on. Drunk on. Bring it on. Pissed. Then bleary. Then bloodshot. Glassy-eyed. Red-nosed. Dizzy then. Groggy. On a bender I say. On a spree. I say off the wagon. I say on a slip. I say the drink. I say the bottle. I say drinkie-poo. A drink a drunk a drunkard. Swill. Swig. Shitfaced. Fucked up. Stupefied. Incapacitated. Raging. Seeing double. Shitty. Take the edge off I say. That’s better I say. Loaded I say. Wasted. Off my ass. Befuddled. Reeling. Tanked. Punch-drunk. Mean drunk. Maintenance drunk. Sloppy drunk happy drunk weepy drunk blind drunk dead drunk. Serious drinker. Hard drinker. Lush. Drink like a fish. Boozer. Booze hound. Alkie. Sponge. Then muddled. Then woozy. Then clouded. What day is it? Do you know me? Have you seen me? When did I start? Did I ever stop? Slurring. Reeling. Staggering. Overserved they say. Drunk as a skunk they say. Falling down drunk. Crawling down drunk. Drunk & disorderly. I say high tolerance. I say high capacity. They say protective custody. Blitzed. Shattered. Zonked. Annihilated. Blotto. Smashed. Soaked. Screwed. Pickled. Bombed. Stiff. Frazzled. Blasted. Plastered. Hammered. Tore up. Ripped up. Destroyed. Whittled. Plowed. Overcome. Overtaken. Comatose. Dead to the world. The old K.O. The horrors I say. The heebie-jeebies I say. The beast I say. The dt’s. B’jesus & pink elephants. A mindbender. Hittin’ it kinda hard they say. Go easy they say. Last call they say. Quitting time they say. They say shut off. They say dry out. Pass out. Lights out. Blackout. The bottom. The walking wounded. Cross-eyed & painless. Gone to the world. Gone. Gonzo. Wrecked. Sleep it off. Wake up on the floor. End up in the gutter. Off the stuff. Dry. Dry heaves. Gag. White knuckle. Lightweight I say. Hair of the dog I say. Eye-opener I say. A drop I say. A slug. A taste. A swallow. Down the hatch I say. I wouldn’t say no I say. I say whatever he’s having. I say next one’s on me. I say bottoms up. Put it on my tab. I say one more. I say same again
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
Dear Madam Vorsoisson, I am sorry. This is the eleventh draft of this letter. They’ve all started with those three words, even the horrible version in rhyme, so I guess they stay. You once asked me never to lie to you. All right, so. I’ll tell you the truth now even if it isn’t the best or cleverest thing, and not abject enough either. I tried to be the thief of you, to ambush and take prisoner what I thought I could never earn or be given. You were not a ship to be hijacked, but I couldn’t think of any other plan but subterfuge and surprise. Though not as much of a surprise as what happened at dinner. The revolution started prematurely because the idiot conspirator blew up his secret ammo dump and lit the sky with his intentions. Sometimes these accidents end in new nations, but more often they end badly, in hangings and beheadings. And people running into the night. I can’t be sorry that I asked you to marry me, because that was the one true part in all the smoke and rubble, but I’m sick as hell that I asked you so badly. Even though I’d kept my counsel from you, I should have at least had the courtesy to keep it from others as well, till you’d had the year of grace and rest you’d asked for. But I became terrified that you’d choose another first. So I used the garden as a ploy to get near you. I deliberately and consciously shaped your heart’s desire into a trap. For this I am more than sorry, I am ashamed. You’d earned every chance to grow. I’d like to pretend I didn’t see it would be a conflict of interest for me to be the one to give you some of those chances, but that would be another lie. But it made me crazy to watch you constrained to tiny steps, when you could be outrunning time. There is only a brief moment of apogee to do that, in most lives. I love you. But I lust after and covet so much more than your body. I wanted to possess the power of your eyes, the way they see form and beauty that isn’t even there yet and draw it up out of nothing into the solid world. I wanted to own the honor of your heart, unbowed in the vilest horrors of Komarr. I wanted your courage and your will, your caution and your serenity. I wanted, I suppose, your soul, and that was too much to want. I wanted to give you a victory. But by their essential nature triumphs can’t be given. They must be taken, and the worse the odds and the fiercer the resistance, the greater the honor. Victories can’t be gifts. But gifts can be victories, can’t they. It’s what you said. The garden could have been your gift, a dowry of talent, skill, and vision. I know it’s too late now, but I just wanted to say, it would have been a victory most worthy of our House. Yours to command, Miles Vorkosigan
Lois McMaster Bujold (A Civil Campaign (Vorkosigan Saga, #12))
There's a class of things to be afraid of: it's "those things that you should be afraid of". Those are the things that go bump in the night, right? You're always exposed to them when you go to horror movies, especially if they're not the gore type of horror movie. They're always hinting at something that's going on outside of your perceptual sphere, and they frighten you because you don't know what's out there. For that the Blair Witch Project was a really good example, because nothing ever happens in that movie but it's frightenting and not gory. It plays on the fact tht you do have a category of Those Things Of Which You Should Be Afraid. So it's a category, frightening things. And only things capable of abstraction can come up with something like the caregory of frightenting things. And so Kali is like an embodied representation of the category of frightening things. And then you might ask yourself, well once you come up with the concept of the category of frightening things, maybe you can come up with the concept of what to do in the face of frightening things. Which is not the same as "what do you do when you encounter a lion", or "what do you do when you encounter someone angry". It's a meta question, right? But then you could say, at a philosophical level: "You will encounter elements of the category of all those things which can frighten and undermine you during your life. Is there something that you can do *as a category* that would help you deal with that." And the answer is yeah, there is in fact. And that's what a lot of religious stories and symbolic stories are trying to propose to you, is the solution to that. One is, approach it voluntarily. Carefully, but voluntarily. Don't freeze and run away. Explore, instead. You expose yourself to risk but you gain knowledge. And you wouldn't have a cortex which, you know, is ridiculously disproportionate, if as a species we hadn't decided that exploration trumps escape or freezing. We explore. That can make you the master of a situation, so you can be the master of something like fire without being terrified of it. One of the things that the Hindus do in relationship to Kali, is offer sacrifices. So you can say, well why would you offer sacrifices to something you're afraid of. And it's because that is what you do, that's always what you do. You offer up sacrifices to the unknown in the hope that good things will happen to you. One example is that you're worried about your future. Maybe you're worried about your job, or who you're going to marry, or your family, there's a whole category of things to be worried about, so you're worried about your future. SO what're you doing in university? And the answer is you're sacrificing your free time in the present, to the cosmos so to speak, in the hope that if you offer up that sacrifice properly, the future will smile upon you. And that's one of the fundamental discoveries of the human race. And it's a big deal, that discovery: by changing what you cling to in the present, you can alter the future.
Jordan B. Peterson
She pressed her hands against my chest and tried to push me away. "I can't think straight when you 're this close." I backed her up against the wall. "I don't like the thoughts running through your head. I plan on staying here until you look me in the eye and tell me you 're mine." "This isn't going to work. It never would have." "Bullshit. We belong together." Echo sniffed and the sound tore at me. I softened my voice. "Look at me, baby. I know you love me. Three nights ago you were willing to offer everything to me. There is no way you can walk away from us." "God Noah..." Her voice broke. "I'm a mess." A mess? "You 're beautiful." "I'm a mental mess. In two months you 're going to face some judge and convince him that you are the best person to raise your brothers. I'm a liability." "Not true. My brothers will love you and you 'll love them. You are not a liability." "But how will the judge see me? Are you really willing too take that risk? [...] What happens if the judge find out about me? What if he discovers what a mess you 're dating?" Breathing became a painful chore. Her lips turned down while her warm fingers caressed my cheek. That touch typically brought me to knees, but now it cut me open. "Did you know that when you stop being stubborn and accept i may be right on something, your eyes widen a little and you tilt your head to the side?" she asked. I forced my head straight and narrowed my eyes. "I love you." She flashed her glorious smile and then it became the saddest smile in the world. "You love your brothers more. I'm okay with that. In fact, it's one of the things i love about you. You were right the other day. I do want to be a part of a family. But i'd never forgive myself if i was the reason you didn't get yours." To my horror, tears pricked my eyes and my throat swelled shut. "No, you 're not pulling this sacrificial bullshit on me. I love you and you love me and we 're supposed to be together." Echo pressed her body to mine and her fingers clung to my hair. Water glistened in her eyes. "I love you enough to never make you choose." She pushed off her toes toward me, guiding my head down, and gently kissed my lips. No. This wouldn't be goudbye. I'd fill her up and make her realize she'd always be empty without me. I made Echo mine. My hands claimed her hair, her back. My lips claimed her mouth, her tongue. Her body shook against mine and i tasted salty wetness on her skin. She forced her lips away and i latched tighter to her. "No, baby, no," i whispered into her hair. She pushed her palms against my chest, then became a blur as she ran past. "I'm sorry.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
However, the struggle with that sentinel is, as a rule, not so hard as it may seem from a long way off, mainly in consequence of the antagonism between the ills of the body and the ills of the mind. If we are in great bodily pain, or the pain lasts a long time, we become indifferent to other troubles; all we think about is to get well. In the same way great mental suffering makes us insensible to bodily pain; we despise it; nay, if it should outweigh the other, it distracts our thoughts, and we welcome it as a pause in mental suffering. It is this feeling that makes suicide easy; for the bodily pain that accompanies it loses all significance in the eyes of one who is tortured by an excess of mental suffering. This is especially evident in the case of those who are driven to suicide by some purely morbid and exaggerated ill-humor. No special effort to overcome their feelings is necessary, nor do such people require to be worked up in order to take the step; but as soon as the keeper into whose charge they are given leaves them for a couple of minutes, they quickly bring their life to an end. When, in some dreadful and ghastly dream, we reach the moment of greatest horror, it awakes us; thereby banishing all the hideous shapes that were born of the night. And life is a dream: when the moment of greatest horror compels us to break it off, the same thing happens.
Arthur Schopenhauer (Studies in Pessimism: The Essays)
For, indeed, this is the great horror, solitude, when the soul can no longer bathe in the ever-changing mind, laugh as its sunlit ripples lap its skin, but, shut up in the castle of a few thoughts, paces its narrow prison, wearing down the stone of time, feeding on its own excrement. There is no star in the blackness of that night, no foam upon the stagnant and putrid sea. Even the glittering health that the desert brings to the body, is like a spear in the soul's throat. The passionate ache to act, to think: this eats into the soul like a cancer. It is the scorpion striking itself in its agony, save that no poison can add to the tortue of the circling fire; no superflux of anguish relieve it by annihilation. But against these paroxisms is an eightfold sedative. The ravings of madness are lost in soundless space; the struggles of the drowning man are not heeded by the sea.
Aleister Crowley (The Soul of the Desert)
I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch – hay fever, I fancy it was. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases, generally. I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into – some fearful, devastating scourge, I know – and, before I had glanced half down the list of “premonitory symptoms,” it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it. I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever – read the symptoms – discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it – wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus’s Dance – found, as I expected, that I had that too, – began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically – read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright’s disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid’s knee. ... I had walked into that reading-room a happy, healthy man. I crawled out a decrepit wreck. I went to my medical man. He is an old chum of mine, and feels my pulse, and looks at my tongue, and talks about the weather, all for nothing, when I fancy I’m ill; so I thought I would do him a good turn by going to him now. “What a doctor wants,” I said, “is practice. He shall have me. He will get more practice out of me than out of seventeen hundred of your ordinary, commonplace patients, with only one or two diseases each.” So I went straight up and saw him, and he said: “Well, what’s the matter with you?” I said: “I will not take up your time, dear boy, with telling you what is the matter with me. Life is brief, and you might pass away before I had finished. But I will tell you what is NOT the matter with me. I have not got housemaid’s knee. Why I have not got housemaid’s knee, I cannot tell you; but the fact remains that I have not got it. Everything else, however, I HAVE got.” And I told him how I came to discover it all. Then he opened me and looked down me, and clutched hold of my wrist, and then he hit me over the chest when I wasn’t expecting it – a cowardly thing to do, I call it – and immediately afterwards butted me with the side of his head. After that, he sat down and wrote out a prescription, and folded it up and gave it me, and I put it in my pocket and went out. I did not open it. I took it to the nearest chemist’s, and handed it in. The man read it, and then handed it back. He said he didn’t keep it. I said: “You are a chemist?” He said: “I am a chemist. If I was a co-operative stores and family hotel combined, I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers me.” I read the prescription. It ran: “1 lb. beefsteak, with 1 pt. bitter beer every 6 hours. 1 ten-mile walk every morning. 1 bed at 11 sharp every night. And don’t stuff up your head with things you don’t understand.” I followed the directions, with the happy result – speaking for myself – that my life was preserved, and is still going on.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
When reading the history of the Jewish people, of their flight from slavery to death, of their exchange of tyrants, I must confess that my sympathies are all aroused in their behalf. They were cheated, deceived and abused. Their god was quick-tempered unreasonable, cruel, revengeful and dishonest. He was always promising but never performed. He wasted time in ceremony and childish detail, and in the exaggeration of what he had done. It is impossible for me to conceive of a character more utterly detestable than that of the Hebrew god. He had solemnly promised the Jews that he would take them from Egypt to a land flowing with milk and honey. He had led them to believe that in a little while their troubles would be over, and that they would soon in the land of Canaan, surrounded by their wives and little ones, forget the stripes and tears of Egypt. After promising the poor wanderers again and again that he would lead them in safety to the promised land of joy and plenty, this God, forgetting every promise, said to the wretches in his power:—'Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness and your children shall wander until your carcasses be wasted.' This curse was the conclusion of the whole matter. Into this dust of death and night faded all the promises of God. Into this rottenness of wandering despair fell all the dreams of liberty and home. Millions of corpses were left to rot in the desert, and each one certified to the dishonesty of Jehovah. I cannot believe these things. They are so cruel and heartless, that my blood is chilled and my sense of justice shocked. A book that is equally abhorrent to my head and heart, cannot be accepted as a revelation from God. When we think of the poor Jews, destroyed, murdered, bitten by serpents, visited by plagues, decimated by famine, butchered by each, other, swallowed by the earth, frightened, cursed, starved, deceived, robbed and outraged, how thankful we should be that we are not the chosen people of God. No wonder that they longed for the slavery of Egypt, and remembered with sorrow the unhappy day when they exchanged masters. Compared with Jehovah, Pharaoh was a benefactor, and the tyranny of Egypt was freedom to those who suffered the liberty of God. While reading the Pentateuch, I am filled with indignation, pity and horror. Nothing can be sadder than the history of the starved and frightened wretches who wandered over the desolate crags and sands of wilderness and desert, the prey of famine, sword, and plague. Ignorant and superstitious to the last degree, governed by falsehood, plundered by hypocrisy, they were the sport of priests, and the food of fear. God was their greatest enemy, and death their only friend. It is impossible to conceive of a more thoroughly despicable, hateful, and arrogant being, than the Jewish god. He is without a redeeming feature. In the mythology of the world he has no parallel. He, only, is never touched by agony and tears. He delights only in blood and pain. Human affections are naught to him. He cares neither for love nor music, beauty nor joy. A false friend, an unjust judge, a braggart, hypocrite, and tyrant, sincere in hatred, jealous, vain, and revengeful, false in promise, honest in curse, suspicious, ignorant, and changeable, infamous and hideous:—such is the God of the Pentateuch.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
It was an old hunter in camp and the hunter shared tobacco with him and told him of the buffalo and the stands he'd made against them, laid up in a sag on some rise with the dead animals scattered over the grounds and the herd beginning to mill and the riflebarrel so hot the wiping patches sizzled in the bore and the animals by the thousands and the tens of thousands and the hides pegged out over actual square miles of ground the teams of skinners spelling one another around the clock and the shooting and shooting weeks and months till the bore shot slick and the stock shot loose at the tang and their shoulders were yellow and blue to the elbow and the tandem wagons groaned away over the prairie twenty and twenty-two ox teams and the flint hides by the hundred ton and the meat rotting on the ground and the air whining with flies and the buzzards and ravens and the night a horror of snarling and feeding with the wolves half-crazed and wallowing in the carrion. I seen Studebaker wagons with six and eight ox teams headed out for the grounds not hauling a thing but lead. Just pure galena. Tons of it. On this ground alone between the Arkansas River and the Concho there were eight million carcasses for that's how many hides reached the railhead. Two years ago we pulled out from Griffin for a last hunt. We ransacked the country. Six weeks. Finally found a herd of eight animals and we killed them and come in. They're gone. Ever one of them that God ever made is gone as if they'd never been at all. The ragged sparks blew down the wind. The prairie about them lay silent. Beyond the fire it was cold and the night was clear and the stars were falling. The old hunter pulled his blanket about him. I wonder if there's other worlds like this, he said. Or if this is the only one.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or, the Evening Redness in the West)
Filth, filth, filth, from morning to night. I know they're poor but they could wash. Water is free and soap is cheap. Just look at that arm, nurse.' The nurse looked and clucked in horror. Francie stood there with the hot flamepoints of shame burning her face. The doctor was a Harvard man, interning at the neighborhood hospital. Once a week, he was obliged to put in a few hours at one of the free clinics. He was going into a smart practice in Boston when his internship was over. Adopting the phraseology of the neighborhood, he referred to his Brooklyn internship as going through Purgatory, when he wrote to his socially prominent fiancee in Boston. The nurse was as Williamsburg girl... The child of poor Polish immigrants, she had been ambitious, worked days in a sweatshop and gone to school at night. Somehow she had gotten her training... She didn't want anyone to know she had come from the slums. After the doctor's outburst, Francie stood hanging her head. She was a dirty girl. That's what the doctor meant. He was talking more quietly now asking the nurse how that kind of people could survive; that it would be a better world if they were all sterilized and couldn't breed anymore. Did that mean he wanted her to die? Would he do something to make her die because her hands and arms were dirty from the mud pies? She looked at the nurse... She thought the nurse might say something like: Maybe this little girl's mother works and didn't have time to wash her good this morning,' or, 'You know how it is, Doctor, children will play in the dirt.' But what the nurse actuallly said was, 'I know, Isn't it terrible? I sympathize with you, Doctor. There is no excuse for these people living in filth.' A person who pulls himself up from a low environment via the bootstrap route has two choices. Having risen above his environment, he can forget it; or, he can rise above it and never forget it and keep compassion and understanding in his heart for those he has left behind him in the cruel upclimb. The nurse had chosen the forgetting way. Yet, as she stood there, she knew that years later she would be haunted by the sorrow in the face of that starveling child and that she would wish bitterly that she had said a comforting word then and done something towards the saving of her immortal soul. She had the knowledge that she was small but she lacked the courage to be otherwise. When the needle jabbed, Francie never felt it. The waves of hurt started by the doctor's words were racking her body and drove out all other feeling. While the nurse was expertly tying a strip of gauze around her arm and the doctor was putting his instrument in the sterilizer and taking out a fresh needle, Francie spoke up. My brother is next. His arm is just as dirty as mine so don't be suprised. And you don't have to tell him. You told me.' They stared at this bit of humanity who had become so strangely articulate. Francie's voice went ragged with a sob. 'You don't have to tell him. Besides it won't do no godd. He's a boy and he don't care if he is dirty.'... As the door closed, she heard the doctor's suprised voice. I had no idea she'd understand what I was saying.' She heard the nurse say, 'Oh, well,' on a sighing note.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
The Loneliness of the Military Historian Confess: it's my profession that alarms you. This is why few people ask me to dinner, though Lord knows I don't go out of my way to be scary. I wear dresses of sensible cut and unalarming shades of beige, I smell of lavender and go to the hairdresser's: no prophetess mane of mine, complete with snakes, will frighten the youngsters. If I roll my eyes and mutter, if I clutch at my heart and scream in horror like a third-rate actress chewing up a mad scene, I do it in private and nobody sees but the bathroom mirror. In general I might agree with you: women should not contemplate war, should not weigh tactics impartially, or evade the word enemy, or view both sides and denounce nothing. Women should march for peace, or hand out white feathers to arouse bravery, spit themselves on bayonets to protect their babies, whose skulls will be split anyway, or,having been raped repeatedly, hang themselves with their own hair. There are the functions that inspire general comfort. That, and the knitting of socks for the troops and a sort of moral cheerleading. Also: mourning the dead. Sons,lovers and so forth. All the killed children. Instead of this, I tell what I hope will pass as truth. A blunt thing, not lovely. The truth is seldom welcome, especially at dinner, though I am good at what I do. My trade is courage and atrocities. I look at them and do not condemn. I write things down the way they happened, as near as can be remembered. I don't ask why, because it is mostly the same. Wars happen because the ones who start them think they can win. In my dreams there is glamour. The Vikings leave their fields each year for a few months of killing and plunder, much as the boys go hunting. In real life they were farmers. The come back loaded with splendour. The Arabs ride against Crusaders with scimitars that could sever silk in the air. A swift cut to the horse's neck and a hunk of armour crashes down like a tower. Fire against metal. A poet might say: romance against banality. When awake, I know better. Despite the propaganda, there are no monsters, or none that could be finally buried. Finish one off, and circumstances and the radio create another. Believe me: whole armies have prayed fervently to God all night and meant it, and been slaughtered anyway. Brutality wins frequently, and large outcomes have turned on the invention of a mechanical device, viz. radar. True, valour sometimes counts for something, as at Thermopylae. Sometimes being right - though ultimate virtue, by agreed tradition, is decided by the winner. Sometimes men throw themselves on grenades and burst like paper bags of guts to save their comrades. I can admire that. But rats and cholera have won many wars. Those, and potatoes, or the absence of them. It's no use pinning all those medals across the chests of the dead. Impressive, but I know too much. Grand exploits merely depress me. In the interests of research I have walked on many battlefields that once were liquid with pulped men's bodies and spangled with exploded shells and splayed bone. All of them have been green again by the time I got there. Each has inspired a few good quotes in its day. Sad marble angels brood like hens over the grassy nests where nothing hatches. (The angels could just as well be described as vulgar or pitiless, depending on camera angle.) The word glory figures a lot on gateways. Of course I pick a flower or two from each, and press it in the hotel Bible for a souvenir. I'm just as human as you. But it's no use asking me for a final statement. As I say, I deal in tactics. Also statistics: for every year of peace there have been four hundred years of war.
Margaret Atwood (Morning In The Burned House: Poems)
In the course of my life I have had pre-pubescent ballerinas; emaciated duchesses, dolorous and forever tired, melomaniac and morphine-sodden; bankers' wives with eyes hollower than those of suburban streetwalkers; music-hall chorus girls who tip creosote into their Roederer when getting drunk... I have even had the awkward androgynes, the unsexed dishes of the day of the *tables d'hote* of Montmartre. Like any vulgar follower of fashion, like any member of the herd, I have made love to bony and improbably slender little girls, frightened and macabre, spiced with carbolic and peppered with chlorotic make-up. Like an imbecile, I have believed in the mouths of prey and sacrificial victims. Like a simpleton, I have believed in the large lewd eyes of a ragged heap of sickly little creatures: alcoholic and cynical shop girls and whores. The profundity of their eyes and the mystery of their mouths... the jewellers of some and the manicurists of others furnish them with *eaux de toilette*, with soaps and rouges. And Fanny the etheromaniac, rising every morning for a measured dose of cola and coca, does not put ether only on her handkerchief. It is all fakery and self-advertisement - *truquage and battage*, as their vile argot has it. Their phosphorescent rottenness, their emaciated fervour, their Lesbian blight, their shop-sign vices set up to arouse their clients, to excite the perversity of young and old men alike in the sickness of perverse tastes! All of it can sparkle and catch fire only at the hour when the gas is lit in the corridors of the music-halls and the crude nickel-plated decor of the bars. Beneath the cerise three-ply collars of the night-prowlers, as beneath the bulging silks of the cyclist, the whole seductive display of passionate pallor, of knowing depravity, of exhausted and sensual anaemia - all the charm of spicy flowers celebrated in the writings of Paul Bourget and Maurice Barres - is nothing but a role carefully learned and rehearsed a hundred times over. It is a chapter of the MANCHON DE FRANCINE read over and over again, swotted up and acted out by ingenious barnstormers, fully conscious of the squalid salacity of the male of the species, and knowledgeable in the means of starting up the broken-down engines of their customers. To think that I also have loved these maleficent and sick little beasts, these fake Primaveras, these discounted Jocondes, the whole hundred-franc stock-in-trade of Leonardos and Botticellis from the workshops of painters and the drinking-dens of aesthetes, these flowers mounted on a brass thread in Montparnasse and Levallois-Perret! And the odious and tiresome travesty - the corsetted torso slapped on top of heron's legs, painful to behold, the ugly features primed by boulevard boxes, the fake Dresden of Nina Grandiere retouched from a medicine bottle, complaining and spectral at the same time - of Mademoiselle Guilbert and her long black gloves!... Have I now had enough of the horror of this nightmare! How have I been able to tolerate it for so long? The fact is that I was then ignorant even of the nature of my sickness. It was latent in me, like a fire smouldering beneath the ashes. I have cherished it since... perhaps since early childhood, for it must always have been in me, although I did not know it!
Jean Lorrain (Monsieur De Phocas)