L. Sprague De Camp Quotes

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I have known many gods. He who denies them is as blind as he who trusts them too deeply. I seek not beyond death. It may be the blackness averred by the Nemedian skeptics, or Crom's realm of ice and cloud, or the snowy plains and vaulted halls of the Nordheimer's Valhalla. I know not, nor do I care. Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.
Robert E. Howard (Queen of the Black Coast)
There is no mistaking the dismay on the face of a writer who has just learned that his brain child is a deformed idiot.
L. Sprague de Camp
You don't like the Goths?" "No! Not with the persecution we have to put up with!" "Persecution?" "Religious persecution. We won't stand for it forever." "I thought the Goths let everybody worship as they pleased." "That's just it! We Orthodox are forced to stand around and watch Arians and Monophysites and Nestorians and Jews going about their business unmolested, as if they owned the country. If that isn't persecution, I'd like to know what is!
L. Sprague de Camp
It does not pay a prophet to be too specific.” —L. Sprague de Camp
Robert A. Heinlein (The Man Who Sold the Moon and Orphans of the Sky)
There is no mistaking the dismay on the face of a writer who has just heard that his brain child is a deformed idiot.
L. Sprague de Camp
Discount all praise by nine-tenths, since a king draws flatterers as offal does flies.
L. Sprague de Camp
The spook begins to interfere with the writer’s normal mental processes. Sometimes the ghost, by appealing to the writer’s sympathies, tempts the writer to imitate him in one way or another. Catherine says that, when I was working on Lovecraft, I even began to dress in the style affected by HPL, like that of a well-bred undertaker.
L. Sprague de Camp (Time and Chance: An Autobiography)
liquor and loquacity are your besetting weaknesses.
L. Sprague de Camp (The Goblin Tower)
Well, at least measure your drinks,- liquor and loquacity are your besetting weaknesses.
L. Sprague de Camp (The Goblin Tower)
Not at all," persisted Chalmers, unaware that Shea was trying to shush him. "The people of the country have agreed to call magic 'white' when practised for lawful ends by duly authorized agents of the governing authority, and 'black' when practised by unauthorized persons for criminal ends. That is not to say that the principles of the science — or art — are not the same in either event. You should confine such terms as 'black' and 'white' to the objects for which the magic is performed, and not apply it to the science itself, which like all branches of knowledge is morally neutral —" "But," protested Belphebe, "is't not that the spell used to, let us say, kidnap a worthy citizen be different from that used to trap a malefactor?" "Verbally but not structurally," Chalmers went on. After some minutes of wrangling, Chalmers held up the bone of his drumstick. "I think I can, for instance, conjure the parrot back on this bone — or at least fetch another parrot in place of the one we ate. Will you concede, young lady, that that is a harmless manifestation of the art?" "Aye, for the now," said the girl. "Though I know you schoolmen; say 'I admit this; I concede that,' are ere long one finds oneself conceded into a noose." "Therefore it would be 'white' magic. But suppose I desired the parrot for some — uh — illegal purpose —" "What manner of crime for ensample, good sir?" asked Belphebe. "I — uh — can't think just now. Assume that I did. The spell would be the same in either case —" "Ah, but would it?" cried Belphebe. "Let me see you conjure a brace of parrots, one fair, one foul; then truly I'll concede." Chalmers frowned. "Harold, what would be a legal purpose for which to conjure a parrot?" Shea shrugged. "If you really want an answer, no purpose would be as legal as any, unless there's something in gamelaws. Personally I think it's the silliest damned argument —
L. Sprague de Camp (The Incompleat Enchanter)
From 1909 to 1914, Lovecraft turned from adolescent to adult; but his life during this period is an almost utter blank. Apparently he sat at home, day after day, staying up most of the night and in bed all morning, reading voraciously, writing reams of Georgian poetry, and doing little else.
L. Sprague de Camp (Lovecraft: A Biography (Gateway Essentials Book 59))
It is said that the mother of King George III told him: “George, be king!” and that many of this well-meaning but far from brilliant monarch’s troubles stemmed from trying to obey her. Likewise, Susie Lovecraft in effect told her son: “Be a gentleman!” She succeeded in making him into a lifelong snob,
L. Sprague de Camp (Lovecraft: A Biography (Gateway Essentials Book 59))
Miniver loved the days of old When swords were bright and steeds were prancing; The vision of a warrior bold. Would set him dancing. Miniver sighed for what was not, And dreamed, and rested from his labors; He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot, And Priam’s neighbors. EDWIN A. ROBINSON
L. Sprague de Camp (Lovecraft: A Biography (Gateway Essentials Book 59))
He spoke of headaches, indigestion, lassitude, fatigue, depression, and inability to concentrate. Symptoms like these can be caused by any of many ailments, such as hypotension (low blood pressure), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), hypothyroidism (low thyroid-gland function), and several infections by microörganisms. Some physicians say that an idle, useless existence, such as Lovecraft led for the next decade, is enough by itself to cause the symptoms of which he complained. The medical science of 1908 was not up to coping with Lovecraft’s infirmity, whatever it was.
L. Sprague de Camp (Lovecraft: A Biography (Gateway Essentials Book 59))
On July 6, 1906, Lovecraft acquired a used Remington typewriter. He never, however, took the next logical step: to learn to type by touch. All his life, he typed with his two forefingers, as did many writers of his generation like H. L. Mencken.
L. Sprague de Camp (Lovecraft: A Biography (Gateway Essentials Book 59))
Now, Lovecraft was notoriously fond of sweets. He consumed vast quantities of chocolate and ice cream; he so saturated his coffee with sugar that a sticky mass was left in the cup. If he was hyperinsulinic, such a practice was guaranteed to cause a collapse of the kind he told about.
L. Sprague de Camp (Lovecraft: A Biography (Gateway Essentials Book 59))
He seems to have developed a rare, little-understood affliction called poikilothermism. The victim loses the normal mammalian ability to keep his body temperature constant, regardless of changes in the ambient temperature. His body assumes the temperature of its surroundings, as if he were a reptile or a fish.
L. Sprague de Camp (Lovecraft: A Biography (Gateway Essentials Book 59))
In his last years, Lovecraft dropped practically all his ethnic phobias and denounced the very opinions he had earlier flaunted.
L. Sprague de Camp (Lovecraft: A Biography (Gateway Essentials Book 59))
The absurdity of many UFO stories and of many religious visions is not a superficial logical mistake. It may be the key to their function. According to Major Murphy, the confusion in the UFO mystery may have been put there deliberately to achieve certain results. One of these results has been to keep scientists away. The other is to create the conditions for a new form of social control, a change in Man’s perception of his place in the universe. Are his theories fantastic? Before we decide, let us review a few other facts. We need to examine more closely the political connections. Paris Flammonde, in his well-documented Age of Flying Saucers, remarked that “a great many of the contactees purvey philosophies which are tinged, if not tainted, with totalitarian overtones.”1 A catalogue of contactee themes, compiled from interviews I have conducted, includes the following. Intellectual abdication. The widespread belief that human beings are incapable of solving their own problems, and that extraterrestrial intervention is imperative to save us “in spite of ourselves.” The danger in such a philosophy is that it makes its believers dependent on outside forces and discourages personal responsibility: why should we worry about the problems around us, if the Gods from Outer Space are about to solve them? Racist philosophy. The pernicious suggestion that some of us on the Earth are of extraterrestrial descent and therefore constitute a “higher race.” The dangers inherent in this belief should be obvious to anybody who hasn’t forgotten the genocides of World War II, executed on the premise that some races were somehow “purer” or better than others. (Let us note in passing that Adamski’s Venusian, the Stranger of the Canigou seen by Bordas, and many other alleged extraterrestrials were all tall Aryan types with long blond hair.) Technical impotence. The statement that the birth of civilization on this planet resulted not from the genius and ability of mankind, but from repeated assistance by higher beings. Archaeologists and anthropologists are constantly aware of the marvelous skill with which the “Ancient Engineers” (to use L. Sprague de Camp’s phrase) developed the tools of civilization on all continents. No appeal to superior powers is necessary to explain the achievements of early culture. The belief expressed by the contactees reveals a tragic lack of trust on their part in human ability. Social utopia. Fantastic economic theories, including the belief that a “world economy” can be created overnight, and that democracy should be abolished in favor of Utopian systems, usually dictatorial in their outlook.
Jacques F. Vallée (Messengers of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults)
Numedidean
L. Sprague de Camp (Sagas of Conan: Conan the Swordsman, Conan the Liberator, Conan & the Spider God)