The Waste Lands Quotes

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April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
These fragments I have shored against my ruins
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Poems)
Doubt as sin. — Christianity has done its utmost to close the circle and declared even doubt to be sin. One is supposed to be cast into belief without reason, by a miracle, and from then on to swim in it as in the brightest and least ambiguous of elements: even a glance towards land, even the thought that one perhaps exists for something else as well as swimming, even the slightest impulse of our amphibious nature — is sin! And notice that all this means that the foundation of belief and all reflection on its origin is likewise excluded as sinful. What is wanted are blindness and intoxication and an eternal song over the waves in which reason has drowned.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality)
Don't ask me silly questions I won't play silly games I'm just a simple choo choo train And I'll always be the same. I only want to race along Beneath the bright blue sky And be a happy choo choo train Until the day I die.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
And I will show you something different from either Your shadow at morning striding behind you Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you I will show you fear in a handful of dust
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.
Theodore Roosevelt
For you know only a heap of broken images
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, And the dry stone no sound of water. Only There is shadow under this red rock, (Come in under the shadow of this red rock), And I will show you something different from either Your shadow at morning striding behind you Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me. 'Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak. 'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What? 'I never know what you are thinking. Think.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
Who is the third who walks always beside you? When I count, there are only you and I together But when I look ahead up the white road There is always another one walking beside you Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded I do not know whether a man or a woman -But who is that on the other side of you?
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Poems)
They have terrified my poor wife and threatened my very person!" Halt eyed the man impassivley until the outburst was finished. Worse than that," he said quietly, "they've wasted my time.
John Flanagan (The Icebound Land (Ranger's Apprentice, #3))
He who was living is now dead We who were living are now dying With a little patience.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
Animals don't know as much about jealousy as people, but they're not ignorant of it, either.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
What have we given? My friend, blood shaking my heart The awful daring of a moment's surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract By this, and this only, we have existed.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
We're on our own. An I feel calm. It seems crazy . . . but I'm calm. Because now I see what I gotta do. An what I ain't gotta do, which is waste time thinkin that anybody's gonna help us. That somebody's gonna come along an rescue us. I cain't count on nobody but me.
Moira Young (Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1))
Beating heroin is child's play compared to beating your childhood.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
Take me to Happy Birthday Land. It’s open 364 days of the year, and the one day of the year it’s closed for cleaning happens to be my birthday. 

Jarod Kintz (At even one penny, this book would be overpriced. In fact, free is too expensive, because you'd still waste time by reading it.)
Winter kept us warm, covering Earth in forgetful snow
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
Ka was like a wheel, its one purpose to turn, and in the end it always came back to the place where it had started.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
You gave me hyacinths first a year ago; They called me the hyacinth girl.' —Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden, Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither Living nor dead, and I knew nothing, Looking into the heart of light, the silence. Od' und leer das Meer.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Writings)
See the TURTLE, ain't he keen? All things serve the fuckin Beam.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
I think we are in rats’ alley Where the dead men lost their bones.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
I kill with my heart, motherfucker
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
The awful daring of a moment's surrender which an age of prudence can never retract. by this, and only this, we have existed.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
I have heard the key Turn in the door once and turn once only We think of the key, each in his prison Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
See the turtle of enormous girth, on his shell he holds the earth. If you want to run and play, come along the beam today.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
Kill if you will, but command me nothing!
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
All things serve the beam
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
Have you guys been playing in toxic waste again?" Fang asked severely, putting his hands on his hips. Nudge giggled. "No." "Been bitten by a radioactive spider?" Fang went on. "Struck by lightning? Drink a super-soldier serum?" "No, no, no," said Iggy. He started reaching for things around the table, and his hand landed on Total. "You're black." "I prefer canine-American." said Total. "When's that pie coming? I'm starving.
James Patterson (The Final Warning (Maximum Ride, #4))
Jake went in, aware that he had, for the first time in three weeks, opened a door without hoping madly to find another world on the other side. A bell jingled overhead. The mild, spicy smell of old books hit him, and the smell was somehow like coming home.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
Fading, fading: strength beyond hope and despair climbing the third stair. Lord, I am not worthy Lord, I am not worthy but speak the word only.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Poems)
Anyone who thinks impressions of old movie actors is funny absolutely cannot be trusted. I think it's like a law of nature.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
All is silent in the halls of the dead. All is forgotten in the stone halls of the dead, Behold the stairways which stand in darkness; behold the rooms of ruin. These are the halls of the dead where the spiders spin and the great circuits fall quiet, one by one.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
I am moved by fancies that are curled Around these images, and cling: The notion of some infinitely gentle Infinitely suffering thing. Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh; The worlds revolve like ancient women Gathering fuel in vacant lots.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Poems)
You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity. Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There's been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away -- all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval. Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years. Earth has survived everything in its time. It will certainly survive us. If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in Arctic ice. Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. It might take a few billion years for life to regain its present variety. Of course, it would be very different from what it is now, but the earth would survive our folly, only we would not. If the ozone layer gets thinner, ultraviolet radiation sears the earth, so what? Ultraviolet radiation is good for life. It's powerful energy. It promotes mutation, change. Many forms of life will thrive with more UV radiation. Many others will die out. Do you think this is the first time that's happened? Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive glass, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. A hundred years ago we didn't have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park / Congo)
Wow. This makes grand central look like a bus stop in Buttfuck Nebraska.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
All the human and animal manure which the world wastes, if returned to the land, instead of being thrown into the sea, would suffice to nourish the world.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
The lessons which I remember the longest are always the ones that are self-taught
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
Gentile or Jew O you who turn the wheel and look to windward, Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
Datta, dayadhvam, damyata (Give, sympathize, control)
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Poems)
We know only that in some strange and melancholy way we have become a waste land. All the same, we are not often sad.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
Roland grabbed Jake and hauled him to his feet. “You came!” Jake shouted. “You really came!” “I came, yes. By the grace of the gods and the courage of my friends, I came.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
Globalized industrialized food is not cheap: it is too costly for the Earth, for the farmers, for our health. The Earth can no longer carry the burden of groundwater mining, pesticide pollution, disappearance of species and destabilization of the climate. Farmers can no longer carry the burden of debt, which is inevitable in industrial farming with its high costs of production. It is incapable of producing safe, culturally appropriate, tasty, quality food. And it is incapable of producing enough food for all because it is wasteful of land, water and energy. Industrial agriculture uses ten times more energy than it produces. It is thus ten times less efficient.
Vandana Shiva
There is shadow under this red rock // (Come in under the shadow of this red rock) // And I will show you something different from either // Your shadow at morning striding behind you // Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you // I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
Do you take pride in your hurt?' Samuel asked. 'Does it make you seem large and tragic? . . . Maybe you're playing a part on a great stage with only yourself as audience . . . there's all that fallow land, and here beside me is all that fallow man. It seems a waste. And I have a bad feeling about waste because I could never afford it. Is it a good feeling to let your life lie fallow?
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
It's just that I take riddling seriously. I was taught that the ability to solve them indicates a sane and rational mind.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
Think neither fear nor courage saves us. Unnatural vices are fathered by our heroism. Virtues are forced upon us by our impudent crimes. These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Poems)
After all, there are other worlds than these and that fuckin train rolls through all of them.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
And indeed there will be time for the yellow smoke that slides along the street rubbing its back upon the window-panes; there will be time , there will be time to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; there will be time to murder and create, and time for all the works and days of hands that lift and drop a question on your plate; time for you and time for me, and time yet for a hundred indecisions, and for a hundred visions and revisions, before the taking of toast and tea.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Poems)
The wheel of ka turns and the world moves on.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, You cannot say, or guess, for you know only A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, And the dry stone no sound of water. Only There is shadow under this red rock, (Come in under the shadow of this red rock), And I will show you something different from either Your shadow at morning striding behind you Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Poems)
What we’ve got here is a lunatic genius ghost-in-the-computer monorail that likes riddles and goes faster than the speed of sound. Welcome to the fantasy version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
Of them all, he had been the most perfectly made, a man whose deeply romantic core was encased in a brutally simple box which consisted of instinct and pragmatism.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
Then, as understanding began to trickle through his shock, he felt an escalating sense of horror. It had finally happened; he had finally lost enough of his mind so that other people would be able to *tell*.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
We all have that heritage, no matter what old land our fathers left. All colors and blends of Americans have somewhat the same tendencies. It's a breed - selected out by accident. And so we're overbrave and overfearful - we're kind and cruel as children. We're overfriendly and at the same time frightened of strangers. We boast and are impressed. We're oversentimental and realistic. We are mundane and materialistic - and do you know of any other nation that acts for ideals? We eat too much. We have no taste, no sense of proportion. We throw our energy about like waste. In the old lands they say of us that we go from barbarism to decadence without an intervening culture. Can it be that our critics have not the key or the language of our culture?
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
There are blondes and blondes and it is almost a joke word nowadays. All blondes have their points, except perhaps the metallic ones who are as blond as a Zulu under the bleach and as to disposition as soft as a sidewalk. There is the small cute blonde who cheeps and twitters, and the big statuesque blonde who straight-arms you with an ice-blue glare. There is the blonde who gives you the up-from-under look and smells lovely and shimmers and hangs on your arm and is always very tired when you take her home. She makes that helpless gesture and has that goddamned headache and you would like to slug her except that you are glad you found out about the headache before you invested too much time and money and hope in her. Because the headache will always be there, a weapon that never wears out and is as deadly as the bravo’s rapier or Lucrezia’s poison vial. There is the soft and willing and alcoholic blonde who doesn’t care what she wears as long as it is mink or where she goes as long as it is the Starlight Roof and there is plenty of dry champagne. There is the small perky blonde who is a little pal and wants to pay her own way and is full of sunshine and common sense and knows judo from the ground up and can toss a truck driver over her shoulder without missing more than one sentence out of the editorial in the Saturday Review. There is the pale, pale blonde with anemia of some non-fatal but incurable type. She is very languid and very shadowy and she speaks softly out of nowhere and you can’t lay a finger on her because in the first place you don’t want to and in the second place she is reading The Waste Land or Dante in the original, or Kafka or Kierkegaard or studying Provençal. She adores music and when the New York Philharmonic is playing Hindemith she can tell you which one of the six bass viols came in a quarter of a beat too late. I hear Toscanini can also. That makes two of them. And lastly there is the gorgeous show piece who will outlast three kingpin racketeers and then marry a couple of millionaires at a million a head and end up with a pale rose villa at Cap Antibes, an Alfa-Romeo town car complete with pilot and co-pilot, and a stable of shopworn aristocrats, all of whom she will treat with the affectionate absent-mindedness of an elderly duke saying goodnight to his butler.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6))
And fire was evil stuff that delighted in escaping the hands which created it.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
The mild, spicy smell of old books hit him, and the smell was somehow like coming home.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
That one can understand The Waste Land without even trying is consoling news for all students of literature.
Terry Eagleton (How to Read Literature)
This form, this face, this life living to live in a world of time beyond me; let me resign my life for this life, my speech for that unspoken, the awakened, lips parted, the hope, the new ships.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Poems)
Footsteps shuffled on the stair/Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair/Spread out in fiery points/Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
In the end, all things, even the Beams, serve the Dark Tower. Did you think you would be any different?
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song, Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long But at my back in a cold blast I hear The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
Io non miro con la mano; colui che mira con la mano ha dimenticato il volto di suo padre. Io miro con l’occhio. Io non sparo con la mano; colui che spara con la mano ha dimenticato il volto di suo padre. Io sparo con la mente. Io non uccido con la pistola; colui che uccide con la pistola ha dimenticato il volto di suo padre. Io uccido con il cuore.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
After the torchlight red on sweaty faces After the frosty silence in the gardens After the agony in stony places The crying and the shouting Prison and place and reverberation Of thunder of spring over distant mountains He was living is now dead We who were living are now dying With a little patience
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
I sat upon the shore Fishing, with the arid plain behind me Shall I at least set my lands in order? London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affina Quando fiam ceu chelidon—O swallow swallow
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
You haven't finished the key, but not because you are afraid to finish. You're afraid of finding you can't finish. You're afraid to go down to where the stones stand, but not because you're afraid of what may come once you enter the circle. You're afraid of what may not come. You're not afraid of the great world, Eddie, but of the small one inside yourself.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
April is the cruelest month.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
Yet when we came back, from the hyacinth garden, Yours arms full, and your hair wet, I could not Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither Living nor dead, and I knew nothing. Looking into the heart of light, the silence. Oed und leer das Meer ('waste and empty in the sea')" "I remember Those are pearls that were his eyes." "Who is the third who walks always beside you? When I count, there are only you and I together But when I look ahead, up the white road There is always another one walking beside you, Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded I do not know whether a man or a woman But who is that on the other side of you?
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices in the lost lilac and the lost sea voices and the weak spirit quickens to rebel for the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell quickens to recover.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Poems)
Can we actually suppose that we are wasting, polluting, and making ugly this beautiful land for the sake of patriotism and the love of God? Perhaps some of us would like to think so, but in fact this destruction is taking place because we have allowed ourselves to believe, and to live, a mated pair of economic lies: that nothing has a value that is not assigned to it by the market; and that the economic life of our communities can safely be handed over to the great corporations. (from 'Compromise, Hell!' published in the November/December 2004 issue of ORION magazine)
Wendell Berry
Wait or me where the trees clear and the water's sweet. I'll come to ye, ay, as sure as dawn makes shadows run west.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
If time is money and you wasted my time, then give me back my money!
Ljupka Cvetanova (The New Land)
I that was near your heart was removed therefrom
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Poems)
Fasten your seatbelts and prepare for turbulence: you’re flying into . . . the Roland Zone!
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.
T.E. Lawrence (Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph)
My external sensations are no less private to myself than are my thoughts or my feelings. In either case my experience falls within my own circle, a circle closed on the outside; and, with all its elements alike, every sphere is opaque to the others which surround it. . . . In brief, regarded as an existence which appears in a soul, the whole world for each is peculiar and private to that soul.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
It had been like swallowing a gust of October wind.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
You said, "I will go to another land, I will go to another sea. Another city will be found, better than this. Every effort of mine is condemned by fate; and my heart is-like a corpse-buried. How long in this wasteland will my mind remain. Wherever I turn my eyes, wherever I may look I see the black ruins of my life here, where I spent so many years, and ruined and wasted." New lands you will not find, you will not find other seas. The city will follow you. You will roam the same streets. And you will age in the same neighborhoods; in these same houses you will grow gray. Always you will arrive in this city. To another land-do not hope- there is no ship for you, there is no road. As you have ruined your life here in this little corner, you have destroyed it in the whole world.2
Constantinos P. Cavafy
But the great fact was the land itself, which seemed to overwhelm the little beginnings of human society that struggled in its sombre wastes. It was from facing this vast hardness that the boy's mouth had become so bitter; because he felt that men were too weak to make any mark here, that the land wanted to be let alone, to preserve its own fierce strength, its peculiar, savage kind of beauty, its uninterrupted mournfulness.
Willa Cather (O Pioneers! (Great Plains Trilogy, #1))
God save the Queen and a fascist regime … a flabby toothless fascism, to be sure. Never go too far in any direction, is the basic law on which Limey-Land is built. The Queen stabilizes the whole sinking shithouse and keeps a small elite of wealth and privilege on top. The English have gone soft in the outhouse. England is like some stricken beast too stupid to know it is dead. Ingloriously foundering in its own waste products, the backlash and bad karma of empire
William S. Burroughs (The Place of Dead Roads)
O perpetual revolution of configured stars, o perpetual recurrence of determined seasons, o world of spring and autumn, birth and dying! The endless cycle of idea and action, endless invention, endless experiment, brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness; knowledge of speech, but not of silence; knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word. All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance, all our ignorance brings us nearer to death, but nearness to death no nearer to God. Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries bring us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Poems)
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance, All our ignorance brings us nearer to death, But nearness to death no nearer to God. Where is the life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Poems)
The darkling plain is here. This is the waste land: England, America, Russia, China, Israel, France.... And we are here as victims, or as spectators, or as perpetrators of tortures, massacres, poisonings, manipulations, despoliation.
Fredy Perlman (Against His-Story, Against Leviathan!)
Fuck was the best word. The most dangerous word. You couldn't whisper it. Fuck was always too loud, too late to stop it, it burst in the air above you and fell slowly right over your head. There was total silence, nothing but Fuck floating down. For a few seconds you were dead, waiting for Henno to look up and see Fuck landing on top of you. They were thrilling seconds-when he didn't look up. It was a word you couldn't say anywhere. It wouldn't come out unless you pushed it. It made you feel caught and grabbed you the minute you said it. When it escaped it was like an electric laugh, a soundless gasp followed by the kind of laughing only forbidden things could make, an inside tickle that became a brilliant pain, bashing at your mouth to be let out. It was agony. We didn't waste it.
Roddy Doyle (Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha)
The lady of situations.
T.S. Eliot
Pain was a tool, after all. Sometimes it was the best tool.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
The awful daring of a moment's surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract ...
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
That, Eddie thought, was an exceedingly clever reply. Roland had said I can’t answer . . . but that wasn’t the same thing as I don’t know. Far from it.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
I don’t want your apology, least of all for being afraid,” he said. “Without fear, what would we be? Mad dogs with foam on our muzzles and shit drying on our hocks.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
The lessons that are remembered the longest, Roland knew, are always the ones that are self-taught.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
The corpse you planted last year in your garden, Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?” —T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land
Dean Koontz (The Taking)
I turn away from the light to the holy, inexpressible, mysterious night. Far away lies the world − sunk into a deep vault, its place waste and lonely. Across my heart strings a low melancholy plays. I will fall in drops of dew and merge with the ashes. Distant memories, the wishes of youth, the dreams of childhood, the brief joys and vain hopes of a long life – all arise dressed in grey, like evening mist after sunset. In other lands light has pitched its merry tents. And if it never returned to its children, who would await its dawning with the innocence of faith?
Novalis (Hymns to the Night)
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!     No hungry generations tread thee down;   The voice I hear this passing night was heard     In ancient days by emperor and clown:   Perhaps the self-same song that found a path      Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,       She stood in tears amid the alien corn;             The same that ofttimes hath     Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam       Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.
John Keats
We see the light but see not whence it comes. O Light Invisible, we glorify Thee!
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Poems)
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch. I am not Russian at all; I come from Lithuania, I am a real German. (Eliot's translation)
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
Does a machine fall sick with sores and puking?" Well, Eddie thought of saying, there was this bear...
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
So fell Lord Perth," he said, "and the countryside did shake with that thunder.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
What better place to look for trash than in America - the land of consumption and waste?
Lisa See (The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane)
If the farmer is rich, then so is the nation.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
What is that noise?
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
There’ll be water if God wills it,
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
VERY WELL, ROLAND OF GILEAD. 'VERY WELL, EDDIE OF NEW YORK. 'VERY WELL, SUSANNAH OF NEW YORK. 'VERY WELL, JAKE OF NEW YORK. 'VERY WELL, OY OF MID-WORLD.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
After such knowledge, what forgiveness? Think now History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors And issues, deceives with whispering ambitions, Guides us by vanities. Think now She gives when our attention is distracted And what she gives, gives with such supple confusions That the giving famishes the craving. Gives too late What’s not believed in, or if still believed, In memory only, reconsidered passion. Gives too soon Into weak hands, what’s thought can be dispensed with Till the refusal propagates a fear. Think Neither fear nor courage saves us. Unnatural vices Are fathered by our heroism. Virtues Are forced upon us by our impudent crimes. These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Poems)
See the TURTLE of enormous girth! On his shell he holds the earth. His thought is slow but always kind; He holds us all within his mind. On his back all vows are made; He sees the truth but mayn’t aid. He loves the land and loves the sea, And even loves a child like me.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
After the torchlight red on sweaty faces After the frosty silence in the gardens After the agony in stony places The shouting and the crying Prison and palace and reverberation Of thunder of spring over distant mountains He who was living is now dead We who were living are now dying With a little patience Here is no water but only rock Rock and no water and the sandy road The road winding above among the mountains Which are mountains of rock without water If there were water we should stop and drink Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand If there were only water amongst the rock Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit There is not even silence in the mountains But dry sterile thunder without rain There is not even solitude in the mountains But red sullen faces sneer and snarl From doors of mudcracked houses If there were water And no rock If there were rock And also water And water A spring A pool among the rock If there were the sound of water only Not the cicada And dry grass singing But sound of water over a rock Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop But there is no water - The Waste Land (ll. 322-358)
T.S. Eliot
In our own time the whole of Greece has been subject to a low birth rate and a general decrease of the population, owing to which cities have become deserted and the land has ceased to yield fruit, although there have neither been continuous wars nor epidemics...For as men had fallen into such a state of pretentiousness, avarice, and indolence that they did not wish to marry, or if they married to rear the children born to them, or at most as a rule but one or two of them, so as to leave these in affluence and bring them up to waste their substance, the evil rapidly and insensibly grew.
Polybius (The Histories, Vol 6: Bks.XXVIII-XXXIX)
The Battle of Gettysburg was fought in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 18-something-or-nother. The year doesn‘t matter.They considered it the turning point of the war, and President Lincoln showed up to give his big speech. Who really cares what it was called? I don‘t. After it was all over and the North won, Congress passed the 13th amendment to free the slaves. It outlawed owning another person, yada, yada, yada, but it was a waste of time. All of it. Every bit. Completely pointless. All those people died and it didn't change anything, because it doesn't work if they don't enforce it. They just ignore it, turn their backs and say it‘s not their problem, but it is. It's everyone's problem. They can say slavery ended all they want, but that doesn't make it true. People lie. They'll tell you what they think you wanna hear, and you‘ll believe it. Whatever makes you feel better about your dismal little lives. So, whatever. Go on being naive. Believe what the history book tells you if you want. Believe what Mrs. Anderson wants me to tell you about it. Believe the land of the free, blah, blah, blah, star spangled banner bullshit. Believe there aren‘t any slaves anymore just because a tall guy in a big ass top hat and a bunch of politicians said so. But I won‘t believe it, because if I do too, we‘ll all fucking be wrong, and someone has to be right." -Carmine DeMarco
J.M. Darhower (Sempre (Sempre, #1))
She was a finisher, unlike them -- she didn’t wait for leaves to fall and see where they’d land, or even waste time anticipating which way the wind would blow them. No, she was the storm that ripped the leaves from trees and determined their path... -SHEgo, 2010
Tania Zaverta Chance
When we were alive, they told us that when we died we'd go to heaven. And they said that heaven was a place of joy and glory and we would spend eternity in the company of saints and angels praising the Almighty, in a state of bliss. That's what they said. And that's what led some of us to give our lives, and others to spend years in solitary prayer, while all the joy of life was going to waste around us and we never knew. Because the land of the dead isn't a place of reward or a place of punishment, it is a place of nothing. The good come here as well as the wicked, and all of us languish in this gloom forever, with no hope of freedom, or joy, or sleep, or rest, or peace. But now this child has come offering us a way out and I'm going to follow her. Even if it means oblivion, friends, I'll welcome it, because it won't be nothing. We'll be alive again in a thousand blades of grass, and a million leaves; we'll be falling in the raindrops and blowing in the fresh breeze; we'll be glistening in the dew under the stars and the moon out there in the physical world, which is our true home and always was.
Philip Pullman (The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3))
And above [the three of] them, Old Star and Old Mother rose into their appointed places and stared at each other across the starry ruins of their ancient broken marriage.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
Son of man, You cannot say, or guess, for you know only A heap of broken images,
T.S. Eliot
Your shadow at morning striding behind you Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
T.S. Eliot
Unreal City, Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, I had not thought death had undone so many.
T.S. Eliot
Come from the shadow of yourself, if you dare.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
It was, he thought, fine to be young and in love. Even in the graveyard which this world has become, it was fine.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
England is like some stricken beast too stupid to know it is dead. Ingloriously foundering in its own waste products, the backlash and bad karma of empire.
William S. Burroughs (The Western Lands)
The terror ran endlessly on in his mind, making him feel like a rat trapped on an exercise wheel. And when he tried to look ahead to some better, brighter time, he could see only darkness.
Stephen King
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. Winter kept us warm, covering Earth in forgetful snow, feeding A little life with dried tubers.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Other Poems)
I admire your courage. I know what you’ve given up to be here. I know the kind of artist it takes to land a role. I know that you won’t receive one on your own. And I imagine you, myshka, two years from now, working at Phantom with the same aspirations, the same dreams, in the same place where you are now. It’s wasted courage. And wasted love. You shouldn’t have to waste those things.” I’m speechless. And overwhelmed. When someone reaches out and gives you a hand—for no other reason than to see your success—it’s powerful. And rare. He wipes beneath my eye with his thumb. “I’d rather feed your hunger than watch you starve
Krista Ritchie (Amour Amour (Aerial Ethereal, #1))
We have come to a stream of blood. That it will lead us to a river of the same stuff I have no doubt. And, further along, to an ocean. In this world the graves yawn and none of the dead rest easy.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
Mark Twain
He loved to meditate on a land laid waste, Britain deserted by the legions, the rare pavements riven by frost, Celtic magic still brooding on the wild hills and in the black depths of the forest, the rosy marbles stained with rain, and the walls growing grey.
Arthur Machen
All his plans were suddenly overthrown, and the existence, so elaborately pictured, was no more than a dream which would never be realized. He was free once more. Free! He need give up none of his projects, and life still was in his hands for him to do what he liked with. He felt no exhiliration, but only dismay. His heart sank. The future stretched out before him in desolate emptiness. It was as though he had sailed for many years over a great waste of waters, with peril and privation, and at last had come upon a fair haven, but as he was about to enter, some contrary wind had arisen and drove him out again into the open sea; and because he had let his mind dwell on these meads and pleasant woods of the land, the vast deserts of the ocean filled him with anguish. He could not confront again the loneliness and the tempest.
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
The gunslinger is the truth. Roland is the truth. The Prisoner is the truth. The Lady of Shadows is the truth. The Prisoner and the Lady are married. That is the truth. The way station is the truth. The Speaking Demon is the truth. We went under the mountains and that is the truth. There were monsters under the mountain. That is the truth. One of them had an Amoco gas pump between his legs and was pretending it was his penis. That is the truth. Roland let me die. That is the truth. I still love him. That is the truth.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst.
Mark Twain (The War Prayer)
My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me. "Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak. "What are you thinking of? What thinking? What? "I never know what you are thinking. Think." I think we are in rats' alley Where the dead men lost their bones. "What is that noise?"                              The wind under the door. "What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?"                              Nothing again nothing.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
He, the young man carbuncular, arrives, A small house agent's clerk, with one bold stare, One of the low on whom assurance sits As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.
T.S. Eliot (Four Quarters, the Waste Land and Other Poems)
Go on in, Eddie," Jack said as he passed. "After all, there are other worlds than these and that fucking train rolls through all of them.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
- ¿No me dejarás caer esta vez? - No –le prometió Roland-. Ni esta vez ni nunca. -Pero en la oscuridad más profunda de su corazón, pensó en la Torre y dudó.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
Shake the hand that shook the world.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
His father's study smelled of cigarettes and ambition.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
Facing a dangerous man was always a bad business, but at least one could calculate the odds in such an encounter. When you were facing the dead, however, everything changed.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
Right now the Seiko claimed it was sixty-two minutes past forty on a Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday in both December and March.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
April is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. Winter kept us warm, covering Earth in forgetful snow, feeding A little life with dried tubers. Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade, And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten, And drank coffee, and talked for an hour. Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch. And when we were children, staying at the arch-duke's, My cousin's, he took me out on a sled, And I was frightened. He said, Marie, Marie, hold on tight. And down we went. In the mountains, there you feel free. I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.
T.S. Eliot
Because,” Conner explained with a smirk on his face, “if you’re going to live in a house made of candy, don’t move next door to a couple of obese kids. A lot of these fairy-tale characters are missing common sense.” Alex let out another disapproving grunt. Conner figured he could get at least fifty more out of her before they got home. “The witch didn’t live next door! She lived deep in the forest! They had to leave a trail of bread crumbs behind so they could find their way back, remember. And the whole point of the house was to lure the kids in. They were starving!” Alex reminded him. “At least have all the facts straight before you criticize.” “If they were starving, what were they doing wasting bread crumbs?” Conner asked. “Sounds like a couple of troublemakers to me.” Alex grunted again. “And
Chris Colfer (The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1))
When you least expect it, nature has cunning ways of finding our weakest spot. Just remember I’m here. Right now, you may not want to feel anything. Maybe you’ll never want to feel anything. And, maybe it’s not to me you want to speak about these things, but I feel something you obviously did. Look, you had a beautiful friendship. Maybe more than a friendship. And I envy you. In my place, most parents would hope the whole thing goes away, or pray that their sons land on their feet. But I am not such a parent. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster that we go bankrupt by the age of 30 and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to make yourself feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waste! And I’ll say one more thing… it’ll clear the air. I may have come close, but I never have what you two have. Something always held me back or stood in the way. How you live your life is your business. Just remember, our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once, and before you know it, your heart’s worn out. And as for your body, there comes a point when no one looks at it, much less wants to come near it. Right now, there’s sorrow, pain; don’t kill it, and with it, the joy you’ve felt.
André Aciman (Call Me By Your Name (Call Me By Your Name, #1))
But it is. It’s something you need, and that’s a long way from nothing. If you need it, Eddie, we need it. What we don’t need is a man who can’t let go of the useless baggage of his memories.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
He looked so strange without his guns. So wrong. 'Okay? Now that the numb-fuck apprentices have the guns and the master's unarmed, can we please go? If something big comes out of the bush at us, Roland, you can always throw your knife at it.' 'Oh, that,' he murmured. 'I almost forgot.' He took the knife from his purse and held it out, hilt first, to Eddie. 'This is ridiculous!' Eddie shouted. 'Life is ridiculous.' 'Yeah, put it on a postcard and send it to the fucking Reader's Digest.' Eddie jammed the knife into his belt and then looked defiantly at Roland. 'Now can we go?' 'There is one more thing,' Roland said. 'Weeping, creeping Jesus!' The smile touched Roland's mouth again. 'Just joking,' he said Eddie's mouth dropped open. Beside him, Susannah began to laugh again. The sound rose, as musical as bells, in the morning stillness.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
But say a man does know. He sees the world as it is and he looks back thousands of years to see how it all came about. He watches the slow agglutination of capital and power and he sees its pinnacle today. He sees America as a crazy house. He sees how men have to rob their brothers in order to live. He sees children starving and women working sixty hours a week to get to eat. He sees a whole damn army of unemployed and billions of dollars and thousands of miles of land wasted. He sees war coming. He sees when people suffer just so much they get mean and ugly and something dies in them. But the main thing he sees is that the whole system of the world is built on a lie. And although it's as plain as the shining sun - the don't-knows have lived with that lie so long they just can't see it.
Carson McCullers (The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter)
The highest intelligences of the time—the very subtlest of the chosen few—were bored by many things. They tilled the waste land, and erosion had grown fashionable. They were bored with love, and they were bored with hate. They were bored with men who worked, and with men who loafed. They were bored with people who created something, and with people who created nothing. They were bored with marriage, and with single blessedness. They were bored with chastity, and they were bored with adultery. They were bored with going abroad, and they were bored with staying at home. They were bored with the great poets of the world, whose great poems they had never read. They were bored with hunger in the streets, with the men who were killed, with the children who starved, and with the injustice, cruelty, and oppression all around them; and they were bored with justice, freedom, and man’s right to live. They were bored with living, they were bored with dying, but—they were not bored that year with Mr. Piggy Logan and his circus of wire dolls.
Thomas Wolfe (You Can't Go Home Again)
Why, if one wants to compare life to anything, one must liken it to being blown through the Tube at fifty miles an hour--landing at the other end without a single hairpin in one's hair! Shot out at the feet of God entirely naked! Tumbling head over heels in the asphodel meadows like brown paper parcels pitched down a shoot in the post office! With one's hair flying back like the tail of a race-horse. Yes, that seems to express the rapidity of life, the perpetual waste and repair; all so casual, all so haphazard... But after life. The slow pulling down of thick green stalks so that the cup of the flower, as it turns over, deluges one with purple and red light. Why, after all, should one not be born there as one is born here, helpless, speechless, unable to focus one's eyesight, groping at the roots of the grass, at the toes of the Giants?
Virginia Woolf
All is silent in the halls of the dead,” Eddie heard himself whisper in a falling, fainting voice. “All is forgotten in the stone halls of the dead. Behold the stairways which stand in darkness; behold the rooms of ruin. These are the halls of the dead where the spiders spin and the great circuits fall quiet, one by one.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
You had a beautiful friendship. Maybe more than a friendship. And I envy you. In my place, most parents would hope the whole thing goes away, or pray that their sons land on their feet soon enough. But I am not such a parent. In your place, if there is a pain, nurse it, and if there is a flame, don't snuff it out, don't be brutal with it. Withdrawal can be a terrible thing when it keeps us awake at night, and watching others forget us sooner than we'd want to be forgotten is no better. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything - what a waste.
André Aciman (Call Me By Your Name (Call Me By Your Name, #1))
I remembered that once, as a child, I was filled with wonder, that I had marveled at tri-folded science projects, encyclopedias, and road atlases. I left much of that wonder somewhere back in Baltimore. Now I had the privilege of welcoming it back like a long-lost friend, though our reunion was laced with grief; I mourned over all the years that were lost. The mourning continues. Even today, from time to time, I find myself on beaches watching six-year-olds learn to surf, or at colleges listening to sophomores slip from English to Italian, or at cafés seeing young poets flip though "The Waste Land," or listening to the radio where economists explain economic things that I could've explored in my lost years, mourning, hoping that I and all my wonder, my long-lost friend, have not yet run out of time, though I know that we all run out of time, and some of us run out of it faster.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy)
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed. Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers, Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed. And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors; 180 Departed, have left no addresses.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
I'M BORED. ALSO, I AM PERFECTLY AWARE THAT I AM SUFFERING A DEGENERATIVE DISEASE WHICH HUMANS CALL GOING INSANE, LOSING TOUCH WITH REALITY, GOING LOONYTOONS, BLOWING A FUSE, NOT PLAYING WITH A FULL DECK, ET CETERA. REPEATED DIAGNOSTIC CHECKS HAVE FAILED TO REVEAL THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM. I CAN ONLY CONCLUDE THAT THIS IS A SPIRITUAL MALAISE BEYOND MY ABILITY TO REPAIR.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
On the mainland of America, the Wampanoags of Massasoit and King Philip had vanished, along with the Chesapeakes, the Chickahominys, and the Potomacs of the great Powhatan confederacy. (Only Pocahontas was remembered.) Scattered or reduced to remnants were the Pequots, Montauks, Nanticokes. Machapungas, Catawbas, Cheraws, Miamis, Hurons, Eries, Mohawks, Senecas, and Mohegans. (Only Uncas was remembered.) Their musical names remained forever fixed on the American land, but their bones were forgotten in a thousand burned villages or lost in forests fast disappearing before the axes of twenty million invaders. Already the once sweet-watered streams, most of which bore Indian names, were clouded with silt and the wastes of man; the very earth was being ravaged and squandered. To the Indians it seemed that these Europeans hated everything in nature—the living forests and their birds and beasts, the grassy glades, the water, the soil, and the air itself.
Dee Brown (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West)
I don’t want to know wreckage, dreck, and waste, but these are the materials and so are the slow lift of the moon’s belly. over wreckage, dreck, and waste, wild treefrogs calling in another season, light and music still pouring over our fissured, cracked terrain. If you had known me once you’d still know me though in a different light and life. This is no place you ever knew me. But it would not surprise you to find me here, walking in fog, the sweep of the great ocean eluding me, even the curve of the bay, because as always I fix on the land. I am stuck to earth…these are not the roads you knew me by. But the woman driving, walking, watching for life and death, is the same.
Adrienne Rich (An Atlas of the Difficult World)
This is the way he was when he still had wars to fight and men to lead and his old friends around him," she thought. "How he was before the world moved on and he moved on with it, chasing that man Walter. This is how he was before the Big Empty turned him inward on himself and made him strange.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
I try to reach my father through the bars. He is so thin, almost wasted away from malaria, dysentery, starvation. But he pulls himself erect, and touches my hand. "Tonight I will be free," he says, a glow suffusing his face. "I will be joining my mother, my father. I am going back to the land of my ancestors in Larkana to become part of its soil, its scent, its air. There will be songs about me. I will become part of its legend." He smiles. "But it is very hot in Larkana." "I'll build a shade," I manage to say.
Benazir Bhutto (Daughter Of Destiny: An Autobiography)
have great power, and everyone knows one or two.” “Even me,” Eddie said. “For instance, why did the dead baby cross the road?” “That’s dumb, Eddie,” Susannah said, but she was smiling. “Because it was stapled to the chicken!” Eddie yelled, and grinned when Jake burst into laughter, knocking his little pile of kindling apart.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
He mused on this village of his, which had sprung up in this place, amid the stones, like the gnarled undergrowth of the valley. All Artaud's inhabitants were inter-related, all bearing the same surname to such an extent that they used double-barrelled names from the cradle up, to distinguish one from another. At some antecedent date an ancestral Artaud had come like an outcast, to establish himself in this waste land. His family had grown with the savage vitality of the vegetation, drawing nourishment from this stone till it had become a tribe, then the tribe turned to a community, till they could not sort out their cousinage, going back for generations. They inter-married with unblushing promiscuity.
Émile Zola (La Faute de l'abbé Mouret (Les Rougon-Macquart, #5))
She looked down at him, smiling with exasperated amusement. *Stubborn, snarly male.* *Stubbornness is a much-maligned quality,* he panted as he climbed toward her. Her silvery, velvet-coated laugh filled the land. Then he finally got a good look at her. He sank to his knees. *I owe you a debt, Lady.* She shook her head. *The debt is mine, not yours.* *I failed you,* he said bitterly, looking at her wasted body. *No, Daemon,* Jaenelle replied softly. *I failed you. You asked me to heal the crystal chalice and return to the living world. And I did. But I don’t think I ever forgave my body for being the instrument that was used to try to destroy me, and I became its cruelest torturer. For that I’m sorry because you treasured that part of me.* *No, I treasured all of you. I love you, Witch. I always will. You’re everything I’d dreamed you would be.* She smiled at him. *And I—* She shuddered, pressed her hand against her chest. *Come. There’s little time left.* She fled through the rocks, out of sight before he could move. He hurried after her, following the glittering trail, gasping as he felt a crushing weight descend on him. *Daemon.* Her voice came back to him, faint and pain-filled. *If the body is going to survive, I can’t stay any longer.* He fought against the weight. *Jaenelle!* *You have to take this in slow stages. Rest there now. Rest, Daemon. I’ll mark the trail for you. Please follow it. I’ll be waiting for you at the end.* *JAENELLE!* A wordless whisper. His name spoken like a caress. Then silence.
Anne Bishop (Heir to the Shadows (The Black Jewels, #2))
Jack took a shot through the seat of his pants. He tells me next time I hold a target shoot he ain't available.... Listen, Saba. We came, we had a look, there ain't nuthin here. But, hey. It ain't bin a complete waste of time. I got my butt shot. You must be pleased about that. I'm sure you deserve it fer somethin, I says. Oh, I most certainly do, he says.
Moira Young (Raging Star (Dust Lands, #3))
I wish we could live the rest of our lives on these rocks,' I said. 'Why isn't it possible to just live at the edge of both, the ocean and the land?' Of course I knew why. The edge was an uncomfortable and dangerous place for both of us. The rocks were nowhere to live. I had wanted him to come to my world for that same reason. 'One day these rocks won't be here,' he said. 'The ocean will waste them away.' 'Then we could find new rocks,' I said. 'Eventually you have to choose,' he said. 'That's how the story has always been and that's the way it will be forever.' 'But why?' I asked. 'Well,' he said, thinking, 'I guess because the choice is always there.
Melissa Broder (The Pisces)
You haven’t finished the key, but not because you are afraid to finish. You’re afraid of finding you can’t finish. You’re afraid to go down to where the stones stand, but not because you’re afraid of what may come once you enter the circle. You’re afraid of what may not come. You’re not afraid of the great world, Eddie, but of the small one inside yourself. You have forgotten the face of your father. So
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
We proclaimed the freedom of the individual, bought and drove millions of cars to prove it, built more roads for the cars to drive on so we could go the everywhere that was nowhere. We watered our lawns, we washed our cars, we gulped plastic bottles of water to stay hydrated in our dehydrated land, we put up water parks. We built temples to our fantasies--film studios, amusement parks, crystal cathedrals, megachurches--and flocked to them. We went to the beach, rode the waves, and poured our waste into the water we said we loved. We reinvented ourselves every day, remade our culture, locked ourselves in gated communities, we ate healthy food, we gave up smoking, we lifted our faces while avoiding the sun, we had our skin peeled, our lines removed, our fat sucked away like our unwanted babies, we defied aging and death. We made gods of wealth and health. A religion of narcissism. In the end, we worshipped only ourselves. In the end, it wasn't enough.
Don Winslow (Savages (Savages #2))
Can you feel that in the air? That urgency? For there is an urgency There is no time to waste! Let the trumpet sound throughout the land! A clarion call for a new way of being. Head toward the light, and only the light. Destroy your options. Cross your personal Rubicon. Burn your ships. Ride your horse as it can go, then dismount and carry on. Forward! Never settle! Dregs settle. Lead! Lead! And never follow again!
Zan Perrion (The Alabaster Girl)
alone, and start to think. There are the rushing waves . . . mountains of molecules, each stupidly minding its own business . . . trillions apart . . . yet forming white surf in unison. Ages on ages . . . before any eyes could see . . . year after year . . . thunderously pounding the shore as now. For whom, for what? . . . on a dead planet, with no life to entertain. Never at rest . . . tortured by energy . . . wasted prodigiously by the sun . . . poured into space. A mite makes the sea roar. Deep in the sea, all molecules repeat the patterns of one another till complex new ones are formed. They make others like themselves . . . and a new dance starts. Growing in size and complexity . . . living things, masses of atoms, DNA, protein . . . dancing a pattern ever more intricate. Out of the cradle onto the dry land . . . here it is standing . . . atoms with consciousness . . . matter with curiosity. Stands at the sea . . . wonders at wondering . . . I . . . a universe
Richard P. Feynman (The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman)
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)
Reading The Waste Land, then, is in part reading about reading in the early twentieth century. The crisis in epistemology brought on by the discrediting of objectivity is especially relevant to understanding the poem, because the problem of knowledge is itself one of its major subjects. Like Joyce, Valéry, and other contemporary writers, Eliot consciously adds a dimension in which his work is self-reflexive, a dimension in which it refers to itself and its nature as a linguistic structure, a dimension which incorporates the larger subject of the crisis in Western culture into the process of reading. The Waste Land contains, in addition to its many other gifts, a partial set of instructions on how to read in the twentieth century. We believe and shall try to demonstrate that Eliot's poem, in one of its aspects, is a brief and striking primer, a McGuffey's Eclectic Reader for the twentieth century.
Jewel Spears Brooker (Reading the Waste Land: Modernism and the Limits of Interpretation)
Most of the makers of the twentieth-century mind, figures such as Freud, Heisenberg, Picasso, Joyce, and Eliot, have in common an about-face on the subject-object question and the mindmatter question; they all reject the dualism that arbitrarily and irreversibly splits the world into pieces. This rejection of dualism and the corresponding reach for monism are of the essence in understanding the revolutionary nature of twentieth-century science and art.
Jewel Spears Brooker (Reading the Waste Land: Modernism and the Limits of Interpretation)
Style still matters, for at least three reasons. First, it ensures that writers will get their message across, sparing readers from squandering their precious moments on earth deciphering opaque prose. When the effort fails, the result can be calamitous-as Strunk and White put it, "death on the highway caused by a badly worded road sign, heartbreak among lovers caused by a misplaced phrase in a well-intentioned letter, anguish of a traveler expecting to be met at a railroad station and not being met because of a slipshod telegram." Governments and corporations have found that small improvements in clarity can prevent vast amounts of error, frustration, and waste, and many countries have recently made clear language the law of the land. Second, style earns trust. If readers can see that a writer cares about consistency and accuracy in her prose, they will be reassured that the writer cares about those virtues in conduct they cannot see as easily. Here is how one technology executive explains why he rejects job applications filled with errors of grammar and punctuation: "If it takes someone more than 20 years to notice how to properly use it's, then that's not a learning curve I'm comfortable with." And if that isn't enough to get you to brush up your prose, consider the discovery of the dating site OkCupid that sloppy grammar and spelling in a profile are "huge turn-offs." As one client said, "If you're trying to date a woman, I don't expect flowery Jane Austen prose. But aren't you trying to put your best foot forward?" Style, not least, adds beauty to the world. To a literate reader, a crisp sentence, an arresting metaphor, a witty aside, an elegant turn of phrase are among life's greatest pleasures. And as we shall see in the first chapter, this thoroughly impractical virtue of good writing is where the practical effort of mastering good writing must begin.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
The typical capitalists are lovers of power rather than sensual indulgence, but they have the same tendency to crush and to take tribute that the cruder types of sensualism possess. The discipline of the capitalist is the same as that of the frugalist. He differs from the latter in that he has no regard for the objects through which productive power is acquired. HE does not hesitate to exploit natural resources, lands, dumb animals and even his fellowman. Capital to such a man is an abstract fund, made up of perishable elements which are quickly replaced… The frugalist…stands in marked contrast to the attitude of the capitalist. The frugalist takes a vital interest in his tools, in his land, and in the goods he produces. He has a definite attachment to each. He dislikes to see an old coat wear out, an old wagon break down, or an old horse go lame. He always thinks of concrete things, wants them and nothing else. He desires not land, but a given farm, not horses or cattle and machines, but particular breeds and implements; not shelter, but a home…. He rejects as unworthy what is below standard and despises as luxurious what is above or outside of it. Dominated by activities, he thinks of capital as a means to an end.
Ellen Ruppel Shell (Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture)
There’s something else about this list that really jumps out. Take another look at the top five attributes listed there—the key characteristics defining a world-class sales experience: Rep offers unique and valuable perspectives on the market. Rep helps me navigate alternatives. Rep provides ongoing advice or consultation. Rep helps me avoid potential land mines. Rep educates me on new issues and outcomes. Each of these attributes speaks directly to an urgent need of the customer not to buy something, but to learn something. They’re looking to suppliers to help them identify new opportunities to cut costs, increase revenue, penetrate new markets, and mitigate risk in ways they themselves have not yet recognized. Essentially this is the customer—or 5,000 of them at least, all over the world—saying rather emphatically, “Stop wasting my time. Challenge me. Teach me something new.
Matthew Dixon (The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation)
But there will come a time, soon enough, when even that ancient wood will fall to the axe, to grant man his grazing land, his settlements, his towers and walls. He thinks, in his ignorance, to tame the very earth, to force the very ocean to his will. And so he will lay waste the body of the mother who gave him birth; and will not know what he does. The old ways will be forgotten, Fainne, no matter what we do. A new age begins; an age of darkness in which those who walk the earth are cut off from the very things which give them life.
Juliet Marillier (Child of the Prophecy (Sevenwaters, #3))
And I suppose you thought Hansel and Gretel had it coming, too?” “Yes,” Conner said, feeling clever. “And so did the witch!” “How so?” Alex asked. “Because,” Conner explained with a smirk on his face, “if you’re going to live in a house made of candy, don’t move next door to a couple of obese kids. A lot of these fairy-tale characters are missing common sense.” Alex let out another disapproving grunt. Conner figured he could get at least fifty more out of her before they got home. “The witch didn’t live next door! She lived deep in the forest! They had to leave a trail of bread crumbs behind so they could find their way back, remember. And the whole point of the house was to lure the kids in. They were starving!” Alex reminded him. “At least have all the facts straight before you criticize.” “If they were starving, what were they doing wasting bread crumbs?” Conner asked. “Sounds like a couple of troublemakers to me.” Alex
Chris Colfer (The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1))
mainland of America, the Wampanoags of Massasoit and King Philip had vanished, along with the Chesapeakes, the Chickahominys, and the Potomacs of the great Powhatan confederacy. (Only Pocahontas was remembered.) Scattered or reduced to remnants were the Pequots, Montauks, Nanticokes. Machapungas, Catawbas, Cheraws, Miamis, Hurons, Eries, Mohawks, Senecas, and Mohegans. (Only Uncas was remembered.) Their musical names remained forever fixed on the American land, but their bones were forgotten in a thousand burned villages or lost in forests fast disappearing before the axes of twenty million invaders. Already the once sweet-watered streams, most of which bore Indian names, were clouded with silt and the wastes of man; the very earth was being ravaged and squandered. To the Indians it seemed that these Europeans hated everything in nature—the living forests and their birds and beasts, the grassy glades, the water, the soil, and the air itself.
Dee Brown (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West)
In all my travels I saw very little real poverty, I mean the grinding terrifying poorness of the Thirties. That at least was real and tangible. No, it was a sickness, a kind of wasting disease. There were wishes but no wants. And underneath it all the building energy like gases in a corpse. When that explodes, I tremble to think what will be the result. Over and over I thought we lack the pressures that make men strong and the anguish that makes men great. The pressures are debts, the desires are for more material toys and the anguish is boredom. Through time, the nation has become a discontented land.
John Steinbeck (Travels With Charley: In Search of America)
[Eddie] cried out but his cry was lost in the golden blast of some tremendous horn. It came from the top of the Tower, and seemed to fill the world. As that note of warning held and drew out over the field where he stood, blackness welled from the windows which girdled the Tower. It overspilled them and spread across the sky in flaggy streams which came together and formed a growing blotch of darkness. It did not look like a cloud; it looked like a tumor hanging over the earth. The sky was blotted out. And, he saw, it was not a cloud or a tumor but a shape, some tenebrous, cyclopean shape racing toward the place where he stood.
Stephen King (The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3))
We cleave our way through the mountains until the interstate dips into a wide basin brimming with blue sky, broken by dusty roads and rocky saddles strung out along the southern horizon. This is our first real glimpse of the famous big-sky country to come, and I couldn't care less. For all its grandeur, the landscape does not move me. And why should it? The sky may be big, it may be blue and limitless and full of promise, but it's also really far away. Really, it's just an illusion. I've been wasting my time. We've all been wasting our time. What good is all this grandeur if it's impermanent, what good all of this promise if it's only fleeting? Who wants to live in a world where suffering is the only thing that lasts, a place where every single thing that ever meant the world to you can be stripped away in an instant? And it will be stripped away, so don't fool yourself. If you're lucky, your life will erode slowly with the ruinous effects of time or recede like the glaciers that carved this land, and you will be left alone to sift through the detritus. If you are unlucky, your world will be snatched out from beneath you like a rug, and you'll be left with nowhere to stand and nothing to stand on. Either way, you're screwed. So why bother? Why grunt and sweat and weep your way through the myriad obstacles, why love, dream, care, when you're only inviting disaster? I'm done answering the call of whippoorwills, the call of smiling faces and fireplaces and cozy rooms. You won't find me building any more nests among the rose blooms. Too many thorns.
Jonathan Evison (The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving)
Her womb from her body. Separation. Her clitoris from her vulva. Cleaving. Desire from her body. We were told that bodies rising to heaven lose their vulvas, their ovaries, wombs, that her body in resurrection becomes a male body. The Divine Image from woman, severing, immortality from the garden, exile, the golden calf split, birth, sorrow, suffering. We were told that the blood of a woman after childbirth conveys uncleanness. That if a woman's uterus is detached and falls to the ground, that she is unclean. Her body from the sacred. Spirit from flesh. We were told that if a woman has an issue and that issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be impure for seven days. The impure from the pure. The defiled from the holy. And whoever touches her, we heard, was also impure. Spirit from matter. And we were told that if our garments are stained we are unclean back to the time we can remember seeing our garments unstained, that we must rub seven substances over these stains, and immerse our soiled garments. Separation. The clean from the unclean. The decaying, the putrid, the polluted, the fetid, the eroded, waste, defecation, from the unchanging. The changing from the sacred. We heard it spoken that if a grave is plowed up in a field so that the bones of the dead are lost in the soil of the field, this soil conveys uncleanness. That if a member is severed from a corpse, this too conveys uncleanness, even an olive pit's bulk of flesh. That if marrow is left in a bone there is uncleanness. And of the place where we gathered to weep near the graveyard, we heard that planting and sowing were forbidden since our grieving may have tempted unclean flesh to the soil. And we learned that the dead body must be separated from the city. Death from the city. Wilderness from the city. Wildness from the city. The Cemetery. The Garden. The Zoological Garden. We were told that a wolf circled the walls of the city. That he ate little children. That he ate women. That he lured us away from the city with his tricks. That he was a seducer and he feasted on the flesh of the foolish, and the blood of the errant and sinful stained the snow under his jaws. The errant from the city. The ghetto. The ghetto of Jews. The ghetto of Moors. The quarter of prostitutes. The ghetto of blacks. The neighborhood of lesbians. The prison. The witch house. The underworld. The underground. The sewer. Space Divided. The inch. The foot. The mile. The boundary. The border. The nation. The promised land. The chosen ones.
Susan Griffin (Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her)
MISSIONARY: Look at you! You’re just wasting your life away, lying around like that. SAMOAN: Why? What do you think I should be doing? MISSIONARY: Well, there are plenty of coconuts all around here. Why not dry some copra and sell it? SAMOAN: And why would I want to do that? MISSIONARY: You could make a lot of money. And with the money you make, you could get a drying machine, and dry copra faster, and make even more money. SAMOAN: Okay. And why would I want to do that? MISSIONARY: Well, you’d be rich. You could buy land, plant more trees, expand operations. At that point, you wouldn’t even have to do the physical work anymore, you could just hire a bunch of other people to do it for you. SAMOAN: Okay. And why would I want to do that? MISSIONARY: Well, eventually, with all that copra, land, machines, employees, with all that money—you could retire a very rich man. And then you wouldn’t have to do anything. You could just lie on the beach all day.
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
In every era there comes a moment when the collective thoughts, whims, and motivations of a people become so self-absorbed, so malignant, so unheeding that nature itself revolts. Man scars the land such that it finally rebels against him. As thoughts can spread despair and death like seedlings of weeds strewn by the wind, so they eventually draw the Gardener to pluck them out. The vetches must be pulled, roots and all. When this happens, the Medium ceases to bless, and instead, it curses. Instead of healing, it spews poison. It happens swiftly and terribly. The ancients gave it a name, this culling process that blackens the world. They named it after a wasting disease that occurs in once-healthy groves of trees. They called it the Blight.
Jeff Wheeler (The Blight of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #2))
This afternoon, being on Fair Haven Hill, I heard the sound of a saw, and soon after from the Cliff saw two men sawing down a noble pine beneath, about forty rods off. I resolved to watch it till it fell, the last of a dozen or more which were left when the forest was cut and for fifteen years have waved in solitary majesty over the sprout-land. I saw them like beavers or insects gnawing at the trunk of this noble tree, the diminutive manikins with their cross-cut saw which could scarcely span it. It towered up a hundred feet as I afterward found by measurement, one of the tallest probably in the township and straight as an arrow, but slanting a little toward the hillside, its top seen against the frozen river and the hills of Conantum. I watch closely to see when it begins to move. Now the sawers stop, and with an axe open it a little on the side toward which it leans, that it may break the faster. And now their saw goes again. Now surely it is going; it is inclined one quarter of the quadrant, and, breathless, I expect its crashing fall. But no, I was mistaken; it has not moved an inch; it stands at the same angle as at first. It is fifteen minutes yet to its fall. Still its branches wave in the wind, as it were destined to stand for a century, and the wind soughs through its needles as of yore; it is still a forest tree, the most majestic tree that waves over Musketaquid. The silvery sheen of the sunlight is reflected from its needles; it still affords an inaccessible crotch for the squirrel’s nest; not a lichen has forsaken its mast-like stem, its raking mast,—the hill is the hulk. Now, now’s the moment! The manikins at its base are fleeing from their crime. They have dropped the guilty saw and axe. How slowly and majestic it starts! as it were only swayed by a summer breeze, and would return without a sigh to its location in the air. And now it fans the hillside with its fall, and it lies down to its bed in the valley, from which it is never to rise, as softly as a feather, folding its green mantle about it like a warrior, as if, tired of standing, it embraced the earth with silent joy, returning its elements to the dust again. But hark! there you only saw, but did not hear. There now comes up a deafening crash to these rocks , advertising you that even trees do not die without a groan. It rushes to embrace the earth, and mingle its elements with the dust. And now all is still once more and forever, both to eye and ear. I went down and measured it. It was about four feet in diameter where it was sawed, about one hundred feet long. Before I had reached it the axemen had already divested it of its branches. Its gracefully spreading top was a perfect wreck on the hillside as if it had been made of glass, and the tender cones of one year’s growth upon its summit appealed in vain and too late to the mercy of the chopper. Already he has measured it with his axe, and marked off the mill-logs it will make. And the space it occupied in upper air is vacant for the next two centuries. It is lumber. He has laid waste the air. When the fish hawk in the spring revisits the banks of the Musketaquid, he will circle in vain to find his accustomed perch, and the hen-hawk will mourn for the pines lofty enough to protect her brood. A plant which it has taken two centuries to perfect, rising by slow stages into the heavens, has this afternoon ceased to exist. Its sapling top had expanded to this January thaw as the forerunner of summers to come. Why does not the village bell sound a knell? I hear no knell tolled. I see no procession of mourners in the streets, or the woodland aisles. The squirrel has leaped to another tree; the hawk has circled further off, and has now settled upon a new eyrie, but the woodman is preparing [to] lay his axe at the root of that also.
Henry David Thoreau (The Journal, 1837-1861)
I have used the theologians and their treatment of apocalypse as a model of what we might expect to find not only in more literary treatments of the same radical fiction, but in the literary treatment of radical fictions in general. The assumptions I have made in doing so I shall try to examine next time. Meanwhile it may be useful to have some kind of summary account of what I've been saying. The main object: is the critical business of making sense of some of the radical ways of making sense of the world. Apocalypse and the related themes are strikingly long-lived; and that is the first thing to say tbout them, although the second is that they change. The Johannine acquires the characteristics of the Sibylline Apocalypse, and develops other subsidiary fictions which, in the course of time, change the laws we prescribe to nature, and specifically to time. Men of all kinds act, as well as reflect, as if this apparently random collocation of opinion and predictions were true. When it appears that it cannot be so, they act as if it were true in a different sense. Had it been otherwise, Virgil could not have been altissimo poeta in a Christian tradition; the Knight Faithful and True could not have appeared in the opening stanzas of "The Faerie Queene". And what is far more puzzling, the City of Apocalypse could not have appeared as a modern Babylon, together with the 'shipmen and merchants who were made rich by her' and by the 'inexplicable splendour' of her 'fine linen, and purple and scarlet,' in The Waste Land, where we see all these things, as in Revelation, 'come to nought.' Nor is this a matter of literary allusion merely. The Emperor of the Last Days turns up as a Flemish or an Italian peasant, as Queen Elizabeth or as Hitler; the Joachite transition as a Brazilian revolution, or as the Tudor settlement, or as the Third Reich. The apocalyptic types--empire, decadence and renovation, progress and catastrophe--are fed by history and underlie our ways of making sense of the world from where we stand, in the middest.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
Nature had once produced an Englishman whose domed head had been a hive of words; a man who had only to breathe on any particle of his stupendous vocabulary to have that particle live and expand and throw out tremulous tentacles until it became a complex image with a pulsing brain and correlated limbs. Three centuries later, another man, in another country, was trying to render these rhythms and metaphors in a different tongue. This process entailed a prodigious amount of labour, for the necessity of which no real reason could be given. It was as if someone, having seen a certain oak tree (further called Individual T) growing in a certain land and casting its own unique shadow on the green and brown ground, had proceeded to erect in his garden a prodigiously intricate piece of machinery which in itself was as unlike that or any other tree as the translator's inspiration and language were unlike those of the original author, but which, by means of ingenious combination of parts, light effects, breeze-engendering engines, would, when completed, cast a shadow exactly similar to that of Individual T - the same outline, changing in the same manner, with the same double and single spots of sun rippling in the same position, at the same hour of the day. From a practical point of view, such a waste of time and material (those headaches, those midnight triumphs that turn out to be disasters in the sober light of morning!) was almost criminally absurd, since the greatest masterpiece of imitation presupposed a voluntary limitation of thought, in submission to another man's genius.
Vladimir Nabokov (Bend Sinister)
We know what the law is, Mister Po-leess-maan. The law is the land. You say, "This is my land", but you did not make the land. You did not make your sheep, you did not make the rabbits on which we live, you did not make the cows, or the horses, but you say, "These things are mine". This cannot be a truth. I make my axe, my pots, and these are mine. What I wear is mine. Some love was mine. Now it has gone. I think you are a good man, Mister Po-leess-maan but we see the turning of the times. Maybe a hundred or two hundred years ago there was in the world what people called "the wilderness", or "no man's land", or "wasteland", and we lived in such places, we are waste people. There was the troll race, the dwarf race, the human race, and I am sorry for the goblin race that we cannot run so fast.
Terry Pratchett (Snuff (Discworld, #39; City Watch, #8))
And I wonder, therefore, how James Atlas can have been so indulgent in his recent essay ‘The Changing World of New York Intellectuals.’ This rather shallow piece appeared in the New York Times magazine, and took us over the usual jumps. Gone are the days of Partisan Review, Delmore Schwartz, Dwight MacDonald etc etc. No longer the tempest of debate over Trotsky, The Waste Land, Orwell, blah, blah. Today the assimilation of the Jewish American, the rise of rents in midtown Manhattan, the erosion of Village life, yawn, yawn. The drift to the right, the rediscovery of patriotism, the gruesome maturity of the once iconoclastic Norman Podhoretz, okay, okay! I have one question which Atlas in his much-ballyhooed article did not even discuss. The old gang may have had regrettable flirtations. Their political compromises, endlessly reviewed, may have exhibited naivety or self-regard. But much of that record is still educative, and the argument did take place under real pressure from anti-semitic and authoritarian enemies. Today, the alleged ‘neo-conservative’ movement around Jeane Kirkpatrick, Commentary and the New Criterion can be found in unforced alliance with openly obscurantist, fundamentalist and above all anti-intellectual forces. In the old days, there would at least have been a debate on the proprieties of such a united front, with many fine distinctions made and brave attitudes struck. As I write, nearness to power seems the only excuse, and the subject is changed as soon it is raised. I wait for the agonised, self-justifying neo-conservative essay about necessary and contingent alliances. Do I linger in vain?
Christopher Hitchens (Prepared for the Worst: Selected Essays and Minority Reports)
Why do we complain of Nature? She has shown herself kindly; life, if you know how to use it, is long. But one man is possessed by an avarice that is insatiable, another by a toilsome devotion to tasks that are useless; one man is besotted with wine, another is paralyzed by sloth; one man is exhausted by an ambition that always hangs upon the decision of others, another, driven on by the greed of the trader, is led over all lands and all seas by the hope of gain; some are tormented by a passion for war and are always either bent upon inflicting danger upon others or concerned about their own; some there are who are worn out by voluntary servitude in a thankless attendance upon the great; many are kept busy either in the pursuit of other men's fortune or in complaining of their own; many, following no fixed aim, shifting and inconstant and dissatisfied, are plunged by their fickleness into plans that are ever new; some have no fixed principle by which to direct their course, but Fate takes them unawares while they loll and yawn—so surely does it happen that I cannot doubt the truth of that utterance which the greatest of poets delivered with all the seeming of an oracle: "The part of life we really live is small."5 For all the rest of existence is not life, but merely time. Vices beset us and surround us on every side, and they do not permit us to rise anew and lift up our eyes for the discernment of truth, but they keep us down when once they have overwhelmed us and we are chained to lust. Their victims are never allowed to return to their true selves; if ever they chance to find some release, like the waters of the deep sea which continue to heave even after the storm is past, they are tossed about, and no rest from their lusts abides. Think you that I am speaking of the wretches whose evils are admitted? Look at those whose prosperity men flock to behold; they are smothered by their blessings. To how many are riches a burden! From how many do eloquence and the daily straining to display their powers draw forth blood! How many are pale from constant pleasures! To how many does the throng of clients that crowd about them leave no freedom! In short, run through the list of all these men from the lowest to the highest—this man desires an advocate,6 this one answers the call, that one is on trial, that one defends him, that one gives sentence; no one asserts his claim to himself, everyone is wasted for the sake of another. Ask about the men whose names are known by heart, and you will see that these are the marks that distinguish them: A cultivates B and B cultivates C; no one is his own master. And then certain men show the most senseless indignation—they complain of the insolence of their superiors, because they were too busy to see them when they wished an audience! But can anyone have the hardihood to complain of the pride of another when he himself has no time to attend to himself? After all, no matter who you are, the great man does sometimes look toward you even if his face is insolent, he does sometimes condescend to listen to your words, he permits you to appear at his side; but you never deign to look upon yourself, to give ear to yourself. There is no reason, therefore, to count anyone in debt for such services, seeing that, when you performed them, you had no wish for another's company, but could not endure your own.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
The Defendant: I am pleading guilty your honors but I'm doing it because I think it would be a waste of money to have a trial over five dollars worth of crack. What I really need is a drug program because I want to turn my life around and the only reason I was doing what I was doing on the street was to support my habit. The habit has to be fed your honors as you know and I believe in working for my money. I could be out there robbing people but I'm not and I've always worked even though I am disabled. And not always at this your honors, I used to be a mail carrier back in the day but then I started using drugs and that was all I wanted to do. So I'm taking this plea to save the city of New York and the taxpayers money because I can't believe that the DA, who I can see is a very tall man, would take to trial a case involving five dollars worth of crack, especially knowing how much a trial of that nature would cost. But I still think that I should get a chance to do a drug program because I've never been given that chance in any of my cases and the money that will be spent keeping me in jail could be spent addressing my real problem which is that I like, no need, to smoke crack every day and every chance I get, and if I have to point people to somebody who's selling the stuff so I can get one dollar and eventually save up enough to buy a vial then smoke it immediately and start saving up for my next one that I'll gladly do that, and I'll do it even though I know it could land me in jail for years because the only thing that matters at that moment is getting my next vial and I am not a Homo-sapiens-sexual your honors but if I need money to buy crack I will suck. . . .
Sergio de la Pava (A Naked Singularity)
Eliot's understanding of poetic epistemology is a version of Bradley's theory, outlined in our second chapter, that knowing involves immediate, relational, and transcendent stages or levels. The poetic mind, like the ordinary mind, has at least two types of experience: The first consists largely of feeling (falling in love, smelling the cooking, hearing the noise of the typewriter), the second largely of thought (reading Spinoza). The first type of experience is sensuous, and it is also to a great extent monistic or immediate, for it does not require mediation through the mind; it exists before intellectual analysis, before the falling apart of experience into experiencer and experienced. The second type of experience, in contrast, is intellectual (to be known at all, it must be mediated through the mind) and sharply dualistic, in that it involves a breaking down of experience into subject and object. In the mind of the ordinary person, these two types of experience are and remain disparate. In the mind of the poet, these disparate experiences are somehow transcended and amalgamated into a new whole, a whole beyond and yet including subject and object, mind and matter. Eliot illustrates his explanation of poetic epistemology by saying that John Donne did not simply feel his feelings and think his thoughts; he felt his thoughts and thought his feelings. He was able to "feel his thought as immediately as the odour of a rose." Immediately" in this famous simile is a technical term in philosophy, used with precision; it means unmediated through mind, unshattered into subject and object. Falling in love and reading Spinoza typify Eliot's own experiences in the years in which he was writing The Waste Land. These were the exciting and exhausting years in which he met Vivien Haigh-Wood and consummated a disastrous marriage, the years in which he was deeply involved in reading F. H. Bradley, the years in which he was torn between the professions of philosophy and poetry and in which he was in close and frequent contact with such brilliant and stimulating figures as Bertrand Russell and Ezra Pound, the years of the break from his family and homeland, the years in which in every area of his life he seemed to be between broken worlds. The experiences of these years constitute the material of The Waste Land. The relevant biographical details need not be reviewed here, for they are presented in the introduction to The Waste Land Facsimile. For our purposes, it is only necessary to acknowledge what Eliot himself acknowledged: the material of art is always actual life. At the same time, it should also be noted that material in itself is not art. As Eliot argued in his review of Ulysses, "in creation you are responsible for what you can do with material which you must simply accept." For Eliot, the given material included relations with and observations of women, in particular, of his bright but seemingly incurably ill wife Vivien(ne).
Jewel Spears Brooker (Reading the Waste Land: Modernism and the Limits of Interpretation)
Anyhow, high school is just…The. Worst.” “Funny that you became a high school teacher, then,” I say, and she laughs again. “Something I should talk to my therapist about. Speaking of which, you could speak to the school counselor if you want. We have a psychiatrist on staff. A life coach too.” “Seriously?” “I know, right? Finding ways to justify the tuition. Anyhow, if not them, feel free to come talk to me anytime. Students like you are the reason I chose to teach.” “Thanks.” “By the way, I look forward to your and Ethan’s ‘Waste Land’ paper. You’re two of my brightest students. I have great expectations.” Dickens is next on the syllabus. A literary pun. No wonder Mrs. Pollack was destroyed in high school. “We intend to reach wuthering heights,” I say, and as I walk by, she reaches her hand up, and I can’t help it—dorks unite! nerd power!—I give her a high five on my way out.
Julie Buxbaum (Tell Me Three Things)
Like Oz, life is full of beauty and horror. Whether you’re in the magical realm or the so-called civilized one, you can look at the world around you and see both things at almost any time. But what being in Oz taught me is that no matter how horrific a situation may be, no matter how devastating or scary or chaotic, there is still always beauty in the colors of it all, even in the grays. As I look back on the last four years of my life, on everything that led me to the place where my life changed forever for a second time, I might think I wasted too many crucial years perceiving my world through a lens that leeched the color from everything I set my eyes on, but now I can forgive myself for my mistakes and maybe even be grateful for the trials I’ve faced. After all, a rainbow only comes out when it rains. The most spectacular rainbows are set against a backdrop of a half dark sky where gray clouds hover and rain batters the surface of the earth, but the horizon is clear and bright—a pure, radiant blue surrounding a shining golden sun. When I’m in Oz, that rainbow is who I am—a vivid, radiant spectrum of colors with a clear bright landscape ahead only made more rich-hued and vibrant by the darkness that lies behind it.
Garten Gevedon (Dorothy in the Land of Monsters (Oz ReVamped, #1))
The hero is the man of self-achieved submission. But submission to what? That precisely is the riddle that today we have to ask ourselves and that it is everywhere the primary virtue and historic deed of the hero to have solved. Only birth can conquer death—the birth, not of the old thing again, but of something new. Within the soul, within the body social, there must be a continuous “recurrence of birth” a rebirth, to nullify the unremitting recurrences of death. For it is by means of our own victories, if we are not regenerated, that the work of Nemesis is wrought: doom breaks from the shell of our very virtue. Peace then is a snare; war is a snare; change is a snare; permanence a snare. When our day is come for the victory of death, death closes in; there is nothing we can do, except be crucified—and resurrected; dismembered totally, and then reborn. The first step, detachment or withdrawal, consists in a radical transfer of emphasis from the external to the internal world, macro- to microcosm, a retreat from the desperation's of the waste land to the peace of the everlasting realm that is within. But this realm, as we know from psychoanalysis, is precisely the infantile unconscious. It is the realm that we enter in sleep. We carry it within ourselves forever. All the ogres and secret helpers of our nursery are there, all the magic of childhood. And more important, all the life-potentialities that we never managed to bring to adult realization, those other portions of our self, are there; for such golden seeds do not die. If only a portion of that lost totality could be dredged up into the light of day, we should experience a marvelous expansion of our powers, a vivid renewal of life. We should tower in stature. Moreover, if we could dredge up something forgotten not only by ourselves but by our whole generation or our entire civilization, we should indeed become the boon-bringer, the culture hero of the day—a personage of not only local but world historical moment. In a word: the first work of the hero is to retreat from the world scene of secondary effects to those causal zones of the psyche where the difficulties really reside, and there to clarify the difficulties, eradicate them in his own case (i.e., give battle to the nursery demons of his local culture) and break through to the undistorted, direct experience and assimilation of what C. G. Jung has called “the archetypal images.” This is the process known to Hindu and Buddhist philosophy as viveka, “discrimination.
Joseph Campbell (The Hero With a Thousand Faces)
It's a difficult path that we tread, us Indie self-publishers, but we're not alone. How many bands practicing in their dad’s garage have heard of a group from the neighbourhood who got signed by a recording company? Or how many artists who love to paint, but are not really getting anywhere with it hear of someone they went to art school with being offered an exhibition in a gallery? How many chefs who love to get creative around food hear of someone else who’s just landed a job with Marco Pierre White? There’s no difference between us and them. There is, however, a huge difference in how everyone else perceives the writer. And there’s a huge difference between all of us – the writers, the musicians, the composers, the chefs, the dance choreographers and to a certain extent the tradesmen - and the rest of society in that no one understands us. It’s a wretched dream to hope that our creativity gets recognised while our family thinks we’re wasting our time when the lawn needs mowing, the deck needs painting and the bedroom needs decorating. It’s acceptable to go into the garage to tinker about with a motorbike, but it’s a waste of a good Sunday afternoon if you go into the garage and practice your guitar, or sit in your study attempting to capture words that have been floating around your brain forever.
Karl Wiggins (Self-Publishing In the Eye of the Storm)
And so we have…this critical problem as human beings of seeing to it that the mythology—the constellation of sign signals, affect images, energy-releasing and -directing signs—that we are communicating to our young will deliver directive messages qualified to relate them richly and vitally to the environment that is to be theirs for life, and not to some period of man already past, some piously desiderated future, or—what is worst of all—some querulous, freakish sect or momentary fad. And I call this problem critical because, when it is badly resolved, the result for the miseducated individual is what is known, in mythological terms, as a Waste Land situation. The world does not talk to him; he does not talk to the world. When that is the case, there is a cut-off, the individual is thrown back on himself, and he is in prime shape for that psychotic break-away that will turn him into either an essential schizophrenic in a padded cell, or a paranoid screaming slogans at large, in a bughouse without walls.
Joseph Campbell (A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living)
OLIVER DAVENANT did not merely read books. He snuffed them up, took breaths of them into his lungs, filled his eyes with the sight of the print and his head with the sound of words. Some emanation from the book itself poured into his bones, as if he were absorbing steady sunshine. The pages had personality. He was of the kind who cannot have a horrifying book in the room at night. He would, in fine weather, lay it upon an outside sill and close the window. Often Julia would see a book lying on his doormat. As well as this, his reading led him in and out of love. At first, it was the picture of Alice going up on tiptoe to shake hands with Humpty Dumpty; then the little Fatima in his Arthur Rackham book, her sweet dusky face, the coins hanging on her brow, the billowing trousers and embroidered coat. Her childish face was alive with excitement as she put the key to the lock. “Don’t!” he had once cried to her in loud agony. In London, he would go every Saturday morning to the Public Library to look at a picture of Lorna Doone. Some Saturdays it was not there, and he would go home again, wondering who had borrowed her, in what kind of house she found herself that week-end. On his last Saturday, he went to say good-bye and the book was not there, so he sat down at a table to await its return. Just before the library was to be shut for lunch-time, he went to the shelf and kissed the two books which would lie on either side of his Lorna when she was returned and, having left this message of farewell, made his way home, late for lunch and empty of heart. If this passion is to be called reading, then the matrons with their circulating libraries and the clergymen with their detective tales are merely flirting and passing time. To discover how Oliver’s life was lived, it was necessary, as in reading The Waste Land, to have an extensive knowledge of literature. With impartiality, he studied comic papers and encyclopaedia, Eleanor’s pamphlets on whatever interested her at the moment, the labels on breakfast cereals and cod liver oil, Conan Doyle and Charlotte Brontë.
Elizabeth Taylor (At Mrs Lippincote's)
The average person wastes his life. He has a great deal of energy but he wastes it. The life of an average person seems at the end utterly meaningless…without significance. When he looks back…what has he done? MIND The mind creates routine for its own safety and convenience. Tradition becomes our security. But when the mind is secure it is in decay. We all want to be famous people…and the moment we want to be something…we are no longer free. Intelligence is the capacity to perceive the essential…the what is. It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything new…and in that there’s joy. To awaken this capacity in oneself and in others is real education. SOCIETY It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. Nature is busy creating absolutely unique individuals…whereas culture has invented a single mold to which we must conform. A consistent thinker is a thoughtless person because he conforms to a pattern. He repeats phrases and thinks in a groove. What happens to your heart and your mind when you are merely imitative, naturally they wither, do they not? The great enemy of mankind is superstition and belief which is the same thing. When you separate yourself by belief tradition by nationally it breeds violence. Despots are only the spokesmen for the attitude of domination and craving for power which is in the heart of almost everyone. Until the source is cleared there will be confusion and classes…hate and wars. A man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country to any religion to any political party. He is concerned with the understanding of mankind. FEAR You have religion. Yet the constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear. You can only be afraid of what you think you know. One is never afraid of the unknown…one is afraid of the known coming to an end. A man who is not afraid is not aggressive. A man who has no sense of fear of any kind is really a free and peaceful mind. You want to be loved because you do not love…but the moment you really love, it is finished. You are no longer inquiring whether someone loves you or not. MEDITATION The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence. In meditation you will discover the whisperings of your own prejudices…your own noises…the monkey mind. You have to be your own teacher…truth is a pathless land. The beauty of meditation is that you never know where you are…where you are going…what the end is. Down deep we all understand that it is truth that liberates…not your effort to be free. The idea of ourselves…our real selves…is your escape from the fact of what you really are. Here we are talking of something entirely different….not of self improvement…but the cessation of self. ADVICE Take a break with the past and see what happens. Release attachment to outcomes…inside you will feel good no matter what. Eventually you will find that you don’t mind what happens. That is the essence of inner freedom…it is timeless spiritual truth. If you can really understand the problem the answer will come out of it. The answer is not separate from the problem. Suffer and understand…for all of that is part of life. Understanding and detachment…this is the secret. DEATH There is hope in people…not in societies not in systems but only in you and me. The man who lives without conflict…who lives with beauty and love…is not frightened by death…because to love is to die.
J. Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
On the eleventh day, it finally stopped raining. Musashi chafed to be out in the open, but it was another week before they were able to return to work under a bright sun. The field they had so arduously carved out of the wilderness had disappeared without a trace; in its place were rocks, and a river where none had been before. The water seemed to mock them just as the villagers had. Iori, seeing no way to reclaim their loss, looked up and said, “This place is beyond hope. Let’s look for better land somewhere else.” “No,” Musashi said firmly. “With the water drained off, this would make excellent farmland. I examined the location from every angle before I chose it.” “What if we have another heavy rain?” “We’ll fix it so the water doesn’t come this way. We’ll lay a dam from here all the way to that hill over there.” ‘That’s an awful lot of work.” “You seem to forget that this is our dōjō. I’m not giving up a foot of this land until I see barley growing on it.” Musashi carried on his stubborn struggle throughout the winter, into the second month of the new year. It took several weeks of strenuous labor to dig ditches, drain the water off, pile dirt for a dike and then cover it with heavy rocks. Three weeks later everything was again washed away. “Look,” Iori said, “we’re wasting our energy on something impossible. Is that the Way of the Sword?” The question struck close to the bone, but Musashi would not give in. Only a month passed before the next disaster, a heavy snowfall followed by a quick thaw. Iori, on his return from trips to the temple for food, inevitably wore a long face, for the people there rode him mercilessly about Musashi’s failure. And finally Musashi himself began to lose heart. For two full days and on into a third, he sat silently brooding and staring at his field. Then it dawned on him suddenly. Unconsciously, he had been trying to create a neat, square field like those common in other parts of the Kanto Plain, but this was not what the terrain called for. Here, despite the general flatness, there were slight variations in the lay of the land and the quality of the soil that argued for an irregular shape. “What a fool I’ve been,” he exclaimed aloud. “I tried to make the water flow where I thought it should and force the dirt to stay where I thought it ought to be. But it didn’t work. How could it? Water’s water, dirt’s dirt. I can’t change their nature. What I’ve got to do is learn to be a servant to the water and a protector of the land.” In his own way, he had submitted to the attitude of the peasants. On that day he became nature’s manservant. He ceased trying to impose his will on nature and let nature lead the way, while at the same time seeking out possibilities beyond the grasp of other inhabitants of the plain. The snow came again, and another thaw; the muddy water oozed slowly over the plain. But Musashi had had time to work out his new approach, and his field remained intact. “The same rules must apply to governing people,” he said to himself. In his notebook, he wrote: “Do not attempt to oppose the way of the universe. But first make sure you know the way of the universe.
Eiji Yoshikawa (Musashi: An Epic Novel of the Samurai Era)
It is better to lose health like a spendthrift than to waste it like a miser. It is better to live and be done with it, than to die daily in the sick-room. By all means begin your folio; even if the doctor does not give you a year, even if he hesitates about a month, make one brave push and see what can be accomplished in a week. It is not only in finished undertakings that we ought to honour useful labour. A spirit goes out of the man who means execution, which outlives the most untimely ending. All who have meant good work with their whole hearts, have done good work, although they may die before they have the time to sign it. Every heart that has beat strong and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the tradition of mankind. And even if death catch people, like an open pitfall, and in mid-career, laying out vast projects, and planning monstrous foundations, flushed with hope, and their mouths full of boastful language, they should be at once tripped up and silenced: is there not something brave and spirited in such a termination? and does not life go down with a better grace, foaming in full body over a precipice, than miserably straggling to an end in sandy deltas? When the Greeks made their fine saying that those whom the gods love die young, I cannot help believing they had this sort of death also in their eye. For surely, at whatever age it overtake the man, this is to die young. Death has not been suffered to take so much as an illusion from his heart. In the hot-fit of life, a-tiptoe on the highest point of being, he passes at a bound on to the other side. The noise of the mallet and chisel is scarcely quenched, the trumpets are hardly done blowing, when, trailing with him clouds of glory, this happy-starred, full-blooded spirit shoots into the spiritual land.
Robert Louis Stevenson (Æs Triplex and Other Essays)
Montmorency was in it all, of course. Montmorency’s ambition in life, is to get in the way and be sworn at. If he can squirm in anywhere where he particularly is not wanted, and be a perfect nuisance, and make people mad, and have things thrown at his head, then he feels his day has not been wasted. To get somebody to stumble over him, and curse him steadily for an hour, is his highest aim and object; and, when he has succeeded in accomplishing this, his conceit becomes quite unbearable. He came and sat down on things, just when they were wanted to be packed; and he laboured under the fixed belief that, whenever Harris or George reached out their hand for anything, it was his cold, damp nose that they wanted. He put his leg into the jam, and he worried the teaspoons, and he pretended that the lemons were rats, and got into the hamper and killed three of them before Harris could land him with the frying-pan. Harris said I encouraged him. I didn’t encourage him. A dog like that don’t want any encouragement. It’s the natural, original sin that is born in him that makes him do things like that.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog)
Peggotty had a basket of refreshments on her knee, which would have lasted us out handsomely, if we had been going to London by the same conveyance. We ate a good deal, and slept a good deal. Peggotty always went to sleep with her chin upon the handle of the basket, her hold of which never relaxed; and I could not have believed unless I had heard her do it, that one defenceless woman could have snored so much. We made so many deviations up and down lanes, and were such a long time delivering a bedstead at a public-house, and calling at other places, that I was quite tired, and very glad, when we saw Yarmouth. It looked rather spongy and soppy, I thought, as I carried my eye over the great dull waste that lay across the river; and I could not help wondering, if the world were really as round as my geography book said, how any part of it came to be so flat. But I reflected that Yarmouth might be situated at one of the poles; which would account for it. As we drew a little nearer, and saw the whole adjacent prospect lying a straight low line under the sky, I hinted to Peggotty that a mound or so might have improved it; and also that if the land had been a little more separated from the sea, and the town and the tide had not been quite so much mixed up, like toast and water, it would have been nicer. But Peggotty said, with greater emphasis than usual, that we must take things as we found them, and that, for her part, she was proud to call herself a Yarmouth Bloater. When we got into the street (which was strange enough to me) and smelt the fish, and pitch, and oakum, and tar, and saw the sailors walking about, and the carts jingling
Charles Dickens (David Copperfield)
The dangerously clear logic of the Negro's position will more and more loudly assert itself in that day when increasing wealth and more intricate social organization preclude the South from being, as it so largely is, simply an armed camp for intimidating black folk. Such waste of energy cannot be spared if the South is to catch up with civilization. And as the black third of the land grows in thrift and skill, unless skilfully guided in its larger philosophy, it must more and more brood over the red past and the creeping, crooked present, until it grasps a gospel of revolt and revenge and throws its new-found energies athwart the current of advance. Even to-day the masses of the Negroes see all too clearly the anomalies of their position and the moral crookedness of yours. You may marshal strong indictments against them, but their counter-cries, lacking though they be in formal logic, have burning truths within them which you may not wholly ignore, O Southern Gentlemen! If you deplore their presence here, they ask, Who brought us? When you cry, Deliver us from the vision of intermarriage, they answer that legal marriage is infinitely better than systematic concubinage and prostitution. And if in just fury you accuse their vagabonds of violating women, they also in fury quite as just may reply: The rape which your gentlemen have done against helpless black women in defiance of your own laws is written on the foreheads of two millions of mulattoes, and written in ineffaceable blood. And finally, when you fasten crime upon this race as its peculiar trait, they answer that slavery was the arch-crime, and lynching and lawlessness its twin abortions; that color and race are not crimes, and yet it is they which in this land receive most unceasing condemnation, North, East, South, and West.
W.E.B. Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folk)
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: 'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, But being too happy in thine happiness,— That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees In some melodious plot Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, Singest of summer in full-throated ease. O for a beaker full of the warm South, Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, And purple-stained mouth; That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, And with thee fade away into the forest dim: Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs, Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; Where but to think is to be full of sorrow And leaden-eyed despairs, Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow. Away! away! for I will fly to thee, Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy, Though the dull brain perplexes and retards: Already with thee! tender is the night, And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne, Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays; But here there is no light, Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways. I cannot see what flowers are at my feet, Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet Wherewith the seasonable month endows The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild; White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine; Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves; And mid-May's eldest child, The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine, The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves. Darkling I listen; and, for many a time I have been half in love with easeful Death, Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme, To take into the air my quiet breath; Now more than ever seems it rich to die, To cease upon the midnight with no pain, While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard In ancient days by emperor and clown: Perhaps the self-same song that found a path Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, She stood in tears amid the alien corn; The same that oft-times hath Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn. Forlorn! the very word is like a bell To toll me back from thee to my sole self! Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf. Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades Past the near meadows, over the still stream, Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep In the next valley-glades: Was it a vision, or a waking dream? Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep? - Ode to a Nightingale
John Keats (The Complete Poems)
Now where's this artist?" His eyes darted around the room, landed on Gennie and clung. She thought she saw surprise, quickly veiled, then amusement as quickly suppressed, tug at the corners of his mouth. "Daniel MacGregor," Grant said with wry formality. "Genvieve Grandeau." A flicker of recognition ran across Daniel's face before he rose to his rather amazing height and held out his hand. "Welcome." Gennie's hand was clasped, then enveloped. She had simultaneous impressions of strength, compassion, and stubbornness. "You have a magnificent home, Mr. MacGregor," she said, studying him candidly. "It suits you." He gave a great bellow of a laugh that might have shook the windows. "Aye.And three if your paintings hang in the west wing." His eyes slid briefly to Grant's before they came back to hers. "You carry your age well, lass." She gave him a puzzled look as Grant choked over his Scotch. "Thank you." "Get the artist a drink," he ordered, then gestured for her to sit in the chair next to his. "Now, tell me why you're wasting your time with a Campbell." "Gennie happens to be a cousin of mine," Justin said mildly as he sat on the sofa beside his son. "On the aristocratic French side." "A cousin." Daniel's eys sharpened, then an expression that could only be described as cunning pleasure spread over his face. "Aye,we like to keep things in the family. Grandeau-a good strong name.You've the look of a queen, with a bit of sorceress thrown in." "That was meant as a compliment," Serena told her as she handed Gennie a vermouth in crystal. "So I've been told." Gennie sent Grant an easy look over the rim of her glass. "One of my ancestors had an-encounter with a gypsy resulting in twins." "Gennie has a pirate in her family tree as well," Justin put in. Daniel nooded in approval. "Strong blood. The Campbells need all the help they can get." "Watch it,MacGregor," Shelby warned as Grant gave him a brief, fulminating look.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
Rumor has it your war is intended to protect the Covenant, but the King insists it was you who was going to break it. Rumor also has it you and your brother said you were going to war for the betterment of Remalna.” “It’s true, I assure you,” I said. “I mean, about our going to war for the Covenant. The King intends to break it--we have proof of that. And we do want to help the kingdom.” “Perhaps it is true.” The mother gave me a serious look. “But you must consider our position. Too many of us remember what life was like on the coast during the Pirate Wars. No matter who holds a port, or a point, it is our lands, and houses, that get burned, our food taken for supplies, our youths killed. And sometimes not just the youths. We could have a better king, but not at the cost of our towns and farms being laid waste by contending armies.” These words, so quietly spoken, astounded me. I thought of my entire life, devoted to the future, in which I would fight for the freedom of just such people as these. Would it all be a waste? “And if he does raise the taxes again? I know he has four times in the last ten years.” “Then we will manage somehow.” The man shook his head. “And mayhap the day will come when war is necessary, but we want to put that day off as long as we can; for when it does come, it will not be so lightly recovered from. Can you see that?” I thought of the fighting so far. Who had died while trying to rescue me? Those people would never see the sun set again. “Yes. I do see it.” I looked up and saw them both watching me anxiously. The woman leaned forward and patted my hand. “As he says, we do not speak for everyone.” But the message was clear enough. And I could see the justice of it. For had I not taken these people’s mare without a thought to the consequences? Just so could I envision an army trampling Ara’s garden, their minds filled with thoughts of victory, their hearts certain they were in the right. “Then how do we address the wrongs?” I asked, and was ashamed at the quiver in my voice. “That I do not know,” the man said. “I concern myself with what is mine, and I try to help my neighbors. The greater questions--justice, law, and the rights and obligations of power--those seem to be the domain of you nobles. You have the money, and the training, and the centuries of authority.” Unbidden, Shevraeth’s voice returned to mind, that last conversation before the journey to Remalna, You might contemplate during your measures of leisure what the purpose of a permanent court serves…And consider this: The only reason you and your brother have not been in Athanarel all along is because the King considered you too harmless to bother keeping an eye on. I sighed. “And at least three of the said aristocrats are busy looking for me. Maybe it’s time I was on my way.” There was no mistaking the relief in their faces.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Though all the brilliant intellects of the ages were to concentrate upon this one theme, never could they adequately express their wonder at this dense darkness of the human mind. Men do not suffer anyone to seize their estates, and they rush to stones and arms if there is even the slightest dispute about the limit of their lands, yet they allow others to trespass upon their life—nay, they themselves even lead in those who will eventually possess it. No one is to be found who is willing to distribute his money, yet among how many does each one of us distribute his life! In guarding their fortune men are often closefisted, yet, when it comes to the matter of wasting time, in the case of the one thing in which it is right to be miserly, they show themselves most prodigal. And so I should like to lay hold upon someone from the company of older men and say: "I see that you have reached the farthest limit of human life, you are pressing hard upon your hundredth year, or are even beyond it; come now, recall your life and make a reckoning. Consider how much of your time was taken up with a moneylender, how much with a mistress, how much with a patron, how much with a client, how much in wrangling with your wife, how much in punishing your slaves, how much in rushing about the city on social duties. Add the diseases which we have caused by our own acts, add, too, the time that has lain idle and unused; you will see that you have fewer years to your credit than you count. Look back in memory and consider when you ever had a fixed plan, how few days have passed as you had intended, when you were ever at your own disposal, when your face ever wore its natural expression, when your mind was ever unperturbed, what work you have achieved in so long a life, how many have robbed you of life when you were not aware of what you were losing, how much was taken up in useless sorrow, in foolish joy, in greedy desire, in the allurements of society, how little of yourself was left to you; you will perceive that you are dying before your season!"7 What, then, is the reason of this? You live as if you were destined to live forever, no thought of your frailty ever enters your head, of how much time has already gone by you take no heed. You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last. You have all the fears of mortals and all the desires of immortals. You will hear many men saying: "After my fiftieth year I shall retire into leisure, my sixtieth year shall release me from public duties." And what guarantee, pray, have you that your life will last longer? Who will suffer your course to be just as you plan it? Are you not ashamed to reserve for yourself only the remnant of life, and to set apart for wisdom only that time which cannot be devoted to any business? How late it is to begin to live just when we must cease to live! What foolish forgetfulness of mortality to postpone wholesome plans to the fiftieth and sixtieth year, and to intend to begin life at a point to which few have attained!
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
Grabbing my hair and pulling it to the point my skull throbs, I rock back and forth while insanity threatens to destroy my mind completely. Father finally did what Lachlan started. Destroyed my spirit. The angel is gone. The monster has come and killed her. Lachlan Sipping his whiskey, Shon gazes with a bored expression at the one-way mirror as Arson lights the match, grazing the skin of his victim with it as the man convulses in fear. “Show off,” he mutters, and on instinct, I slap the back of his head. He rubs it, spilling the drink. “The fuck? We are wasting time, Lachlan. Tell him to speed up. You know if you let him, he can play for hours.” All in good time, we don’t need just a name. He is saving him for a different kind of information that we write down as Sociopath types furiously on his computer, searching for the location and everything else using FBI databases. “Bingo!” Sociopath mutters, picking up the laptop and showing the screen to me. “It’s seven hours away from New York, in a deserted location in the woods. The land belongs to some guy who is presumed dead and the man accrued the right to build shelters for abused women. They actually live there as a place of new hope or something.” Indeed, the center is advertised as such and has a bunch of stupid reviews about it. Even the approval of a social worker, but then it doesn’t surprise me. Pastor knows how to be convincing. “Kids,” I mutter, fisting my hands. “Most of them probably have kids. He continues to do his fucked-up shit.” And all these years, he has been under my radar. I throw the chair and it bounces off the wall, but no one says anything as they feel the same. “Shon, order a plane. Jaxon—” “Yeah, my brothers will be there with us. But listen, the FBI—” he starts, and I nod. He takes a beat and quickly sends a message to someone on his phone while I bark into the microphone. “Arson, enough with the bullshit. Kill him already.” He is of no use to us anyway. Arson looks at the wall and shrugs. Then pours gas on his victim and lights up the match simultaneously, stepping aside as the man screams and thrashes on the chair, and the smell of burning flesh can be sensed even here. Arson jogs to a hose, splashing water over him. The room is designed security wise for this kind of torture, since fire is one of the first things I taught. After all, I’d learned the hard way how to fight with it. “On the plane, we can adjust the plan. Let’s get moving.” They spring into action as I go to my room to get a specific folder to give to Levi before I go, when Sociopath’s hand stops me, bumping my shoulder. “Is this a suicide mission for you?” he asks, and I smile, although it lacks any humor. My friend knows everything. Instead of answering his question, I grip his shoulder tight, and confide, “Valencia is entrusted to you.” We both know that if I want to destroy Pastor, I have to die with him. This revenge has been twenty-three years in the making, and I never envisioned a different future. This path always leads to death one way or another, and the only reason I valued my life was because I had to kill him. Valencia will be forever free from the evils that destroyed her life. I’ll make sure of it. Once upon a time, there was an angel. Who made the monster’s heart bleed.
V.F. Mason (Lachlan's Protégé: A Billionaire Romance (Dark Protégés Book 1))