The Wretched Of The Earth Quotes

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Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you want them to understand.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
For a colonized people the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The basic confrontation which seemed to be colonialism versus anti-colonialism, indeed capitalism versus socialism, is already losing its importance. What matters today, the issue which blocks the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity will have to address this question, no matter how devastating the consequences may be.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
They realize at last that change does not mean reform, that change does not mean improvement.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The unpreparedness of the educated classes, the lack of practical links between them and the mass of the people, their laziness, and, let it be said, their cowardice at the decisive moment of the struggle will give rise to tragic mishaps.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Zombies, believe me, are more terrifying than colonists.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
And it is clear that in the colonial countries the peasants alone are revolutionary, for they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The starving peasant, outside the class system is the first among the exploited to discover that only violence pays. For him there is no compromise, no possible coming to terms; colonization and decolonization is simply a question of relative strength.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
I turn to right and left, in all the earth I see no signs of justice, sense or worth: A man does evil deeds, and all his days Are filled with luck and universal praise; Another's good in all he does - he dies A wretched, broken man whom all despise.
Abolqasem Ferdowsi (Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings)
A government or a party gets the people it deserves and sooner or later a people gets the government it deserves.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Get this into your head: if violence were only a thing of the future, if exploitation and oppression never existed on earth, perhaps displays of nonviolence might relieve the conflict. But if the entire regime, even your nonviolent thoughts, is governed by a thousand-year old oppression, your passiveness serves no other purpose but to put you on the side of the oppressors.
Jean-Paul Sartre (The Wretched of the Earth)
It is a beautiful thing to be on fire for justice… there is no greater joy than inspiring and empowering others––especially the least of these, the precious and priceless wretched of the earth!
Cornel West (Black Prophetic Fire)
I will see you bereft of all that you have, of home and happiness and beautiful things. I will see your nation cast down and your allies drawn away. I will see you as alone and friendless and wretched as am I; and then you may live as long as you like, in some dark and lonely corner of the earth, and I shall call myself content. -Lien, Albino Celestial (Dragon)
Naomi Novik (Black Powder War (Temeraire, #3))
The native must realize that colonialism never gives anything away for nothing.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
To educate the masses politically does not mean, cannot mean, making a political speech. What it means is to try, relentlessly and passionately, to teach the masses that everything depends on them; that if we stagnate it is their responsibility, and that if we go forward it is due to them too, that there is no such thing as a demiurge, that there is no famous man who will take the responsibility for everything, but that the demiurge is the people themselves and the magic hands are finally only the hands of the people.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The wretched of the Earth, he calls us. People too poor to afford cable and too stupid to know that they aren’t missing anything.
Paul Beatty (The Sellout)
Fuckin failures in a country of failures. Its nae good blamin it oan the English fir colonising us. Ah don't hate the English. They're just wankers. We are colonised by wankers. We can't even pick a decent, vibrant healthy society to be colonised by. No..we are ruled by effete arseholes. What does that make us? The lowest of the low, the scum of the earth. The most wretched servile, miserable, pathetic trash that was ever shat intae creation. Ah don't hate the English. They just git oan wis the shite thev got. Ah hate the Scots.
Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting)
Colonialism hardly ever exploits the whole of a country. It contents itself with bringing to light the natural resources, which it extracts, and exports to meet the needs of the mother country's industries, thereby allowing certain sectors of the colony to become relatively rich. But the rest of the colony follows its path of under-development and poverty, or at all events sinks into it more deeply.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The people come to understand that wealth is not the fruit of labour but the result of organised, protected robbery. Rich people are no longer respectable people; they are nothing more than flesh eating animals, jackals and vultures which wallow in the people's blood.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The settler makes history and is conscious of making it. And because he constantly refers to the history of his mother country, he clearly indicates that he himself is the extension of that mother-country. Thus the history which he writes is not the history of the country which he plunders but the history of his own nation in regard to all that she skims off, all that she violates and starves.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The claim to a national culture in the past does not only rehabilitate that nation and serve as a justification for the hope of a future national culture. In the sphere of psycho-affective equilibrium it is responsible for an important change in the native. Perhaps we haven't sufficiently demonstrated that colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native's brain of all form and content. By a kind of perverted logic, it turns to the past of the oppressed people, and distorts, disfigures, and destroys it. This work of devaluing pre-colonial history takes on a dialectical significance today.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Without your wounds where would your power be? It is your melancholy that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men and women. The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children on earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living. In Love’s service, only wounded soldiers can serve. Physician, draw back.
Thornton Wilder (Collected Short Plays of Thornton Wilder)
Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster, in which the taints, the sickness, and the inhumanity of Europe have grown to appalling dimensions.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
I have learned never to underestimate the capacity of the human mind and body to regenerate -- even when prospects seem most wretched. The life force may be the least understood force on earth." Norman Cousins (in his; Anatomy of an Illness)
Norman Cousins (Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient)
In the colonial context the settler only ends his work of breaking in the native when the latter admits loudly and intelligibly the supremacy of the white man's values.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
I do not think that life will change for the better without an assault on the Establishment, which goes on exploiting the wretched of the earth. This belief lies at the heart of the concept of revolutionary suicide. Thus it is better to oppose the forces that would drive me to self-murder than to endure them. Although I risk the likelihood of death, there is at least the possibility, if not the probability, of changing intolerable conditions. This possibility is important, because much in human existence is based upon hope without any real understanding of the odds. Indeed, we are all—Black and white alike—ill in the same way, mortally ill. But before we die, how shall we live? I say with hope and dignity; and if premature death is the result, that death has a meaning reactionary suicide can never have. It is the price of self-respect. Revolutionary suicide does not mean that I and my comrades have a death wish; it means just the opposite. We have such a strong desire to live with hope and human dignity that existence without them is impossible. When reactionary forces crush us, we must move against these forces, even at the risk of death. We will have to be driven out with a stick.
Huey P. Newton (Revolutionary Suicide)
I love you," she said wretchedly. “And if I were well, no power on earth could keep me away from you. If I were well, I would take you to my bed, and I would show you as much passion as any woman could.
Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
My darling, I'm waiting for you — how long is a day in the dark, or a week? The fire is gone now, and I'm horribly cold. I really ought to drag myself outside but then there would be the sun. . . I'm afraid I waste the light on the paintings and on writing these words. We die, we die rich with lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have entered and swum up like rivers, fears we have hidden in, like this wretched cave. We are the real countries, not the boundaries drawn on maps with the names of powerful men. I know you will come and carry me out into the palace of winds. That's all I've wanted — to walk in such a place with you, with friends, on earth without maps...
Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient)
I wish I could hold you,' she continued, bitterly, 'till we were both dead! I shouldn't care what you suffered. I care nothing for your sufferings. Why shouldn't you suffer? I do! Will you forget me? Will you be happy when I am in the earth? Will you say twenty years hence, "That's the grave of Catherine Earnshaw? I loved her long ago, and was wretched to lose her; but it is past. I've loved many others since: my children are dearer to me than she was; and, at death, I shall not rejoice that I are going to her: I shall be sorry that I must leave them!" Will you say so, Heathcliff?
Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights)
إن تصرُّف المثقف في هذه الفترة تصرُّف رجُل انتهازي رخيص، والحقُّ أن مناوراتِه لم تنقطع لحظة، والشعب لا يريد أن يُبعِدُه أو أن يُحرجه. فما يُريدُه الشعب هو أن يكون كل شيء مشتركـًا .. وجود ذلك الميل الغريب إلى التفاصيل لدى المثقف هو الذي سيؤجِّل انغماس المثقف في الموجة الشعبية العارمة. لا لأن الشعب عاجز عن التحليل، فهو يُحب أن تُشرَح له الأمور، هو يُحب أن يفهم مفاصل استدلال من الاستدلالات، يُحب أن يرى إلى أسن هو ذاهب. ولكن المثقف المُستعمَر، في أول اتصاله بالشعب، يُركِّز اهتمامه على التفاصيل الدقيقة، ويصل من ذلك إلى نسيان هدف الكفاح نفسُه، ألا وهو إلحاق الهزيمة بالاستعمار
فرانز فانون (The Wretched of the Earth)
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.' These men without possessions or power, these strangers on Earth, these sinners, these followers of Jesus, have in their life with him renounced their own dignity, for they are merciful. As if their own needs and their own distress were not enough, they take upon themselves the distress and humiliation of others. They have an irresistible love for the down-trodden, the sick, the wretched, the wronged, the outcast and all who are tortured with anxiety. They go out and seek all who are enmeshed in the toils of sin and guilt. No distress is too great, no sin too appalling for their pity. If any man falls into disgrace, the merciful will sacrifice their own honour to shield him, and take his shame upon themselves.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
In the colonial countries, on the contrary, the policeman and the soldier, by their immediate presence and their frequent and direct action maintain contact with the native and advise him by means of rifle butts and napalm not to budge. It is obvious here that the agents of government speak the language of pure force
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Have the courage to read this book, for in the first place it will make you ashamed, and shame, as Marx said, is a revolutionary sentiment.
Jean-Paul Sartre (The Wretched of the Earth)
then he spluttered at me, “You impossible, wretched, nonsensical contradiction, what on earth have you done now?” I
Naomi Novik (Uprooted)
What counts today, the question which is looming on the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity must reply to this question, or be shaken to pieces by it.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The writer has to die to give birth to the intellectual in the service of the wretched of the earth.
Annie Cohen-Solal (Jean-Paul Sartre: A Life)
Taking the continent as a whole, this religious tension may be responsible for the revival of the commonest racial feeling. Africa is divided into Black and White, and the names that are substituted- Africa south of the Sahara, Africa north of the Sahara- do not manage to hide this latent racism. Here, it is affirmed that White Africa has a thousand-year-old tradition of culture; that she is Mediterranean, that she is a continuation of Europe and that she shares in Graeco-Latin civilization. Black Africa is looked on as a region that is inert, brutal, uncivilized - in a word, savage.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you really want them to understand.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
إن لجوءك إلى لُغة تكنيكيَّة معناه أنّك قرَّرتَ أن تَعُدَّ الجماهير جاهلة
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
إن رؤساء الحكومات هم الخونة الحقيقيون
فرانز فانون (The Wretched of the Earth)
It is true that if care is taken to use only a language that it's understood by graduates in law and economics, you can easily prove that the masses have to be managed from above.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The missionaries find it opportune to remind the masses that long before the advent of European colonialism the great African empires were disrupted by the Arab invasion. There is no hesitation in saying that it was the Arab occupation which paved the way for European colonialism; Arab imperialism commonly spoken of, and the cultural imperialism of Islam is condemned.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
إذا أردنا أن نحيل أفريقيا إلى أوروبا جديدة، وأن نحيل أمريكا إلى أوروبا جديدة كان علينا أن نعهد بمصائرنا بلادنا إلى أوروبيين، لأنهم سيحسنون التصوف أكثر من أعظمنا موهبة.
فرانز فانون (The Wretched of the Earth)
ليس يكفي أن تُؤلِّف أغنيَّة ثوريَّة حتى تُشارِك في الثَّورة الأفريقيَّة، وإنَّما ينبغي أن تصنع هذه الثَّورة، ثم تأتي الأغاني من تلقاء ذاتها.” أحمد سيكوتوري
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
And when I look around the apartment where I now am,—when I see Charlotte’s apparel lying before me, and Albert’s writings, and all those articles of furniture which are so familiar to me, even to the very inkstand which I am using,—when I think what I am to this family—everything. My friends esteem me; I often contribute to their happiness, and my heart seems as if it could not beat without them; and yet—if I were to die, if I were to be summoned from the midst of this circle, would they feel—or how long would they feel—the void which my loss would make in their existence? How long! Yes, such is the frailty of man, that even there, where he has the greatest consciousness of his own being, where he makes the strongest and most forcible impression, even in the memory, in the heart of his beloved, there also he must perish,—vanish,—and that quickly. I could tear open my bosom with vexation to think how little we are capable of influencing the feelings of each other. No one can communicate to me those sensations of love, joy, rapture, and delight which I do not naturally possess; and though my heart may glow with the most lively affection, I cannot make the happiness of one in whom the same warmth is not inherent. Sometimes I don’t understand how another can love her, is allowed to love her, since I love her so completely myself, so intensely, so fully, grasp nothing, know nothing, have nothing but her! I possess so much, but my love for her absorbs it all. I possess so much, but without her I have nothing. One hundred times have I been on the point of embracing her. Heavens! what a torment it is to see so much loveliness passing and repassing before us, and yet not dare to lay hold of it! And laying hold is the most natural of human instincts. Do not children touch everything they see? And I! Witness, Heaven, how often I lie down in my bed with a wish, and even a hope, that I may never awaken again! And in the morning, when I open my eyes, I behold the sun once more, and am wretched. If I were whimsical, I might blame the weather, or an acquaintance, or some personal disappointment, for my discontented mind; and then this insupportable load of trouble would not rest entirely upon myself. But, alas! I feel it too sadly; I am alone the cause of my own woe, am I not? Truly, my own bosom contains the source of all my pleasure. Am I not the same being who once enjoyed an excess of happiness, who at every step saw paradise open before him, and whose heart was ever expanded towards the whole world? And this heart is now dead; no sentiment can revive it. My eyes are dry; and my senses, no more refreshed by the influence of soft tears, wither and consume my brain. I suffer much, for I have lost the only charm of life: that active, sacred power which created worlds around me,—it is no more. When I look from my window at the distant hills, and behold the morning sun breaking through the mists, and illuminating the country around, which is still wrapped in silence, whilst the soft stream winds gently through the willows, which have shed their leaves; when glorious Nature displays all her beauties before me, and her wondrous prospects are ineffectual to extract one tear of joy from my withered heart,—I feel that in such a moment I stand like a reprobate before heaven, hardened, insensible, and unmoved. Oftentimes do I then bend my knee to the earth, and implore God for the blessing of tears, as the desponding labourer in some scorching climate prays for the dews of heaven to moisten his parched corn.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
The more the people understand, the more watchful they become, and the more they come to realize that finally everything depends on them and their salvation lies in their own cohesion, in the true understanding of their interests, and in knowing who their enemies are. The people come to understand that wealth is not the fruit of labor but the result of organized, protected robbery.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way? Or is it, that as in essence whiteness is not so much a color as the visible absence of color; and at the same time the concrete of all colors; is it for these reasons that there is such a dumb blankness, full of meaning, in a wide landscape of snows- a colorless, all-color of atheism from which we shrink? And when we consider that other theory of the natural philosophers, that all other earthly hues — every stately or lovely emblazoning — the sweet tinges of sunset skies and woods; yea, and the gilded velvets of butterflies, and the butterfly cheeks of young girls; all these are but subtile deceits, not actually inherent in substances, but only laid on from without; so that all deified Nature absolutely paints like the harlot, whose allurements cover nothing but the charnel-house within; and when we proceed further, and consider that the mystical cosmetic which produces every one of her hues, the great principle of light, for ever remains white or colorless in itself, and if operating without medium upon matter, would touch all objects, even tulips and roses, with its own blank tinge — pondering all this, the palsied universe lies before us a leper; and like wilful travellers in Lapland, who refuse to wear colored and coloring glasses upon their eyes, so the wretched infidel gazes himself blind at the monumental white shroud that wraps all the prospect around him. And of all these things the Albino whale was the symbol. Wonder ye then at the fiery hunt?
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
The business of obscuring language is a mask behind which stands the much greater business of plunder.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
European opulence is literally a scandal for it was built on the backs of slaves, it fed on the blood of slaves, and owes its very existence to the soil and subsoil of the underdeveloped world. Europe's well-being and progress were built with the sweat and corpses of blacks, Arabs, Indians, and Asians. This we are determined never to forget.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Heaven and earth. Our reason has driven all away. Alone at last, we end up by ruling over a desert. What imagination could we have left for that higher equilibrium in which nature balanced history, beauty, virtue, and which applied the music of numbers even to blood-tragedy? We turn our backs on nature; we are ashamed of beauty. Our wretched tragedies have a smell of the office clinging to them, and the blood that trickles from them is the color of printer’s ink.
Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays)
Worse, certainly, than Communism; for it is not the performance of political systems which justifies or condemns them, but their principles. Communism, in principle, supposes itself to represent the wretched of the earth and bars no man by nature from Communist redemption; the Nazis, in categorical contrast, took themselves to be the elite of the earth and consigned whole categories of men to perdition by their nature. The distinctions between these two totalitarianisms may not command much interest in the present temper of the Western Christian; they are still distinctions. National
Milton Sanford Mayer (They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45)
And the day when our human race has fully matured, it will not define itself as the sum of the inhabitants of the globe, but as the infinite unity of their reciprocities.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
How arrogant you are To think your wretched Self so singular! The disappointments of this world will die In less time than the blinking of an eye, And as the earth must pass, pass by the earth Don't even glance at it, know what it's worth; What empty foolishness it is to care For what must one day be dispersed to air!
عطار نیشابوری
Love is a vicarious principle. A mother suffers for and with her sick child, as a patriot suffers for his country. No wonder that the Son of Man visited this dark, sinful, wretched earth by becoming Man - Christ's unity with the sinful was due to His love! Love burdens itself with the wants and woes and losses and even the wrongs of others.
Fulton J. Sheen (Life of Christ)
Once their rage explodes, they recover their lost coherence, they experience self-knowledge through reconstruction of themselves; from afar we see their war as the triumph of barbarity; but it proceeds on its own to gradually emancipate the fighter and progressively eliminates the colonial darkness inside and out. As soon as it begins it is merciless. Either one must remain terrified or become terrifying—which means surrendering to the dissociations of a fabricated life or conquering the unity of one’s native soil. When the peasants lay hands on a gun, the old myths fade, and one by one the taboos are overturned: a fighter’s weapon is his humanity. For in the first phase of the revolt killing is a necessity: killing a European is killing two birds with one stone, eliminating in one go oppressor and oppressed: leaving one man dead and the other man free;
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Dickens has not seen it all. The wretched of the earth do not decide to become extinct, they resolve, on the contrary, to multiply: life is their only weapon against life, life is all that they have. This is why the dispossessed and starving will never be convinced (though some may be coerced) by the population-control programs of the civilized. I have watched the dispossessed and starving laboring in the fields which others own, with their transistor radios at their ear, all day long: so they learn, for example, along with equally weighty matters, that the pope, one of the heads of the civilized world, forbids to the civilized that abortion which is being, literally, forced on them, the wretched. The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their ‘vital interests’ are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death: these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the ‘sanctity’ of human life, or the ‘conscience’ of the civilized world. There is a ‘sanctity’ involved with bringing a child into this world: it is better than bombing one out of it. Dreadful indeed it is to see a starving child, but the answer to that is not to prevent the child’s arrival but to restructure the world so that the child can live in it: so that the ‘vital interest’ of the world becomes nothing less than the life of the child. However—I could not have said any of this then, nor is so absurd a notion about to engulf the world now. But we were all starving children, after all, and none of our fathers, even at their most embittered and enraged, had ever suggested that we ‘die out.’ It was not we who were supposed to die out: this was, of all notions, the most forbidden, and we learned this from the cradle. Every trial, every beating, every drop of blood, every tear, were meant to be used by us for a day that was coming—for a day that was certainly coming, absolutely certainly, certainly coming: not for us, perhaps, but for our children. The children of the despised and rejected are menaced from the moment they stir in the womb, and are therefore sacred in a way that the children of the saved are not. And the children know it, which is how they manage to raise their children, and why they will not be persuaded—by their children’s murderers, after all—to cease having children.
James Baldwin (The Devil Finds Work)
Colonialism is not a machine capable of thinking, a body endowed with reason. It is naked violence and only gives in when confronted with greater violence. FRANTZ FANON, The Wretched of the Earth, trans. Richard Philcox
R.F. Kuang (Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution)
Oh Heaven! You sometimes bear with such injustice on earth, that I understand why there are wretches who doubt in your existence.
Alexandre Dumas (The Vicomte de Bragelonne (The D'Artagnan Romances, #3.1))
Here were we wretched creatures of men making for each other's throats, and outraging the good earth which God had made so fair a habitation.
John Buchan
إن المناضل ليدرك في كثير من الأحيان أن عمله لا أن يقاتل القوى العدوة فحسب، بل كذلك حبات اليأس المتبلورة في جسم المستعمَر.
فرانز فانون (The Wretched of the Earth)
In the colonies the economic infrastructure is also a superstructure. The cause is effect: you are rich because you are white, you are white because you are rich.”33
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
What makes a bourgeoisie is not its attitude, taste, or manners. It is not even its aspirations. The bourgeoisie is above all the direct product of precise economic realities.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
You impossible, wretched, nonsensical contradiction, what on earth have you done now?” I
Naomi Novik (Uprooted)
O wretched slaves of Mammon, you cannot glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ while you trust in treasures laid up on earth: you cannot taste and see how gracious the Lord is, while you are hungering for gold. If you have not rejoiced at the thought of His coming, that day will be indeed a day of wrath to you.
Bernard of Clairvaux (On Loving God (Cistercian Fathers Series))
How come he cannot recognize his own cruelty now turned against him? How come he can't see his own savagery as a colonist in the savagery of these oppressed peasants who have absorbed it through every pore and for which they can find no cure? The answer is simple: this arrogant individual, whose power of authority and fear of losing it has gone to his head, has difficulty remembering he was once a man; he thinks he is a whip or a gun; he is convinced that the domestication of the "inferior races" is obtained by governing their reflexes. He disregards the human memory, the indelible reminders; and then, above all, there is this that perhaps he never know: we only become what we are by radically negating deep down what others have done to us.
Jean-Paul Sartre (The Wretched of the Earth)
Without your wounds where would your power be? It is your melancholy that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men and women. The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children of this earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living. In love’s service only wounded soldiers can serve.
Thornton Wilder (The Angel That Troubled the Waters)
The consciousness of self is not the closing of a door to communication. Philosophic thought teaches us, on the contrary, that it is its guarantee. National consciousness, which is not nationalism, is the only thing that will give us an international dimension.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Like an all-devouring conflagration, ‘progress’ scours the Earth, and the place that has fallen to its flames, will flourish nevermore, so long as man still survives. The animal- and plant-species cannot renew themselves, man’s innate warmth of heart has gone, the inner springs that once nurtured the flourishing songs and sacred festivals are blocked, and there remains only a wretched and cold working day and the hollow show of noisy 'entertainment.’ There can be no doubt: we are living in the era of the downfall of the soul.
Ludwig Klages
When the world was in darkness and wretchedness, it could believe in perfection and yearn for it. But when the world became bright with reason and riches, it began to sense the narrowness of the needle's eye, and that rankled for a world no longer willing to believe or yearn. Well, they were going to destroy it again, were they - this garden Earth, civilized and knowing, to be torn apart again that man might hope again in wretched darkness.
Walter M. Miller Jr. (A Canticle for Leibowitz (St. Leibowitz, #1))
صحيحٌ أنَّك إذا حرصتَ كلّ الحِرص على أن تستعمل لغةً لا يفهمها إلا الحاصلون على شهادة الليسانس في الحقوق أو العلوم السياسيَّة، تستطيع أن تُبرهِنَ على أنَّ الجماهيرَ يجب أن تُساقَ سوقًا ! ، أمَّا إذا استعملتَ اللغة المحسُوسة الواضِحة، ولم تكُن مِمَّا يَستَبِدُّ بِهِم حِرصٌ شاذٌّ على تلبيس الأمور، فإنَّك ما تلبثُ أن تُدركَ أنَّ الجماهيرَ تُدركُ أدقَّ المُشكِلات
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Erkek kardeş, kız kardeş, yoldaş, sömürge burjuvazisi tarafından yasaklanan sözcüklerdir, çünkü ona göre kardeşim cüzdanımdır, yoldaşım çevirdiğim dolaplardır.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children on earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living.
Thornton Wilder
على المثقف المستعمَر أن يحارب مع شعبه بعضلاته قبل أن يتصدق عليه بفضلات يسمّيها إنتاجًا أدبيًا أو ثقافيًا أو فنيًا أو علميًا. فلا ثقافة لأمة إلا في إطار حريتها وسيادتها.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Get this into your head: if violence were only a thing of the future, if exploitation and oppression never existed on earth, perhaps displays of nonviolence might relieve the conflict. But if the entire regime, even your nonviolent thoughts, is governed by a thousand-year-old oppression, your passiveness serves no other purpose but to put you on the side of the oppressors.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Buried how long?” The answer was always the same: “Almost eighteen years.” You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?” Long ago.” You know that you are recalled to life?” They tell me so.” I hope that you care to live?” I can’t say.” Shall I show her to you? Will you come and see her?” The answers to this question were various and contradictory. Sometimes the broken reply was, “Wait! It would kill me if I saw her too soon.” Sometimes it was given in a tender rain of tears, and then it was, “Take me to her.” Sometimes it was staring and bewildered, and then it was, “I don’t know her. I don’t understand.” After such imaginary discourse, the passenger in his fancy would dig, and dig, dig – to dig this wretched creature out. Got out at last, with earth hanging about his face and hair, he would suddenly fall away to dust. The passenger would then start to himself, and lower the window, to get the reality of mist and rain on his cheek. Yet even when his eyes were opened on the mist and rain, on the moving patch of light from the lamps, and the hedge of the roadside retreating by jerks, the night shadows outside the coach would fall into the train of night shadows within. Out of the midst in them, a ghostly face would rise, and he would accost it again. Buried how long?” Almost eighteen years.” I hope you care to live?” I can’t say.” Dig – dig – dig – until an impatient movement from one of the two passengers would admonish him to pull up the window, draw his arm securely through the leather strap, and speculate on the two slumbering life forms, until his mind lost hold of them, and they again slid away into the bank and the grave. Buried how long?” Almost eighteen years.” You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?” Long ago.” The words were still in his hearing just as spoken – distinctly in his hearing as ever spoken words had been in his life – when the weary passenger started to the consciousness of daylight, and found that the shadows of night were gone.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
We must not cultivate the spirit of the exceptional or look for the hero, another form of leader. We must elevate the people, expand their minds, equip them, differentiate them, and humanize them.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
creature on earth seemed to Schopenhauer to be equally committed to an equally meaningless existence: Contemplate the restless industry of wretched little ants … the life of most insects is nothing but a restless labour for preparing nourishment and dwelling for the future offspring that will come from their eggs. After the offspring have consumed the nourishment and have turned into the chrysalis stage, they enter into life merely to begin the same task again from the beginning … we cannot help but ask what comes of all of this … there is nothing to show but the satisfaction of hunger and sexual passion, and … a little momentary gratification … now and then, between … endless needs and exertions. 3. The philosopher did not have to spell out the parallels. We pursue love affairs, chat in cafés with prospective partners and have children, with as much choice in the matter as moles and ants – and are rarely any happier.
Alain de Botton (The Consolations of Philosophy)
That famous dictatorship, whose supporters believe that it is called for by the historical process and consider it an indispensable prelude to the dawn of independence, in fact symbolizes the decision of the bourgeois caste to govern the underdeveloped country first with the help of the people, but soon against them.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The wealth of the imperial countries is our wealth too. On the universal plane this affirmation, you may be sure, should on no account be taken to signify that we feel ourselves affected by the creations of Western arts or techniques. For in a very concrete way Europe has stuffed herself inordinately with the gold and raw materials of the colonial countries: Latin America, China, and Africa. From all these continents, under whose eyes Europe today raises up her tower of opulence, there has flowed out for centuries toward that same Europe diamonds and oil, silk and cotton, wood and exotic products. Europe is literally the creation of the Third World. The wealth which smothers her is that which was stolen from the underdeveloped peoples. The ports of Holland, the docks of Bordeaux and Liverpool were specialized in the Negro slave trade, and owe their renown to millions of deported slaves. So when we hear the head of a European state declare with his hand on his heart that he must come to the aid of the poor underdeveloped peoples, we do not tremble with gratitude. Quite the contrary; we say to ourselves: "It's a just reparation which will be paid to us.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
O wretched slaves of Mammon, you cannot glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ while you trust in treasures laid up on earth: you cannot taste and see how gracious the Lord is, while you are hungering for gold.
Bernard of Clairvaux (On Loving God)
There was a loud shuffling above. A line of redcoats took their position at the edge of the ravine and aimed down at the rebels. "Present!" the British officer screamed to his men. "Present!" yelled the American officer. His men brought the butts of their muskets up to their shoulders and sighted down the long barrels, ready to shoot and kill. I pressed my face into the earth, unable to plan a course of escape. My mind would not be mastered and thought only of the wretched, lying, foul, silly girl who was the cause of everything. I thought of Isabel and I missed her. "FIRE!
Laurie Halse Anderson (Forge (Seeds of America, #2))
From what I have said of the Natives of New-Holland they may appear to some to be the most wretched people upon Earth, but in reality they are far more happier than we Europeans; being wholly unacquainted not only with the superfluous but the necessary Conveniences so much sought after in Europe, they are happy in not knowing the use of them. They live in a Tranquillity which is not disturb’d by the Inequality of Condition: The Earth and sea of their own accord furnishes them with all things necessary for life, they covet not Magnificent Houses, Household-stuff &c., they live in a warm and fine Climate and enjoy a very wholesome Air. . . . In short they seem’d to set no Value upon any thing we gave them, nor would they ever part with any thing of their own for any one article we could offer them; this in my opinion argues that they think themselves provided with all the necessarys of Life and that they have no superfluities.
James Cook (The Journals of Captain James Cook on His Voyages of Discovery)
The Africans and the underdeveloped peoples, contrary to what is commonly believed, are quick to build a social and political consciousness. The danger is that very often they reach the stage of social consciousness before reaching the national phase. In this case the underdeveloped countries’ violent calls for social justice are combined, paradoxically enough, with an often primitive tribalism. The underdeveloped peoples behave like a starving population—which means that the days of those who treat Africa as their playground are strictly numbered. In other words, their power cannot last forever. A bourgeoisie that has only nationalism to feed the people fails in its mission and inevitably gets tangled up in a series of trials and tribulations. If nationalism is not explained, enriched, and deepened, if it does not very quickly turn into a social and political consciousness, into humanism, then it leads to a dead end. A bourgeois leadership of the underdeveloped countries confines the national consciousness to a sterile formalism. Only the massive commitment by men and women to judicious and productive tasks gives form and substance to this consciousness.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Nezhdanov's heart began to beat violently and he lowered his eyes involuntarily. This girl, who had fallen in love with a homeless wretch like him, who trusted him, who was ready to follow him, to go with him towards one and the same goal — this wonderful girl — Marianna — at that moment was, for Nezhdanov, the embodiment of everything good and just on earth; the embodiment of that love, that of a family, sister or wife, which he had not experienced; the embodiment of homeland, happiness, struggle and freedom.
Ivan Turgenev (Virgin Soil)
Like all empires, the harsh and violent forms of control that have been used on the “wretched of the earth,” have migrated back to the homeland in a time of decay to keep the population in check. The tyranny we have imposed on others is now being imposed on us.
Mumia Abu-Jamal (Murder Incorporated: Empire, Genocide, and Manifest Destiny: Book One (Dreaming of Empire))
The colonized intellectual is responsible not to his national culture, but to the nation as a whole, whose culture is, after all, but one aspect. The colonized intellectual should not be concerned with choosing how or where he decides to wage the national struggle. (168)
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
In his Discourse on Colonialism (1951), Aimé Césaire wrote that a Hitler slumbers within “the very distinguished, very humanistic and very Christian bourgeois of the Twentieth century,” and yet the European bourgeois cannot forgive Hitler for “the fact that he applied to Europe the colonial practices that had previously been applied only to the Arabs of Algeria, the coolies of India and the Negroes of Africa.” “Not so long ago,” recalled Frantz Fanon in The Wretched of the Earth (1961), “Nazism turned the whole of Europe into a veritable colony.
Mahmood Mamdani (Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror)
The pretense continued over the generations, helped by all-embracing symbols, physical or verbal: the flag, patriotism, democracy, national interest, national defense, national security. The slogans were dug into the earth of American culture like a circle of covered wagons on the western plain, from inside of which the white, slightly privileged American could shoot to kill the enemy outside—Indians or blacks or foreigners or other whites too wretched to be allowed inside the circle. The managers of the caravan watched at a safe distance, and when the battle was over and the field strewn with dead on both sides, they would take over the land, and prepare another expedition, for another territory.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
And now at last authentic word I bring, Witnessed by every dead and living thing; Good tidings of great joy for you, for all: There is no God; no Fiend with names divine Made us and tortures us; if we must pine, It is to satiate no Being's gall. It was the dark delusion of a dream, That living Person conscious and supreme, Whom we must curse for cursing us with life; Whom we must curse because the life he gave Could not be buried in the quiet grave, Could not be killed by poison or the knife. This little life is all we must endure, The grave's most holy peace is ever sure, We fall asleep and never wake again; Nothing is of us but the mouldering flesh, Whose elements dissolve and merge afresh In earth, air, water, plants, and other men. We finish thus; and all our wretched race Shall finish with its cycle, and give place To other beings with their own time-doom: Infinite aeons ere our kind began; Infinite aeons after the last man Has joined the mammoth in earth's tomb and womb.
James Thomson (The City of Dreadful Night)
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)
As soon as the Negro comes to an understanding of himself, and understands the rest of the world differently, when he gives birth to hope and forces back the racist universe, it is clear that his trumpet sounds more clearly and his voice less hoarsely. The new fashions in jazz are not simply born of economic competition. We must without any doubt see in them one of the consequences of the defeat, slow but sure, of the southern world of the United States.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
National culture is the collective thought process of a people to describe, justify, and extol the actions whereby they have joined forces and remained strong. National culture in the underdeveloped countries, therefore, must lie at the very heart of the liberation struggle these countries are waging. (168)
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
And then there was pain and blood and tears, all those things that cause suffering and revolt, the killing of Françoise, the killing of Fouan, vice triumphing, and the stinking, bloodthirsty peasants, vermin who disgrace and exploit the earth. But can you really know? Just as the frost that burns the crops, the hail that chops them down, the thunderstorms which batter them are all perhaps necessary, maybe blood and tears are needed to keep the world going. And how important is human misery when weighed against the mighty mechanism of the stars and the sun? What does God care for us? We earn our bread only by dint of a cruel struggle, day in, day out. And only the earth is immortal, the Great Mother from whom we spring and to whom we return, love of whom can drive us to crime and through whom life is perpetually preserved for her own inscrutable ends, in which even our wretched degraded nature has its part to play.
Émile Zola (The Earth)
Being a hope is being in motion, on the move with body on the line, mind set on freedom, soul full of courage, and heart shot through with love. Being a hope is forging moral and spiritual fortitude, putting on intellectual armor, and being willing to live and die for the empowerment of the wretched of the earth.
Cornel West (Race Matters: With a New Introduction)
Why not other elements besides fire, air, earth and water? There are four of them, just four, those foster parents of beings! What a pity! Why aren't there forty elements instead, or four hundred, or four thousand? How paltry everything is, how miserly, how wretched! Stingily given, aridly invented, heavily made! Why not other elements besides fire, air, earth and water? There are four of them, just four, those foster parents of beings! What a pity! Why aren't there forty elements instead, or four hundred, or four thousand? How paltry everything is, how miserly, how wretched! Stingily given, aridly invented, heavily made!
Guy de Maupassant (Le Horla et autres contes fantastiques (Classiques hachette))
Today everyone on our side knows that criminality is not the result of the Algerian's congenital nature nor the configuration of his nervous system. The war in Algeria and wars of national liberation bring out the true protagonists. We have demonstrated that in the colonial situation the colonized are confronted with themselves. They tend to use each other as a screen. Each prevents his neighbor from seeing the national enemy. And when exhausted after a sixteen-hour day of hard work the colonized subject collapses on his mat and a child on the other side of the canvas partition cries and prevents him from sleeping, it just so happens it's a little Algerian. When he goes to beg for a little semolina or a little oil from the shopkeeper to whom he already owes several hundred francs and his request is turned down, he is overwhelmed by an intense hatred and desire to kill—and the shopkeeper happens to be an Algerian. When, after weeks of keeping a low profile, he finds himself cornered one day by the kaid demanding "his taxes," he is not even allowed the opportunity to direct his hatred against the European administrator; before him stands the kaid who excites his hatred—and he happens to be an Algerian.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
You know full well we are exploiters. You know full well we have taken the gold and minerals and then oil from the “new continents,” and shipped them back to the old metropolises. Not without excellent results in the shape of palaces, cathedrals, and centers of industry; and then when crisis loomed, the colonial markets were there to cushion the blow or divert it. Stuffed with wealth, Europe granted humanity de jure to all its inhabitants: for us, a man means an accomplice, for we have all profited from colonial exploitation.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Thornton Wilder’s one-act play “The Angel That Troubled the Waters,” based on John 5:1-4, dramatizes the power of the pool of Bethesda to heal whenever an angel stirred its waters. A physician comes periodically to the pool hoping to be the first in line and longing to be healed of his melancholy. The angel finally appears but blocks the physician just as he is ready to step into the water. The angel tells the physician to draw back, for this moment is not for him. The physician pleads for help in a broken voice, but the angel insists that healing is not intended for him. The dialogue continues—and then comes the prophetic word from the angel: “Without your wounds where would your power be? It is your melancholy that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men and women. The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children on earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living. In Love’s service, only wounded soldiers can serve. Physician, draw back.” Later, the man who enters the pool first and is healed rejoices in his good fortune and turning to the physician says: “Please come with me. It is only an hour to my home. My son is lost in dark thoughts. I do not understand him and only you have ever lifted his mood. Only an hour.… There is also my daughter: since her child died, she sits in the shadow. She will not listen to us but she will listen to you.”13 Christians who remain in hiding continue to live the lie. We deny the reality of our sin. In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others. We cling to our bad feelings and beat ourselves with the past when what we should do is let go. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, guilt is an idol. But when we dare to live as forgiven men and women, we join the wounded healers and draw closer to Jesus.
Brennan Manning (Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging with Bonus Content)
...slavery is opposed to work...work presupposes liberty, responsibility, and consciousness...the more intelligence you bring to your work, the more pleasure you will have in it.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
No mortal is happy, and all men on earth who look upon the sun are wretched.
Solon
'Erkek kardeş', 'kız kardeş', 'yoldaş' sömürge burjuvazisi tarafından yasaklanan sözcüklerdir, çünkü ona göre kardeşim cüzdanımdır, yoldağım çevirdiğim dolaplardır.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Not so long ago the Earth numbered 2 billion inhabitants, i.e., 500 million men and 1.5 billion “natives.” The first possessed the Word, the others borrowed it.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
nationalize the tertiary sector. The bourgeoisie, who wants the spirit of lucre
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The Third World today faces Europe like a colossal mass whose project should be to try to resolve the problems to which Europe has not been able to find the answers.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
But it is sufficient to reflect for a moment, in order to understand that this world was not made for such creatures as we are. Thought, which is developed by a miracle in the nerves of the cells in our brain, powerless, ignorant and confused as it is, and as it will always remain, makes all of us who are intellectual beings eternal and wretched exiles on earth.
Guy de Maupassant
For reasons I do not entirely understand, the clerisy after 1848 turned toward nationalism and socialism, and against liberalism, and came also to delight in an ever-expanding list of pessimisms about the way we live now in our approximately liberal societies, from the lack of temperance among the poor to an excess of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Antiliberal utopias believed to offset the pessimisms have been popular among the clerisy. Its pessimistic and utopian books have sold millions. But the twentieth-century experiments of nationalism and socialism, of syndicalism in factories and central planning for investment, of proliferating regulation for imagined but not factually documented imperfections in the market, did not work. And most of the pessimisms about how we live now have proven to be mistaken. It is a puzzle. Perhaps you yourself still believe in nationalism or socialism or proliferating regulation. And perhaps you are in the grip of pessimism about growth or consumerism or the environment or inequality. Please, for the good of the wretched of the earth, reconsider.
Deirdre Nansen McCloskey (Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World)
The passion with which native intellectuals defend the existence of their national culture may be a source of amazement; but those who condemn this exaggerated passion are strangely apt to forget that their own psyche and their own selves are conveniently sheltered behind a French or German culture which has given full proof of its existence and which is uncontested.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The wife of a junior officer cooped up in a horrible canvas partition in steerage for five months wrote: "I had enjoyed much peace there in the absence of every comfort, even of such as are now enjoyed in jail. I used to say that there were four privations in my situation - fire, water, earth and air. No fire to warm oneself on the coldest day, no water to drink but what was tainted, no earth to set the foot on, and scarcely any air to breathe. Yet, with all these miserable circumstances, we spent many a happy hour by candlelight in that wretched cabin whilst I sewed and he read the Bible to me.
Stephen Taylor
Furthermore, in Revelation 17:5 we find this proclamation: “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” This, the Rastas say, is the world of wretched cities into which the poor Ethiopian is cast, not unlike Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, to come forth, unscathed by flame. To come out pure. To have the faith to be untouched by the blasphemy of the world’s wrongdoing.
Gerald Hausman (The Kebra Nagast: The Lost Bible of Rastafarian Wisdom and Faith From Ethiopia and Jamaica)
All things have the capacity for speech -- all beings have the ability to communicate something of themselves to other beings. Indeed, what is perception if not the experience of this gregarious, communicative power of things, wherein even obstensibly 'inert' objects radiate out of themselves, conveying their shapes, hues, and rhythms to other beings and to us, influencing and informing our breathing bodies though we stand far apart from those things? Not just animals and plants, then, but tumbling waterfalls and dry riverbeds, gusts of wind, compost piles and cumulus clouds, freshly painted houses (as well as houses abandoned and sometimes haunted), rusting automobiles, feathers, granite cliffs and grains of sand, tax forms, dormant volcanoes, bays and bayous made wretched by pollutants, snowdrifts, shed antlers, diamonds, and daikon radishes, all are expressive, sometimes eloquent and hence participant in the mystery of language. Our own chatter erupts in response to the abundant articulations of the world: human speech is simply our part of a much broader conversation. It follows that the myriad things are also listening, or attending, to various signs and gestures around them. Indeed, when we are at ease in our animal flesh, we will sometimes feel we are being listened to, or sensed, by the earthly surroundings. And so we take deeper care with our speaking, mindful that our sounds may carry more than a merely human meaning and resonance. This care -- this full-bodied alertness -- is the ancient, ancestral source of all word magic. It is the practice of attention to the uncanny power that lives in our spoken phrases to touch and sometimes transform the tenor of the world's unfolding.
David Abram (Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology)
What is the use of beauty in woman? Provided a woman is physically well made and capable of bearing children, she will always be good enough in the opinion of economists. What is the use of music? -- of painting? Who would be fool enough nowadays to prefer Mozart to Carrel, Michael Angelo to the inventor of white mustard? There is nothing really beautiful save what is of no possible use. Everything useful is ugly, for it expresses a need, and man's needs are low and disgusting, like his own poor, wretched nature. The most useful place in a house is the water-closet. For my part, saving these gentry's presence, I am of those to whom superfluities are necessaries, and I am fond of things and people in inverse ratio to the service they render me. I prefer a Chinese vase with its mandarins and dragons, which is perfectly useless to me, to a utensil which I do use, and the particular talent of mine which I set most store by is that which enables me not to guess logogriphs and charades. I would very willingly renounce my rights as a Frenchman and a citizen for the sight of an undoubted painting by Raphael, or of a beautiful nude woman, -- Princess Borghese, for instance, when she posed for Canova, or Julia Grisi when she is entering her bath. I would most willingly consent to the return of that cannibal, Charles X., if he brought me, from his residence in Bohemia, a case of Tokai or Johannisberg; and the electoral laws would be quite liberal enough, to my mind, were some of our streets broader and some other things less broad. Though I am not a dilettante, I prefer the sound of a poor fiddle and tambourines to that of the Speaker's bell. I would sell my breeches for a ring, and my bread for jam. The occupation which best befits civilized man seems to me to be idleness or analytically smoking a pipe or cigar. I think highly of those who play skittles, and also of those who write verse. You may perceive that my principles are not utilitarian, and that I shall never be the editor of a virtuous paper, unless I am converted, which would be very comical. Instead of founding a Monthyon prize for the reward of virtue, I would rather bestow -- like Sardanapalus, that great, misunderstood philosopher -- a large reward to him who should invent a new pleasure; for to me enjoyment seems to be the end of life and the only useful thing on this earth. God willed it to be so, for he created women, perfumes, light, lovely flowers, good wine, spirited horses, lapdogs, and Angora cats; for He did not say to his angels, 'Be virtuous,' but, 'Love,' and gave us lips more sensitive than the rest of the skin that we might kiss women, eyes looking upward that we might behold the light, a subtile sense of smell that we might breathe in the soul of the flowers, muscular limbs that we might press the flanks of stallions and fly swift as thought without railway or steam-kettle, delicate hands that we might stroke the long heads of greyhounds, the velvety fur of cats, and the polished shoulder of not very virtuous creatures, and, finally, granted to us alone the triple and glorious privilege of drinking without being thirsty, striking fire, and making love in all seasons, whereby we are very much more distinguished from brutes than by the custom of reading newspapers and framing constitutions.
Théophile Gautier (Mademoiselle de Maupin)
أدركَ الشَّعبُ كيف أنَّ في وِسع فرد من الأفراد يعملُ في تجارةٍ أن يُصيبَ ثراءً كبيرًا، وأنْ يُوسِع تجارَتَهُ، وعندئذٍ فقط، أخذ الفلاحُون يَقُصُّون أنَّ هذا البقَّال كان يُقرِضُهم أمولاً بِرِبًا فاحشٍ، وذكر آخرونَ كيفَ أنَّهُ طردهُم من أراضيهم، وكيفَ أصبحُوا عُمَّالاً بعد أنْ كانُوا مالِكِين. وكُلَّما ازدادَ الشَّعبُ فِهمًا للأمور، ازدادت يقظَتُهُ، وأصبحَ يُدركُ أنَّ كلَّ شيءٍ متوقفٌ عليهِ، وأنَّ سلامته رهنٌ باتِّحادِهِ، وبمعرفةِ مصالِحِه وبتعيينِ أعدائه. وفهِمَ الشَّعبُ أنَّ الغِنَى الذي حصَّله الأغنياء لم يكُن ثمرَةَ العمل، وإنَّما ثمرَةَ سرِقةٍ مُنظَّمةٍ محميَّةٍ. وأصبحَ لا ينظُرُ إلى الأغنياء نظرتُهُ إلى أُناسٍ مُحترمين، بل إلى حيواناتٍ مفترِسةٍ، إلى ذئابٍ، إلى غِربَانٍ تتمرَّغُ في دِماءِ الشَّعبِ
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The power structure draws its validity and strength solely from the existence of the people's struggle. In practice it is the people who choose a power structure of their own free will and not the power structure that suffers the people. (139)
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Understand, you wretched of the earth, we should strive to improve what we can. Here. Right here, in Moldova. We can clean our own houses; fix our own roads. We can trim our own shrubs and works the fields. We can stop gossiping, drinking and loafing. We can become kinder, more patient, more tender with each other. We can stop ripping pages out of library books and spitting on a cleanly swept floor. Quit deceiving. Start living honest lives. Italy- the real Italy- is in us ourselves!
Vladimir Lorchenkov (The Good Life Elsewhere)
The national bourgeoisie discovers its historical mission as intermediary. As we have seen, its vocation is not to transform the nation but prosaically serve as a conveyor belt for capitalism, forced to camouflage itself behind the mask of neocolonialism. The national bourgeoisie, with no misgivings and with great pride, revels in the role of agent in its dealings with the Western bourgeoisie. This lucrative role, this function as small-time racketeer, this narrow-mindedness and lack of ambition are symptomatic of the incapacity of the national bourgeoisie to fulfil its historic role as bourgeoisie. The dynamic, pioneering aspect, the inventive, discoverer-of-new-worlds aspect common to every national bourgeoisie is here lamentably absent. At the core of the national bourgeoisie of the colonial countries a hedonistic mentality prevails—because on a psychological level it identifies with the Western bourgeoisie from which it has slurped every lesson. It mimics the Western bourgeoisie in its negative and decadent aspects without having accomplished the initial phases of exploration and invention that are the assets of this Western bourgeoisie whatever the circumstances. In its early days the national bourgeoisie of the colonial countries identifies with the last stages of the Western bourgeoisie. Don’t believe it is taking short cuts. In fact it starts at the end. It is already senile, having experienced neither the exuberance nor the brazen determination of youth and adolescence.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
You can read all the books in the world on the Nazi concentration camps and the gas chambers, and yet reality will draw upon you only when you are put through that yourself. It is a law of God, or nature, if you prefer, that pain, suffering and grief cannot be transferred or known by proxy. Neither empathy nor sympathy but experience alone is a valid currency of affliction. It alone makes you a card-holding member all allows you to join the club of the wretched of the earth. All else is counterfeit.
Kiran Nagarkar
The first thing which the native learns is to stay in his place and not to go beyond certain limits. This is why the dreams of the native are always of muscular prowess; his dreams are of action and aggression. I dream I am jumping, swimming, running, climbing. I dream that I burst out laughing, that I span a river in one stride, or that I am followed by a flood of motorcars which never catch up with me. During the period of colonization, the native never stops achieving his freedom from nine in the evening until six in the morning.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
They deserved to die. He wanted them dead. He wanted their young but poisonous blood shed, and this wretched part of the world erased from the earth. Blood and soil. Yes, they were right. Ragnarok was coming down fast, but not in the way they anticipated. He'd give them their blood and soil.
Adam Nevill (The Ritual)
Hast thou, then, nothing more to mention? Com'st ever, thus, with ill intention? Find'st nothing right on earth, eternally? MEPHISTOPHELES No, Lord! I find things, there, still bad as they can be. Man's misery even to pity moves my nature; I've scarce the heart to plague the wretched creature.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust)
All the seeds of Christianity -- of superstition, were sown in my mind and cultivated with great diligence and care. All that time I knew nothing of any science -- nothing about the other side -- nothing of the objections that had been urged against the blessed Scriptures, or against the perfect Congregational creed. Of course I had heard the ministers speak of blasphemers, of infidel wretches, of scoffers who laughed at holy things. They did not answer their arguments, but they tore their characters into shreds and demonstrated by the fury of assertion that they had done the Devil's work. And yet in spite of all I heard -- of all I read. I could not quite believe. My brain and heart said No. For a time I left the dreams, the insanities, the illusions and delusions, the nightmares of theology. I studied astronomy, just a little -- I examined maps of the heavens -- learned the names of some of the constellations -- of some of the stars -- found something of their size and the velocity with which they wheeled in their orbits -- obtained a faint conception of astronomical spaces -- found that some of the known stars were so far away in the depths of space that their light, traveling at the rate of nearly two hundred thousand miles a second, required many years to reach this little world -- found that, compared with the great stars, our earth was but a grain of sand -- an atom – found that the old belief that all the hosts of heaven had been created for the benefit of man, was infinitely absurd.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Because it is a systematic negation of the other person and a furious determination to deny the other person all attributes of humanity, colonialism forces the people it dominates to ask themselves the question constantly: "In reality, who am I?" The defensive attitudes created by this violent bringing together of the colonised man and the colonial system form themselves into a structures which then reveals the colonised personality. This 'sensitivity' is easily understood if we simply study and are alive to the number and depth of the injuries inflicted upon a native during a single day spent amidst the colonial regime. It must in any case be remembered that a colonised people is not only simply a dominated people. Under the German occupation the French remained men; under the French occupation, the Germans remained men. In Algeria there is not simply the domination but the decision to the letter not to occupy anything more than the sum total of the land.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Parce qu'elle n'a pas d'idées, parce qu'elle est fermée sur elle-même, coupée du peuple, minée par son incapacité congénitale à penser l'ensemble des problèmes en fonction de la totalité de la nation, la bourgeoisie nationale va assumer le rôle de gérant des entreprises de l'Occident et pratiquement irganisera son pays en lupanar de l'Europe.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Fighting for the freedom of one's people is not the only necessity. As long as the fight goes on you must enlighten not only the people but also, and above all, yourself on the full measure of man. You must retrace the paths of history, the history of man damned by other men, and initiate, bring about, the encounter between your own people and others.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
He was in the hospital from the middle of Lent till after Easter. When he was better, he remembered the dreams he had had while he was feverish and delirious. He dreamt that the whole world was condemned to a terrible new strange plague that had come to Europe from the depths of Asia. All were to be destroyed except a very few chosen. Some new sorts of microbes were attacking the bodies of men, but these microbes were endowed with intelligence and will. Men attacked by them became at once mad and furious. But never had men considered themselves so intellectual and so completely in possession of the truth as these sufferers, never had they considered their decisions, their scientific conclusions, their moral convictions so infallible. Whole villages, whole towns and peoples went mad from the infection. All were excited and did not understand one another. Each thought that he alone had the truth and was wretched looking at the others, beat himself on the breast, wept, and wrung his hands. They did not know how to judge and could not agree what to consider evil and what good; they did not know whom to blame, whom to justify. Men killed each other in a sort of senseless spite. They gathered together in armies against one another, but even on the march the armies would begin attacking each other, the ranks would be broken and the soldiers would fall on each other, stabbing and cutting, biting and devouring each other. The alarm bell was ringing all day long in the towns; men rushed together, but why they were summoned and who was summoning them no one knew. The most ordinary trades were abandoned, because everyone proposed his own ideas, his own improvements, and they could not agree. The land too was abandoned. Men met in groups, agreed on something, swore to keep together, but at once began on something quite different from what they had proposed. They accused one another, fought and killed each other. There were conflagrations and famine. All men and all things were involved in destruction. The plague spread and moved further and further. Only a few men could be saved in the whole world. They were a pure chosen people, destined to found a new race and a new life, to renew and purify the earth, but no one had seen these men, no one had heard their words and their voices.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment)
Perched upon the stones of a bridge The soldiers had the eyes of ravens Their weapons hung black as talons Their eyes gloried in the smoke of murder To the shock of iron-heeled sticks I drew closer in the cripple’s bitter patience And before them I finally tottered Grasping to capture my elusive breath With the cockerel and swift of their knowing They watched and waited for me ‘I have come,’ said I, ‘from this road’s birth, I have come,’ said I, ‘seeking the best in us.’ The sergeant among them had red in his beard Glistening wet as he showed his teeth ‘There are few roads on this earth,’ said he, ‘that will lead you to the best in us, old one.’ ‘But you have seen all the tracks of men,’ said I ‘And where the mothers and children have fled Before your advance. Is there naught among them That you might set an old man upon?’ The surgeon among this rook had bones Under her vellum skin like a maker of limbs ‘Old one,’ said she, ‘I have dwelt In the heat of chests, among heart and lungs, And slid like a serpent between muscles, Swum the currents of slowing blood, And all these roads lead into the darkness Where the broken will at last rest. ‘Dare say I,’ she went on,‘there is no Place waiting inside where you might find In slithering exploration of mysteries All that you so boldly call the best in us.’ And then the man with shovel and pick, Who could raise fort and berm in a day Timbered of thought and measured in all things Set the gauge of his eyes upon the sun And said, ‘Look not in temples proud, Or in the palaces of the rich highborn, We have razed each in turn in our time To melt gold from icon and shrine And of all the treasures weeping in fire There was naught but the smile of greed And the thick power of possession. Know then this: all roads before you From the beginning of the ages past And those now upon us, yield no clue To the secret equations you seek, For each was built of bone and blood And the backs of the slave did bow To the laboured sentence of a life In chains of dire need and little worth. All that we build one day echoes hollow.’ ‘Where then, good soldiers, will I Ever find all that is best in us? If not in flesh or in temple bound Or wretched road of cobbled stone?’ ‘Could we answer you,’ said the sergeant, ‘This blood would cease its fatal flow, And my surgeon could seal wounds with a touch, All labours will ease before temple and road, Could we answer you,’ said the sergeant, ‘Crows might starve in our company And our talons we would cast in bogs For the gods to fight over as they will. But we have not found in all our years The best in us, until this very day.’ ‘How so?’ asked I, so lost now on the road, And said he, ‘Upon this bridge we sat Since the dawn’s bleak arrival, Our perch of despond so weary and worn, And you we watched, at first a speck Upon the strife-painted horizon So tortured in your tread as to soak our faces In the wonder of your will, yet on you came Upon two sticks so bowed in weight Seeking, say you, the best in us And now we have seen in your gift The best in us, and were treasures at hand We would set them humbly before you, A man without feet who walked a road.’ Now, soldiers with kind words are rare Enough, and I welcomed their regard As I moved among them, ’cross the bridge And onward to the long road beyond I travel seeking the best in us And one day it shall rise before me To bless this journey of mine, and this road I began upon long ago shall now end Where waits for all the best in us. ―Avas Didion Flicker Where Ravens Perch
Steven Erikson (The Crippled God (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #10))
Because no one of us lives for himself and no one dies for himself. For if we live, then we live for the Lord; and if we die, then we die for the Lord. Therefore whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.' Pastor Jón Prímus to himself: That's rather good. With that he thrust the manual into his cassock pocket, turned towards the coffin, and said: That was the formula, Mundi. I was trying to get you to understand it, but it didn't work out; actually it did not matter. We cannot get round this formula anyway. It's easy to prove that the formula is wrong, but it is at least so right that the world came into existence. But it is a waste of words to try to impute to the Creator democratic ideas or social virtues; or to think that one can move Him with weeping and wailing, and persuade Him with logic and legal quibbles. Nothing is so pointless as words. The late pastor Jens of Setberg knew all this and more besides. But he also knew that the formula is kept in a locker. The rest comes by itself. The Creation, which includes you and me, we are in the formula, this very formula I have just been reading; and there is no way out of it. Because no one lives for himself and so on; and whether we live or die, we and so on. You are annoyed that demons should govern the world and that consequently there is only one virtue that is taken seriously by the newspapers: killings. You said they had discovered a machine to destroy everything that draws breath on earth; they were now trying to agree on a method of accomplishing this task quickly and cleanly; preferably while having a cocktail. They are trying to break out of the formula, poor wretches. Who can blame them for that? Who has never wanted to do that? Many consider the human being to be the most useless animal on earth or even the lowest stage of evolution in all the universe put together, and that it is more than high time to wipe this creature out, like the mammoth in the tundras. We once knew a war maiden, you and I. There was only one word ever found for her: Úa. So wonderful was this creation that it's no exaggeration to say that she was completely unbearable; indeed I think that we two helped one another to destroy her, and yet perhaps she is still alive. There was never anything like her. ... In conclusion I, as the local pastor, thank you for having participated in carrying the Creation on your shoulders alongside me.
Halldór Laxness (Under the Glacier)
Has it never occurred to you that that miserable clown may have a soul–a living, struggling human soul, tied down into that crooked hulk of a body and forced to slave for it? You that are so tender-hearted to everything–you that pity the body in its fool’s dress and bells–have you never thought of the wretched soul that has not even motley to cover its horrible nakedness? Think of it shivering with cold, stilled with shame and misery, before all those people–feeling their jeers that cut like a whip–their laughter, that burns like red-hot iron on the bare flesh! Think of it looking round–so helpless before them all–for the mountains that will not fall on it–for the rocks that have not the heart to cover it–envying the rats that can creep into some hole in the earth and hide; and remember that a soul is dumb–it has no voice to cry out–it must endure, and endure, and endure.
Ethel Lilian Voynich (خرمگس)
When the world was in darkness and wretchedness, it could believe in perfection and yearn for it. But when the world became bright with reason and riches, it began to sense the narrowness of the needle’s eye, and that rankled for a world no longer willing to believe or yearn. Well, they were going to destroy it again, were they - this garden Earth, civilized and knowing, to be torn apart again that man might hope again in wretched darkness.
Walter M. Miller Jr.
Returning to the arched window, she lifted her eyes- scowling, poor dim-sighted Hepzibah, in the face of heaven!- and strove hard to send up a prayer through the dense grey pavement of clouds. Those mists had gathered , as if to symbolize a great, brooding mass of human trouble, doubt, confusion, and chill indifference, between earth and the better regions. Her faith was too weak; the prayer to heavy to be thus uplifted. It fell back, a lump of lead, upon her heart. It smote her with the wretched conviction that Providence intermeddled not in these petty wrongs of one individual to his fellow, nor had any balm for these little agonies of a solitary soul; but shed it's justice , and it's mercy, in a broad, sunlike sweep, over half the universe at once. It's vastness made it nothing. But Hepzibah did not see that, just as there comes a warm sunbeam into every cottage window, so comes a lovebeam of God's care and pity for every separate need
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The House of the Seven Gables)
Boneless with relief, she let him pull her forward, into the open air, into his lap. And in this wild darkness, in the middle of an empty earth, she grieved for both of them—indeed, for every human in this wretched world, who must face the trials life offered, negotiate the changes wrought by time. There was so little joy to cling to, so few certainties. Yet humans continued to endure. Continued to hope. The undeniable compulsion to survive powered them onward, like Sisyphus on his mountain.
Meredith Duran (The Duke of Shadows)
The history of mankind would be far too stupid a thing if it had not had the intellect [Geist] of the powerless injected into it: — let us take the best example straight away. Nothing that has been done on earth against ‘the noble’, ‘the mighty’, ‘the masters’ and ‘the rulers’, is worth mentioning compared with what the Jews have done against them: the Jews, that priestly people, which in the last resort was able to gain satisfaction from its enemies and conquerors only through a radical revaluation of their values, that is, through an act of the most deliberate revenge. Only this was fitting for a priestly people with the most entrenched priestly vengefulness. It was the Jews who, rejecting the aristocratic value equation (good = noble = powerful = beautiful = happy = blessed) ventured, with awe-inspiring consistency, to bring about a reversal and held it in the teeth of the most unfathomable hatred (the hatred of the powerless), saying: ‘Only those who suffer are good, only the poor, the powerless, the lowly are good; the suffering, the deprived, the sick, the ugly, are the only pious people, the only ones saved, salvation is for them alone, whereas you rich, the noble and powerful, you are eternally wicked, cruel, lustful, insatiate, godless, you will also be eternally wretched, cursed and damned!’ . . . the slaves’ revolt in morality begins with the Jews: a revolt which has two thousand years of history behind it and which has only been lost sight of because — it was victorious . . .
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Genealogy of Morals)
Grant them removed, and grant that this your noise Hath chid down all the majesty of England; Imagine that you see the wretched strangers, Their babies at their backs and their poor luggage, Plodding to the ports and coasts for transportation, And that you sit as kings in your desires, Authority quite silent by your brawl, And you in ruff of your opinions clothed; What had you got? I'll tell you: you had taught How insolence and strong hand should prevail, How order should be quelled; and by this pattern Not one of you should live an aged man, For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought, With self same hand, self reasons, and self right, Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes Would feed on one another.... Say now the king Should so much come too short of your great trespass As but to banish you, whither would you go? What country, by the nature of your error, Should give your harbour? go you to France or Flanders, To any German province, to Spain or Portugal, Nay, any where that not adheres to England, Why, you must needs be strangers: would you be pleased To find a nation of such barbarous temper, That, breaking out in hideous violence, Would not afford you an abode on earth, Whet their detested knives against your throats, Spurn you like dogs, and like as if that God Owed not nor made you, nor that the claimants Were not all appropriate to your comforts, But chartered unto them, what would you think To be thus used? this is the strangers case; And this your mountainish inhumanity.
William Shakespeare
One writes out of a need to communicate and to commune with others, to denounce that which gives pain and to share that which gives happiness. One writes against one’s solitude and against the solitude of others. One assumes that literature transmits knowledge and affects the behavior and language of those who read.… One writes, in reality, for the people whose luck or misfortune one identifies with—the hungry, the sleepless, the rebels, and the wretched of this earth—and the majority of them are illiterate.
Eduardo Galeano (Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent)
Black life as despised humanity runs parallel to the life of Christ, who entered into socially rejected and scandalized life. The question about this poor Jew from Nazareth living under Roman oppression—“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46)—demonstrates the extent to which Jesus was seen as an insignificant and punishable body. His body was one that could be grabbed at night without recourse and then run through an unjust judicial process. Like the thousands of black bodies that hung from trees, having been executed by the hands of white mobs, Jesus’ body was hung on that old rugged tree as a public spectacle of Rome. It was a death reserved for bandits and revolutionaries. That Jesus identified so intimately with “the wretched of the earth,” even to the point of death, should result in God’s church daring to see humanity from the perspective of God. To follow Jesus every day demands that we also must dare to interpret vulnerable and outcast bodies through the lens of the crucified Christ, through whom God’s wisdom and power is revealed.
Drew G.I. Hart (Trouble I've Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism)
Very well, but - who are you?' again asked Gil Gil, in whom curiosity was beginning to get the better of every other feeling. 'I told you that when I first spoke to you - I am your friend. And bear in mind that you are the only being on the face of the earth to whom I accord the title of friend. I am bound to you by remorse! I am the cause of all your misfortunes.' 'I do not know you,' replied the shoemaker. 'And yet I have entered your house many times! Through me you were left motherless at your birth; I was the cause of the apoplectic stroke that killed Juan Gil; it was I who turned you out of the palace of Rionuevo; I assassinated your old house-mate, and, finally, it was I who placed in your pocket the vial of sulfuric acid.' Gil Gil trembled like a leaf; he felt his hair stand on end, and it seemed to him as if his contracted muscles must burst asunder. 'You are the devil!' he exclaimed, with indescribable terror. 'Child!' responded the black-robed figure in accents of amiable censure, 'what has put that idea into your head? I am something greater and better than the wretched being you have named.' 'Who are you, then?' 'Let us go into the inn and you shall learn.' Gil hastily entered, drew the Unknown before the modest lantern that lighted the apartment, and looked at him with intense curiosity. He was a person about thirty-three years old; tall, handsome, pale, dressed in a long black tunic and a black mantle, and his long locks were covered by a Phrygian cap, also black. He had not the slightest sign of a beard, yet he did not look like a woman. Neither did he look like a man... ("The Friend of Death")
Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (Ghostly By Gaslight)
I think about all the ways I’ve been perceived by others over the years: as a burden, a dutiful daughter, a girlfriend, a spiteful wretch, an invalid… This is my letter to the World that never wrote to Me. “You showed what no one else could see,” I tell him. He squeezes my shoulder. Both of us are silent, looking at the painting. There she is, that girl, on a planet of grass. Her wants are simple: to tilt her face to the sun and feel its warmth. To clutch the earth beneath her fingers. To escape from and return to the house she was born in. To see her life from a distance, as clear as a photograph, as mysterious as a fairy tale. This is a girl who has lived through broken dreams and promises. Still lives. Will always live on that hillside, at the center of a world that unfolds all the way to the edges of the canvas. Her people are witches and persecutors, adventures and homebodies, dreamers and pragmatists. Her world is both circumscribed and boundless, a place where the stranger at the door may hold a key to the rest of her life. What she most wants—what she most truly yearns for—is what any of us want: to be seen. And look. She is.
Christina Baker Kline
For culture is the first expression of a nation, the expression of its preferences, of its taboos and of its patterns. It is at every stage of the whole of society that other taboos, values and patterns are formed. A national culture is the sum total of all these appraisals; it is the result of internal and external tensions exerted over society as a whole and also at every level of that society. In the colonial situation, culture, which is doubly deprived of the nation and the state, falls away and dies. The condition for its (culture's) existence is therefore national liberation and the renaissance of the state.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
...in certain regions the party is organized like a gang whose toughest member takes over the leadership. The leader’s ancestry and powers are readily mentioned, and in a knowing and slightly admiring tone it is quickly pointed out that he inspires awe in his close collaborators. In order to avoid these many pitfalls a persistent battle has to be waged to prevent the party from becoming a compliant instrument in the hands of a leader. Leader comes from the English verb “to lead,” meaning “to drive” in French.15 The driver of people no longer exists today. People are no longer a herd and do not need to be driven. If the leader drives me I want him to know that at the same time I am driving him. The nation should not be an affair run by a big boss. Hence the panic that grips government circles every time one of their leaders falls ill, because they are obsessed with the question of succession: What will happen to the country if the leader dies? The influential circles, who in their blind irresponsibility are more concerned with safeguarding their lifestyle, their cocktail parties, their paid travel and their profitable racketeering, have abdicated in favor of a leader and occasionally discover the spiritual void at the heart of the nation.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
You see me here, you gods, a poor old man, As full of grief as age; wretched in both! If it be you that stir these daughters' hearts Against their father, fool me not so much To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger, And let not women's weapons, water-drops, Stain my man's cheeks! No, you unnatural hags, I will have such revenges on you both, That all the world shall--I will do such things,-- What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be The terrors of the earth. You think I'll weep No, I'll not weep: I have full cause of weeping; but this heart Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws, Or ere I'll weep. O fool, I shall go mad!
William Shakespeare (King Lear)
every people gives, so to speak, new clothing to the surrounding nature. By means of its fields and roads, by its dwellings and every manner of construction, by the way it arranges the trees and the landscape in general, the populace expresses the character of its own ideals. If it really has a feeling for beauty, it will make nature more beautiful. If, on the other hand, the great mass of humanity should remain as it is today, crude, egoistic and inauthentic, it will continue to mark the face of the earth with its wretched traces. Thus will the poet’s cry of desperation become a reality: “Where can I flee? Nature itself has become hideous.”49
Élisée Reclus (Anarchy, Geography, Modernity: Selected Writings of Elisée Reclus)
في أثناء عامَيّ 1956 و 1957، حرَّم الاستعمار الفرنسي بعض المناطق، فأصبحَ تنقُّل الأشخاص في هذه المناطِق خاضعًا لقيودٍ صارمةٍ. وأصبح الفلاحُون لا يستطيعون أن يذهبوا إلى المدينةِ بِحُرِّيَّة لتجديدِ مؤَنِهِم. فأخَذَ البقَّالون يُكدِّسون أرباحًا ضخمة، حتى بلغت أسعار الشَّاي والقهوة والسُّكر والتَّبغ أرقامًا خارقةً، وانتصرت السُّوق السَّوداء انتصارًا هائلاً. وأصبحَ الفلاحُون الذين لا يستطيعون المُقايضةَ يرهنُونَ محاصيلَهم، بل وأراضيهم، أو يأخذُون يبيعون إرثَ الأُسرةَ قطعةً قطعة، ثمّ ينتهون في مرحلة ثانية إلى العملِ في الأرضِ لِحِسابِ البقَّال ! فما أدركَ المفوَّضُون السياسيُّون هذا الخطر، حتّى بادروا إلى اتِّخاذِ الإجراءاتِ اللازمةِ فورًا، فَوَضعُوا نِظامًا عقليًا للتموين؛ فالبقَّال الذي يذهبُ إلى المدينةِ عليه أن يشتري بضائعَهُ من تُجَّارٍ وطنيِّين، يُعطُونه فواتيرَ تُذكرُ فيها أسعارُ البضائعِ، حتّى إذا عاد إلى القرية كان عليه أن يذهبَ فورًا إلى المُفوِّض السياسيّ الذي يُدَقِّق في الفواتير، ويُحدِّدُ الرِّبحَ، ويُعيِّنُ تسعيرةَ البيعِ. وعلى البقَّال -بعد ذلك-، أن يُسجِّلَ على البضائعِ في حانُوتِه أسعارَها المفروضَة، ويكونُ هُنالِكَ رجلٌ من رجال القرية يُبَصِّرُ الفلاحَ بأسعارِ البضائع، ويكونُ أشبهَ برقيبٍ على الفلاح ! غيرَ أنَّ البقَّالين ما لبِثُوا أن اكتشفوا حيلةً يلجؤون إليها، فما هيَ إلا أيام ثلاثة أو أربعة حتّى يدَّعُوا أنَّ البِضاعةَ قد نفَدَت، ثمَّ يأخُذُون يَبيعون بأسعارٍ فاحشة
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Out beyond and way back and further past that still. And such was it since. But after all appearances and some afternoons misspent it came to pass not all was done and over with. No, no. None shally shally on that here hill. Ah, but that was idle then and change was not an old hand. No, no. None shilly shilly on that here first rung. So, much girded and with new multitudes, a sun came purple and the hail turned in a year or two. And that was not all. No, no. None ganny ganny on that here moon loose. Turns were taken and time put in, so much heft and grimace, there, with callouses, all along the diagonal. Like no other time and the time taken back, that too like none other that can be compared to a bovine heap raising steam, or the eye-cast of a flailing comet. Back and forth, examining the egg spill and the cord fray and the clowning barnacle. And all day with no break to unwrap or unscrew or squint and flex or soak the brush. No, no. None flim flim on that here cavorting mainstay. From tree to tree and the pond there deepening and some small holes appearing and any number of cornstalks twisting into a thing far from corn. That being the case there was some wretched plotting, turned to stone, holding nothing. No, no. None rubby rubby on that here yardstick. Came then from the region of silt and aster, all along the horse trammel and fire velvet, first these sounds and then their makers. When passed betwixt and entered fully, pails were swung and notches considered. There was no light. No, none. None wzm wzm on that here piss crater. And it being the day, still considered. Oh, all things considered and not one mentioned, since all names had turned in and handed back. Knowing this the hounds disbanded and knowing that the ground muddled headstones and milestones and gallows and the almond-shaped buds of freshest honeysuckle. And among this chafing tumult fates were scrambled and mortality made untidy and pithy vows took themselves a breather. This being the way and irreversible homewards now was a lifted skeletal thing of the past, without due application or undue meaning. No, no. None shap shap on that here domicile shank. From right foot to left, first by the firs, then by the river, hung and loitered, and the blaze there slow to come. All night waking with no benefit of sleeping and the breath cranking and the heart-place levering and the kerosene pervading but failing to jerk a flame from out any one thing. No, none. None whoosh whoosh on that here burnished cunt. Oh, the earth, the earth and the women there, inside the simpering huts, stamped and spiritless, blowing on the coals. Not far away, but beyond the way of return.
Claire-Louise Bennett (Pond)
As long as through the workings of laws and customs there exists a damnation-by-society artificially creating hells in the very midst of civilization and complicating destiny, which is divine, with a man-made fate; as long as the three problems of the age are not resolved: the debasement of men through proletarianization, the moral degradation of women through hunger, and the blighting of children by keeping them in darkness; as long as in certain strata social suffocation is possible; in other words and from an even broader perspective, as long as there are ignorance and poverty on earth, books of this kind may serve some purpose. Victor Hugo, Hauteville House, 1 January 1862
Victor Hugo (The Wretched)
I've often thought that among all the afflicting sights of the world, none can be much more so than this one short walk along three city blocks, where night after night it's possible to see--indeed, it's impossible not to see--these faces from which hope and joy and dignity and light have been draining so steadily and for so long that now there is nothing left but this assortment of indifferent, damaged masks. They belong to human beings who, after a lifetime of struggling to become one thing or another, have succeeded only in becoming the rough sketches of their species, recognizable but empty, the bruised and wretched bodies and souls of the saddest people on earth: the people who no longer care.
Edwin O'Connor (The Edge of Sadness)
How clear she shines ! How quietly I lie beneath her guardian light; While heaven and earth are whispering me, " To morrow, wake, but, dream to-night." Yes, Fancy, come, my Fairy love ! These throbbing temples softly kiss; And bend my lonely couch above And bring me rest, and bring me bliss. The world is going; dark world, adieu ! Grim world, conceal thee till the day; The heart, thou canst not all subdue, Must still resist, if thou delay ! Thy love I will not, will not share; Thy hatred only wakes a smile; Thy griefs may wound–thy wrongs may tear, But, oh, thy lies shall ne'er beguile ! While gazing on the stars that glow Above me, in that stormless sea, I long to hope that all the woe Creation knows, is held in thee ! And, this shall be my dream to-night; I'll think the heaven of glorious spheres [Page 104] Is rolling on its course of light In endless bliss, through endless years; I'll think, there's not one world above, Far as these straining eyes can see, Where Wisdom ever laughed at Love, Or Virtue crouched to Infamy; Where, writhing 'neath the strokes of Fate, The mangled wretch was forced to smile; To match his patience 'gainst her hate, His heart rebellious all the while. Where Pleasure still will lead to wrong, And helpless Reason warn in vain; And Truth is weak, and Treachery strong; And Joy the surest path to Pain; And Peace, the lethargy of Grief; And Hope, a phantom of the soul; And Life, a labour, void and brief; And Death, the despot of the whole !
Emily Brontë (The Complete Poems)
Religious people, the “people of God,” the people of the impossible, impassioned by a love that leaves them restless and unhinged, panting like the deer for running streams, as the psalmist says (Ps. 42:1), are impossible people. In every sense of the word. If, on any given day, you go into the worst neighborhoods of the inner cities of most large urban centers, the people you will find there serving the poor and needy, expending their lives and considerable talents attending to the least among us, will almost certainly be religious people — evangelicals and Pentecostalists, social workers with deeply held religious convictions, Christian, Jewish, and Islamic, men and women, priests and nuns, black and white. They are the better angels of our nature. They are down in the trenches, out on the streets, serving the widow, the orphan, and the stranger, while the critics of religion are sleeping in on Sunday mornings. That is because religious people are lovers; they love God, with whom all things are possible. They are hyper-realists, in love with the impossible, and they will not rest until the impossible happens, which is impossible, so they get very little rest. The philosophers, on the other hand, happen to be away that weekend, staying in a nice hotel, reading unreadable papers on “the other” at each other, which they pass off as their way of serving the wretched of the earth. Then, after proclaiming the death of God, they jet back to their tenured jobs, unless they happen to be on sabbatical leave and are spending the year in Paris.
John D. Caputo (On Religion (Thinking in Action))
The closer men came to perfecting for themselves a paradise, the more impatient they became with it, and with themselves as well. They made a garden of pleasure, and became progressively more miserable with it as it grew in richness and power and beauty; for then, perhaps, it was easier to see something was missing in the garden, some tree or shrub that would not grow. When the world was in darkness and wretchedness, it could believe in perfection and yearn for it. But when the world became bright with reason and riches, it began to sense the narrowness of the needle's eye, and that rankled for a world no longer willing to believe or yearn. Well, they were going to destroy it again, were they -- this garden Earth, civilized and knowing, to be torn apart again that Man might hope again in wretched darkness.
Walter M. Miller Jr. (A Canticle for Leibowitz (St. Leibowitz, #1))
Were government a mere manufacture or article of commerce, immaterial by whom it should be made or sold, we might as well employ her as another, but when we consider it as the fountain from whence the general manners and morality of a country take their rise, that the persons entrusted with the execution thereof are by their serious example an authority to support these principles, how abominably absurd is the idea of being hereafter governed by a set of men who have been guilty of forgery, perjury, treachery, theft and every species of villainy which the lowest wretches on earth could practice or invent. What greater public curse can befall any country than to be under such authority, and what greater blessing than to be delivered therefrom. The soul of any man of sentiment would rise in brave rebellion against them, and spurn them from the earth.
Thomas Paine (The Crisis)
Thus not in vain is that power of the intellect which ever seeketh, yea, and achieveth the addition of space to space, mass to mass, unity to unity, number to number, by the science which dischargeth us from the fetters of a most narrow kingdom and promoteth us to the freedom of a truly august realm, which freeth us from an imagined poverty and straitness to the possession of the myriad riches of so vast a space, of so worthy a field, of so many most cultivated worlds. This science doth not permit that the arch of the horizon that our deluded vision imagineth over the earth and that by our fantasy is feigned in the spacious ether, shall imprison our spirit under the custody of a Pluto or at the mercy of a Jove. We are spared the thought of so wealthy an owner and subsequently of so miserly, sordid and avaricious a donor. Nor need we accept nourishment from a nature so fecund and pregnant, and then so wretched, mean and niggard in her fruit.
Giordano Bruno (On the Infinite, the Universe and the Worlds: Five Cosmological Dialogues (Collected Works of Giordano Bruno Book 2))
you can’t fight a tremendous, emotion filled drive with cold mathematics. This man Hilder has invented a name, ‘Wasters.’ Slowly he has built this name up into a gigantic conspiracy; a gang of brutal, profit-seeking wretches raping Earth for their own immediate benefit. “He has accused the government of being riddled with them, the Assembly of being dominated by them, the press of being owned by them. None of this, unfortunately, seems ridiculous to the average man. He knows all too well what selfish men can do to Earth’s resources. He knows what happened to Earth’s oil during the Time of Troubles, for instance, and the way topsoil was ruined. “When a fanner experiences a drought, he doesn’t care that the amount of water lost in space flight isn’t a droplet in a fog as far as Earth’s overall water supply is concerned. Hilder has given him something to blame and that’s the strongest possible consolation for disaster. He isn’t going to give that up for a diet of figures.
Isaac Asimov (Robot Dreams (Robot, #0.4))
The Irish People are expecting famine day by day... and they ascribe it unanimously, not so much to the rule of heaven as to the greedy and cruel policy of England. Be that right or wrong, that is their feeling. They believe that the season as they roll are but ministers of England's rapacity; that their starving children cannot sit down to their scanty meal but they see the harpy claw of England in their dish. They behold their own wretched food melting in rottenness off the face of the earth, and they see heavy-laden ships, freighted with the yellow corn their own hands have sown and reaped, spreading all sail for England; they see it and with every grain of that corn goes a heavy curse. Again the people believe—no matter whether truly or falsely— that if they should escape the hunger and the fever their lives are not safe from judges and juries. They do not look upon the law of the land as a terror to evil-doers, and a praise to those who do well; they scowl on it as an engine of foreign rule, ill-omened harbinger of doom.
John Mitchel
My child, deep-thundering Zeus controls the end of all that is, disposing as he wills. We who are mortals have no mind; we live like cattle, day to day, knowing nothing of god's plans to end each one of us. Yet we are fed by hope and faith to dream impossible plans. Some wait for a day to come, others watch the turning of years. No one among the mortals feels so broken as not to hope in coming time to fly home rich to splendid goods and lands. Yet before he makes his goal, odious old age lays hold of him first. Appalling disease consumes another. Some are killed in war where death carries them under the dark earth. Some drown and die under the myriad waves when a hurricane slams across the blue salt water cracking their cargo ship. Others rope a noose around their wretched necks and choose to die, abandoning the sun of day. A thousand black spirits waylay man with unending grief and suffering. If you listen to my counsel, you won't want the good things of life; not batter your heart by torturing your skull with cold remorse.
Semonides
في المناطِق المُحرَّرة، اضطررنا أن نبذُلَ الإنتاجَ الذي كان قبل ذلك مُتَّجِهًا نحو المُدُن ونحو التَّصديرِ فحسب. فنظَّمنا الإنتاجَ على أساس حاجة الشَّعب، وحاجة وحدات جيش التحرير الوطني إلى الاستهلاك، وضاعفنا إنتاج العدس أربعة أضعاف، ونظَّمنا صُنع فحم الخشب، وأصبح الخُضار والفحم الحجريّ يأتي من مناطق الشَّمال إلى الجنوب عن طريق الجِبال، وأخذت مناطق الجَنُوب تُرسِل اللُّحوم إلى الشَّمال؛ وكانت جبهة التَّحرير الوطني هي التي قرَّرت إحداث هذا التَّنسيق، ووضعت خِطَّة نقل المحاصيل. ولم يكن لدينا أخصائيُّون في التَّخطيط مُتخرِّجُون من مدارس الغرب الكُبرى، ولكنَّ هذه المناطِق المُحرَّرة قد بلغ الرَّاتبُ الغذائيّ اليوميّ فيها حدًّا لم تعرِفْهُ من قبل، وهو 3200 حريرة؛ ولم يكتفِ الشَّعبُ بتحقيق النَّصر في هذه التَّجرُبة، بل أخذ يطرحُ مسائلَ نظرية. مثال ذلك: لماذا كانت بعضُ المناطِقِ لا ترى البُرتقال قبل حربِ التحريرِ مع أنَّ البلادَ كانت تُصدِّرُ منه إلى الخارج ملايينَ الأطنانِ سنويًا ؟!، ولماذا كان عددٌ كبيرٌ من الجزائريِّينَ لا يعرفُ العِنَب مع أنَّ ملايين العناقيدِ من عِنَب الجزائر كانت تتلذَّذُ بها الشُّعوب الأوروبيَّة ؟! لقد أصبحَ الشَّعبُ يعرفُ اليوم ما يملكه معرفةً واضحةً
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Pray, do not speak to me of weather Not sun, not cloud, not of the places Where storms are born I would not know of wind shivering the heather Nor sleet, nor rain, nor of ancient traces On stone grey and worn Pray, do not regale the troubles of ill health Not self, not kin, not of the old woman At the road’s end I will spare no time nor in mercy yield wealth Nor thought, nor feeling, nor shrouds woven To tempt luck’s send Pray, tell me of deep chasms crossed Not left, not turned, not of the betrayals Breeding like worms I would you cry out your rage ’gainst what is lost Now strong, now to weep, now to make fist and rail On earth so firm Pray, sing loud the wretched glories of love Now pain, now drunken, now torn from all reason In laughter and tears I would you bargain with the fey gods above Nor care, nor cost, nor turn of season To wintry fears Sing to me this and I will find you unflinching Now knowing, now seeing, now in the face Of the howling storm Sing your life as if a life without ending And your love, sun’s bright fire, on its celestial pace To where truth is born Pray, An End to Inconsequential Things Baedisk of Nathilog
Steven Erikson (The Complete Malazan Book of the Fallen)
What franticke fit (quoth he) hath thus distraught Thee, foolish man, so rash a doome to give? What justice ever other judgement taught, But he should die, who merites not to live? None else to death this man despayring drive, But his owne guiltie mind deserving death. Is then unjust to each his due to give? Or let him die, that loatheth living breath? Or let him die at ease, that liveth here uneath? Who travels by the wearie wandring way, To come unto his wished home in haste, And meetes a flood, that doth his passage stay, Is not great grace to helpe him over past, Or free his feet, that in the myre sticke fast? Most envious man, that grieves at neighbours good, And fond, that joyest in the woe thou hast, Why wilt not let him passe, that long hath stood Upon the banke, yet wilt thy selfe not passe the flood? He there does now enjoy eternall rest And happie ease, which thou doest want and crave, And further from it daily wanderest: What if some litle paine the passage have, That makes fraile flesh to feare the bitter wave? Is not short paine well borne, that brings long ease, And layes the soule to sleepe in quiet grave? Sleepe after toyle, port after stormie seas, Ease after warre, death after life does greatly please. [...] Is not his deed, what ever thing is donne, In heaven and earth? did not he all create To die againe? all ends that was begonne. Their times in his eternall booke of fate Are written sure, and have their certaine date. Who then can strive with strong necessitie, That holds the world in his still chaunging state, Or shunne the death ordaynd by destinie? When houre of death is come, let none aske whence, nor why. The lenger life, I wote the greater sin, The greater sin, the greater punishment: All those great battels, which thou boasts to win, Through strife, and bloud-shed, and avengement, Now praysd, hereafter deare thou shalt repent: For life must life, and bloud must bloud repay. Is not enough thy evill life forespent? For he, that once hath missed the right way, The further he doth goe, the further he doth stray. Then do no further goe, no further stray, But here lie downe, and to thy rest betake, Th'ill to prevent, that life ensewen may. For what hath life, that may it loved make, And gives not rather cause it to forsake? Feare, sicknesse, age, losse, labour, sorrow, strife, Paine, hunger, cold, that makes the hart to quake; And ever fickle fortune rageth rife, All which, and thousands mo do make a loathsome life. Thou wretched man, of death hast greatest need, If in true ballance thou wilt weigh thy state: For never knight, that dared warlike deede, More lucklesse disaventures did amate: Witnesse the dongeon deepe, wherein of late Thy life shut up, for death so oft did call; And though good lucke prolonged hath thy date, Yet death then, would the like mishaps forestall, Into the which hereafter thou maiest happen fall. Why then doest thou, O man of sin, desire To draw thy dayes forth to their last degree? Is not the measure of thy sinfull hire High heaped up with huge iniquitie, Against the day of wrath, to burden thee? Is not enough, that to this Ladie milde Thou falsed hast thy faith with perjurie, And sold thy selfe to serve Duessa vilde, With whom in all abuse thou hast thy selfe defilde? Is not he just, that all this doth behold From highest heaven, and beares an equall eye? Shall he thy sins up in his knowledge fold, And guiltie be of thine impietie? Is not his law, Let every sinner die: Die shall all flesh? what then must needs be donne, Is it not better to doe willinglie, Then linger, till the glasse be all out ronne? Death is the end of woes: die soone, O faeries sonne.
Edmund Spenser (The Faerie Queene)
Amazing Grace” Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear, The hour I first believed. Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures; He will my Shield and Portion be, As long as life endures. Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, who called me here below, Will be forever mine. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, Than when we’d first begun. Lyrics by John Newton, 1779 “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” (Chorus) Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home. Swing low, sweet chariot, Coming for to carry me home. I looked over Jordan, and what did I see? (Coming for to carry me home) A band of angels coming after me. (Coming for to carry me home) (Chorus) If you get there before I do, (Coming for to carry me home) Tell all of my friends, that I'm coming there too. (Coming for to carry me home) (Chorus) Traditional lyrics Wallis Willis, circa 1865 “Battle Hymn of the Republic” Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword: His truth is marching on. (Chorus) Glory, Glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! His truth is marching on. I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps, They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps; I can read His righteous sentence in the dim and flaring lamps: His day is marching on. (Chorus) I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel: "As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal"; Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel, Since God is marching on. (Chorus) He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat; He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat; Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet! Our God is marching on. (Chorus) In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me. As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, While God is marching on. Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe, 1861
Dyrk Ashton (Wrath of Gods (The Paternus Trilogy, #2))
From the Heliconian Muses let us begin to sing, who hold the great and holy mount of Helicon, and dance on soft feet about the deep-blue spring and the altar of the almighty son of Cronos, and, when they have washed their tender bodies in Permessus or in the Horse's Spring or Olmeius, make their fair, lovely dances upon highest Helicon and move with vigorous feet. Thence they arise and go abroad by night, veiled in thick mist, and utter their song with lovely voice, praising Zeus the aegis-holder and queenly Hera of Argos who walks on golden sandals and the daughter of Zeus the aegis-holder bright-eyed Athene, and Phoebus Apollo, and Artemis who delights in arrows, and Poseidon the earth-holder who shakes the earth, and reverend Themis and quick-glancing Aphrodite, and Hebe with the crown of gold, and fair Dione, Leto, Iapetus, and Cronos the crafty counsellor, Eos and great Helius and bright Selene, Earth too, and great Oceanus, and dark Night, and the holy race of all the other deathless ones that are for ever. And one day they taught Hesiod glorious song while he was shepherding his lambs under holy Helicon, and this word first the goddesses said to me—the Muses of Olympus, daughters of Zeus who holds the aegis: 'Shepherds of the wilderness, wretched things of shame, mere bellies, we know how to speak many false things as though they were true; but we know, when we will, to utter true things'.
Hesiod (Theogony / Works and Days)
This dance was the dance of death, and they danced it for George Buffins, that they might be as him. They danced it for the wretched of the earth, that they might witness their own wretchedness. They danced the dance of the outcasts for the outcasts who watched them, amid the louring trees, with a blizzard coming on. And, one by one, the outcast outlaws raised their heads to watch and all indeed broke out in laughter but it was a laughter without joy. It was the bitter laugh one gives when one sees there is no triumph over fate. When we saw those cheerless arabesques as of the damned, and heard that laughter of those trapped in the circles of hell, Liz and I held hands, for comfort. They danced the night into the clearing, and the outlaws welcomed it with cheers. They danced the perturbed spirit of their master, who came with a great wind and blew cold as death into the marrow of the bones. They danced the whirling apart of everything, the end of love, the end of hope; they danced tomorrows into yesterdays; they danced the exhaustion of the implacable present; they danced the deadly dance of the past perfect which fixes everything fast so it can’t move again; they danced the dance of Old Adam who destroys the world because we believe he lives forever. The outlaws entered into the spirit of the thing with a will. With ‘huzzahs’ and ‘bravos’, all sprang up and flung themselves into the wild gavotte, firing off their guns. The snow hurled wet, white sheets in our faces, and the wind took up the ghastly music of the old clowns and amplified it fit to drive you crazy. Then the snow blinded us and Samson picked us up one by one and slung us back in that shed and leaned up hard against the door, forcing it closed against the tempest with his mighty shoulders. Though bullets crashed into the walls and the wind came whistling through the knotholes and picked up burning embers from the fire, hurling them about until we thought we might burn to death in the middle of the snow and ice, the shed held firm. It rocked this way and that way and it seemed at any moment the roof might be snatched away, but this little group of us who, however incoherently, placed our faiths in reason, were not exposed to the worst of the storm. The Escapee, however, faced with this insurrection of militant pessimism, turned pale and wan and murmured to himself comforting phrases of Kropotkin, etc., as others might, in such straits, recite the rosary. When the storm passed, as pass it did, at last, the freshly fallen snow made all as new and put the camp fire out. Here, there was a shred of scarlet satin and, there, Grik’s little violin with the strings broken but, of the tents, shacks, muskets and cuirasses of the outlaws, the clowns and the clowns themselves, not one sight, as if all together had been blown off the face of the earth.
Angela Carter (Nights at the Circus)
Only last Sunday, when poor wretches were gay—within the walls playing with children among the clipped trees and the statues in the Palace Garden; walking, a score abreast, in the Elysian Fields, made more Elysian by performing dogs and wooden horses; between whiles filtering (a few) through the gloomy Cathedral of Our Lady to say a word or two at the base of a pillar within flare of a rusty little gridiron-full of gusty little tapers; without the walls encompassing Paris with dancing, love-making, wine-drinking, tobacco-smoking, tomb-visiting, billiard card and domino playing, quack-doctoring, and much murderous refuse, animate and inanimate—only last Sunday, my Lady, in the desolation of Boredom and the clutch of Giant Despair, almost hated her own maid for being in spirits. She cannot, therefore, go too fast from Paris. Weariness of soul lies before her, as it lies behind—her Ariel has put a girdle of it round the whole earth, and it cannot be unclasped—but the imperfect remedy is always to fly from the last place where it has been experienced. Fling Paris back into the distance, then, exchanging it for endless avenues and cross-avenues of wintry trees! And, when next beheld, let it be some leagues away, with the Gate of the Star a white speck glittering in the sun, and the city a mere mound in a plain—two dark square towers rising out of it, and light and shadow descending on it aslant, like the angels in Jacob's dream!
Charles Dickens (Bleak House)
Let us drink deep brothers,' he cried, leaving off his strange anointment for a while, to lift a great glass, filled with sparkling liquor, to his lips. 'Let us drink to our approaching triumph. Let us drink to the great poison, Macousha. Subtle seed of Death, - swift hurricane that sweeps away Life, - vast hammer that crushes brain and heart and artery with its resistless weight, -I drink to it.' 'It is a noble concoction, Duke Balthazar,' said Madame Filomel, nodding in her chair as she swallowed her wine in great gulps. 'Where did you obtain it?' 'It is made,' said the Wondersmith, swallowing another great draught of wine ere he replied, 'in the wild woods of Guiana, in silence and in mystery. Only one tribe of Indians, the Macoushi Indians, know the secret. It is simmered over fires built of strange woods, and the maker of it dies in the making. The place, for a mile around the spot where it is fabricated, is shunned as accursed. Devils hover over the pot in which it stews; and the birds of the air, scenting the smallest breath of its vapour from far away, drop to earth with paralysed wings, cold and dead.' 'It kills, then, fast?' asked Kerplonne, the artificial-eye maker, - his own eyes gleaming, under the influence of the wine, with a sinister lustre, as if they had been fresh from the factory, and were yet untarnished by use. 'Kills?' echoed the Wondersmith, derisively; 'it is swifter than thunderbolts, stronger than lightning. But you shall see it proved before we let forth our army on the city accursed. You shall see a wretch die, as if smitten by a falling fragment of the sun.' ("The Wondersmith")
Fitz-James O'Brien (Terror by Gaslight: More Victorian Tales of Terror)
She planted her hands on her hips. “And what if I bag the most birds?” “Then you get to shoot whomever you wish,” Mr. Pinter drawled. As the others laughed, Celia glared at him. He was certainly enjoying himself, the wretch. “I’d be careful if I were you, Mr. Pinter. That person would most likely be you.” “Oho, man, you’ve really got her dander up this time,” Gabe exclaimed. “What on earth did you do?” Mr. Pinter’s gaze met hers, glinting with unholy amusement. “I confiscated her pistol.” A Gabe gasped, Oliver shook his head. “You’ll learn soon enough-never take away one of Celia’s guns. Not if you want to live.” “I’m not that bad,” Celia grumbled as the duke and the viscount eyed her with a twinge of alarm, though Lord Devonmont’s grin broadened. “I’ve never shot a person in my life.” “There’s always a first time,” Gabe teased. “Oh, for pity’s sake.” She regarded them all stoutly. “I promise not to shoot any of you. How about this? If I win, you gentlemen owe me a rifle. Between the five of you, I’m sure you can afford a decent one.” “Five?” Mr. Pinter said. “Don’t I get a part in this little game?” She stared him down. “I thought you had certain duties to attend to.” He should be investigating her suitors. “Whatever duties he has for me will keep, Celia,” Oliver said. “Do come with us, Pinter. I want to see how well you handle a fowling piece.” Mr. Pinter smiled at her. “I’d be honored, my lord. As long as her ladyship doesn’t mind.” Of course she minded. But if she tried to cut him out, they’d say she was afraid he would beat her. “Not in the least,” she said. “Just be prepared to contribute your part of my rifle.” But as she headed for the door, it wasn’t the rifle she was worried about. It was that blasted kiss. Because if he won… Well, she’d just have to make sure he didn’t.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
I have stopped loving you. I have stopped caring about you. I have stopped worrying about you. I have simply . . . stopped. This might come as news to you but despite everything, despite the cruelty, the selfishness and the pain you have caused, I still found a way to care. But not any more. Now, I am putting you on notice. I no longer need you. I don’t think fondly of our early days, so I am erasing these memories and all that followed. For much of our time together I wished for a better relationship than the one we have, but I’ve come to understand this is the hand I have been dealt. And now I am showing you all my cards. Our game is complete. You are the person I share this house with, nothing more, nothing less. You mean no more to me than the shutters that hide what goes on in here, the floorboards I walk over or the doors we use to separate us. I have spent too much of my life trying to figure out your intricacies, of suffering your deeds like knives cutting through scar tissue. I am through with sacrificing who I should have been to keep you happy as it has only locked us in this status quo. I have wasted too much time wanting you to want me. I ache when I recall the opportunities I’ve been too scared to accept because of you. Such frittered-away chances make me want to crawl on my hands and knees to the end of the garden, curl up into a ball on a mound of earth and wait until the nettles and the ivy choke and cover me from view. It’s only now that I recognise the wretched life you cloaked me in and how your misery needed my company to prevent you from feeling so isolated. There is just one lesson I have learned from the life we share. And it is this: everything that is wrong with me is wrong with you too. We are one and the same. When I die, your flame will also extinguish. The next time we are together, I want one of us to be lying stiff in a coffin wearing rags that no longer fit our dead, shrunken frame. Only then can we separate. Only then can we be ourselves. Only then do I stand a chance of finding peace. Only then will I be free of you. And should my soul soar, I promise that yours will sink like the heaviest of rocks, never to be seen again.
John Marrs (What Lies Between Us)
I made a long speech in bad French in which I admitted that I was no critic, that I was always passionate and prejudiced, that I had no reverence for anything except what I liked. I told them that I was an ignoramus, which they tried to deny vigorously. I saidl would rather tell them stories. I began—about a bum who had tried to hit me up for a dime one evening as I was walking towards the Brooklyn Bridge. I explained how I had said No to the man automatically and then, after I had walked a few yards it suddenly came to me that a man had asked me for something and I ran back and spoke to him. But instead of giving him a dime or a quarter, which I could easily have done, I told him that I was broke, that I had wanted to let him know that, that was all. And the man had said to me—"do you mean that, buddy? Why, if that's the way it is, I'll be glad to give you a dime myself." And I let him give it to me, and I thanked him warmly, and walked off. They thought it a very interesting story. So that's how it was in America? Strange country ... anything could happen there. "Yes," I said, "a very strange country," and I thought to myself that it was wonderful not to be there any more and God willing I'd never return to it. "And what is it about Greece that makes you like it so much?" asked someone. I smiled. "The light and the poverty," I said. "You're a romantic," said the man. "Yes," I said, "I'm crazy enough to believe that the happiest man on earth is the man with the fewest needs. And I also believe that if you have light, such as you have here, all ugliness is obliterated. Since I've come to your country I know that light is holy: Greece is a holy land to me." "But have you seen how poor the people are, how wretchedly they live?" "I've seen worse wretchedness in America," I said. "Poverty alone doesn't make people wretched." "You can say that because you have sufficient …." "I can say it because I've been poor all my life," I retorted. "I'm poor now," I added. "I have just'enough to get back to Athens. When I get to Athens I'll have to think how to get more. It isn't money that sustains me—it's the faith I have in myself, in my own powers. In spirit I am a millionaire—maybe that's the best thing about America, that you believe you'll rise again." "Yes, yes," said Tsoutsou, clapping his hands, "that's the wonderful thing about America: you don't know what defeat is." He filled the glasses again and rose to make a toast "To America!" he said, "long may it live!" "To Henry Miller!" said another, "because he believes in himself.
Henry Miller (The Colossus of Maroussi)
Under ground, under ground! Down in the safe soft womb of earth, where there is no getting of jobs or losing of jobs, no relatives or friends to plague you, no hope, fear, ambition, honour, duty - no duns of any kind. That was where he wished to be. Yet it was not death, actual physical death, that he wished for. It was a queer feeling that he had. It had been with him ever since that morning when he woke up in the police cell. The evil, mutinous mood that comes after drunkenness seemed to have set into a habit. That drunken night had marked a period in his life. It had dragged him downward with strange suddenness. Before, he had fought against the money-code, and yet he had clung to his wretched remnant of decency. But now it was precisely from decency that he wanted to escape. He wanted to go down, deep down, into some world where decency no longer mattered; to cut the strings of his self-respect, to submerge himself - to sink, as Rosemary had said. It was all bound up in his mind with the thought of being underground. He liked to think about the lost people, the underground people, tramps, beggars, criminals, prostitutes. It is a good world that they inhabit, down there in their frowzy kips and spikes. He liked to think that beneath the world of money there is that great sluttish underworld where failure and success have no meaning; a sort of kingdom of ghosts where all are equal. That was where he wished to be, down in the ghost-kingdom, below ambition.
George Orwell (Keep the Aspidistra Flying)
Sartre agrees but also resists, shifting his argument. The Egyptian fellah is not a full citizen, either. He is illiterate; therefore citizenship is beyond his reach. Only “certain powerful groups against which the Egyptian government has tried to fight” enjoy full citizenship. Below them there is no category that has political rights. Having said this, he admits that, “The problem of the minorities is very often solved in the Middle East by massacre.” Sartre excuses the Jews from the charge of colonialism; if they were colonialists and imperialists, he would be constrained by his logic to call for their extermination, for in his lengthy introduction to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth he exhorts oppressed backward people to fall upon their exploiters and murder them. Only by killing can the victims of imperialist exploitation achieve freedom, self-respect, and manhood. They must shoot down their white oppressors and redeem themselves by bloodshed.
Saul Bellow (To Jerusalem and Back)
The Afghans, the Iraqis, the Yemenis, the Pakistanis, and the Somalis know what American military forces do. They do not need to read WikiLeaks. It is we who remain ignorant. Our terror is delivered daily to the wretched of the earth with industrial weapons. But to us, it is left behind on city and village streets by our missiles, drones, and fighter jets. We do not listen to the wails and shrieks of parents embracing the shattered bodies of their children. We do not see the survivors of air attacks bury their mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters. We are not conscious of the long night of collective humiliation, repression, and powerlessness that characterizes existence in Israel's occupied territories, Iraq, and Afghanistan. We do not see the boiling anger that war and injustice turn into a cauldron of hate over time. We are not aware of the very natural lust for revenge against those who carry out or symbolize this oppression. We see only the final pyrotechnics of terror, the shocking moment when the rage erupts into an inchoate fury and the murder of innocents. And willfully uninformed, we do not understand our own complicity. We self-righteously condemn the killers as subhuman savages who deserve more of the violence that created them. This is a recipe for endless terror.
Chris Hedges (Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt)
To put it in simple numbers, 60 per cent of the land lies with 5 per cent of the people at the top; at the bottom, 60 per cent of the people own only 5 per cent of the land. And below this are the wretched of the earth: the landless agricultural labourers of Tanjore, who own nothing, not even the land on which their tiny, mud-walled hut stands, not even metal vessels, not even a change of clothing.
Meena Kandasamy (The Gypsy Goddess)
We have sown the wind; he is the hurricane
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
colonialism is not a machine capable of thinking, a body endowed with reason. It is naked violence and only gives in when confronted with greater violence.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The colonized intellectual has invested his aggression in his barely veiled wish to be assimilated to the colonizer’s world. He has placed his aggression at the service of his own interests, his interests as an individual.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The masses, however, have no intention of looking on as the chances of individual success improve.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The nationalist leaders know that international opinion is forged solely by the Western press. When a Western journalist interviews us, however, it is seldom done to render us service.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The argument chosen by the colonized was conveyed to them by the colonist, and by an ironic twist of fate it is now the colonized who state that it is the colonizer who only understands the language of force.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The argument chosen by the colonized was conveyed to them by the colonist, and by an ironic twist of fate it is now the colonized who state that it is the colonizer who only understands the language of force. The colonial regime owes its legitimacy to force and at no time does it ever endeavor to cover up this nature of things.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
In the colonies, the official, legitimate agent, the spokesperson for the colonizer and the regime of oppression, is the police officer or the soldier.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
In capitalist countries a multitude of sermonizers, counselors, and “confusion-mongers” intervene between the exploited and the authorities.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
He displays and demonstrates them with the clear conscience of the law enforcer, and brings violence into the homes and minds of the colonized subject.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The colonist is not content with stating that the colonized world has lost its values or worse never possessed any. The “native” is declared impervious to ethics, representing not only the absence of values but also the negation of values. He is, dare we say it, the enemy of values. In other words, absolute evil.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The Church in the colonies is a white man’s Church, a foreigners’ Church. It does not call the colonized to the ways of God, but to the ways of the white man, to the ways of the master, the ways of the oppressor. And as we know, in this story many are called but few are chosen.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
This determination to have the last move up to the front, to have them clamber up (too quickly, say some) the famous echelons of an organized society, can only succeed by resorting to every means, including, of course, violence.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Self-criticism has been much talked about recently, but few realize that it was first of all an African institution.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
tradition has it that disputes which break out in a village are worked out in public. By this I mean collective self-criticism with a touch of humor because everyone is relaxed, because in the end we all want the same thing.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Let us be honest, the colonist knows perfectly well that no jargon is a substitute for reality.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
This compartmentalized world, this world divided in two, is inhabited by different species.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
The ruling species is first and foremost the outsider from elsewhere, different from the indigenous population, “the others.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Consider how the greatest things ever done on earth have been done by little and little—little agents, little persons, and little things. How was the wall restored around Jerusalem? By each man, whether his house was an old palace or the rudest cabin, building the breach before his own door. How was the soil of the New World redeemed from gloomy forests? By each sturdy emigrant cultivating the patch round his own log cabin. How have the greatest battles been won? Not by the generals who got their breasts blazoned with stars, and their brows crowned with honours; but by the rank and file—every man holding his own post, and ready to die on the battle-field. They won the victory! It was achieved by the blood and courage of the many; and I say, if the world is ever to be conquered for our Lord, it is not by ministers, nor by office-bearers, nor by the great, and noble, and mighty; but by every man and woman, every member of Christ's body, being a working member; doing their own work; filling their own sphere; holding their own post; and saying to Jesus, ‘Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?’ And, indeed, when all is done, I venture to say of the busiest man that, when he lies on a dying bed, and grim death stands over him, his won't be the pleasant reflection, ‘How much have I done?’ but rather the regretful thought, ‘How much have I left undone? how many more sinners might I have warned; how many more wretched might I have blessed; how many more naked might I have clothed; how many more poor might I have fed; how many in hell may be cursing my want of faithfulness; how few in heaven are blessing God for my Christian, kind fidelity!’ Ah, the best of us will be thankful to be taken to glory, not as profitable servants, but as sinners saved.
Thomas Guthrie (The Way To Life: Sermons)
Fatalism relieves the oppressor of all responsibility since the cause of wrong-doing, poverty, and the inevitable can be attributed to God.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
It's a lacerating guilt, that first confrontation with the wretched of the earth.
Gregory David Roberts (Shantaram)
The fundamental duel between which seemed to be that between colonialism and anti-colonialism, and indeed between capitalism and socialism, is already losing some of its importance. What counts today, the question which is looming on the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity must reply to this question, or be shaken to pieces by it.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
We ought not to say to the people:"Kill yourselves that the country may become rich."...Public business ought to be the business of the public.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Resorting to technical language means you are determined to treat the masses as uninitiated. Such language is a poor front for the lecturer's intent to deceive the people and leave them on the sidelines. Language's endeavor to confuse is a mask behind which looms an even greater undertaking to dispossess. The intention is to strip the people of their possessions as well as their sovereignty. You can explain anything to the people provided you really want them to understand.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Because of the wars and devastation of the last few decades, the only way an Iraqi could be treated with dignity, whether in Iraq or elsewhere, was to hold a foreign—meaning Western—passport. A 'good' or a 'fortunate' Iraqi is almost by definition one who holds a Western passport. An Iraqi passport is paralyzing. It’s ‘suspect’ at every airport, checkpoint, or point of entry. As an Iraqi, one is unwelcome almost everywhere. One is questioned almost to death before being allowed entry to any country, and one is always welcome to exit with no questions asked. Every authority and official think they have the right to interrogate an Iraqi without a second thought. Iraqis know well that holding that useless document called an ‘Iraqi passport’ is a curse at this point in history…Most passport holders who come from nations whose people count as, using Frantz Fanon’s words, ‘the wretched of the earth’, experience different forms of discrimination and exclusion. Some experiences are harsher than others. It is all about power, or lack thereof. Your passport has power. It is not just a document that helps you pass; it can become a symbol of humiliation that prevents you from passing.
Louis Yako (Bullets in Envelopes: Iraqi Academics in Exile)
nationalism is not explained, enriched, and deepened, if it does not very quickly turn into a social and political consciousness, into humanism, then it leads to a dead-end."23
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
It’s nae good blamin it oan the English fir colonising us. Ah don’t hate the English. They’re just wankers. We are colonised by wankers. We can’t even pick a decent, vibrant, healthy culture to be colonised by. No. We’re ruled by effete arseholes. What does that make us? The lowest of the fuckin low, the scum of the earth. The most wretched, servile, miserable, pathetic trash that was ever shat intae creation. Ah don’t hate the English. They just git oan wi the shite thuv goat. Ah hate the Scots.
Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting (Mark Renton, #2))
They moved roughly, urgently, breathing in the musk of each other, breathing in too the smell of the pines and the lake and the dead monster, this last growing in power until it occluded the others, until it filled his sinuses, his head, his body, until it seemed nothing existed except that smell and the awful thing that made it, until it seemed he was its source, the wellspring of all the foulness of the earth, and when he spent himself into her he thought for a wretched moment that he had somehow injected it with the possibility of new life.
Nathan Ballingrud (North American Lake Monsters)
Manichaean
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
But, though the bank was almost always with him, and though the coach (in a confused way, like the presence of pain under an opiate) was always with him, there was another current of impression that never ceased to run, all through the night. He was on his way to dig some one out of a grave. Now, which of the multitude of faces that showed themselves before him was the true face of the buried person, the shadows of the night did not indicate; but they were all the faces of a man of five-and- forty by years, and they differed principally in the passions they expressed, and in the ghastliness of their worn and wasted state. Pride, contempt, defiance, stubbornness, submission, lamentation, succeeded one another; so did varieties of sunken cheek, cadaverous colour, emaciated hands and figures. But the face was in the main one face, and every head was prematurely white. A hundred times the dozing passenger inquired of this spectre: "Buried how long?" The answer was always the same: "Almost eighteen years." "You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?" "Long ago." "You know that you are recalled to life?" "They tell me so." "I hope you care to live?" "I can't say." "Shall I show her to you? Will you come and see her?" The answers to this question were various and contradictory. Sometimes the broken reply was, "Wait! It would kill me if I saw her too soon." Sometimes, it was given in a tender rain of tears, and then it was, "Take me to her." Sometimes it was staring and bewildered, and then it was, "I don't know her. I don't understand." After such imaginary discourse, the passenger in his fancy would dig, and dig, dig--now with a spade, now with a great key, now with his hands--to dig this wretched creature out. Got out at last, with earth hanging about his face and hair, he would suddenly fan away to dust. The passenger would then start to himself, and lower the window, to get the reality of mist and rain on his cheek.
Charles Dickens
Poor wretched beasts (said he) Why gave we you t’a mortall king? De dumty dumty dum De dumty dumty dumty dum de dumty dumty dum? De dumty dumty dumty dum de dumty dumty dum? Of all the miserable’st things that breathe and creepe on earth, No one more wretched is then man. And for your deathless birth, Hector must faile to make you prise
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
Orientalism. Pride and Prejudice. The Muqaddimah. Death Comes for the Archbishop. The Wretched of the Earth.
Ayad Akhtar (Homeland Elegies)
How can I tell of the rest of creation, with all its beauty and utility, which the divine goodness has given to man to please his eye and serve his purposes, condemned though he is, and hurled into these labors and miseries?  Shall I speak of the manifold and various loveliness of sky, and earth, and sea; of the plentiful supply and wonderful qualities of the light; of sun, moon, and stars; of the shade of trees; of the colors and perfume of flowers; of the multitude of birds, all differing in plumage and in song; of the variety of animals, of which the smallest in size are often the most wonderful,--the works of ants and bees astonishing us more than the huge bodies of whales?  Shall I speak of the sea, which itself is so grand a spectacle, when it arrays itself as it were in vestures of various colors, now running through every shade of green, and again becoming purple or blue?  Is it not delightful to look at it in storm, and experience the soothing complacency which it inspires, by suggesting that we ourselves are not tossed and shipwrecked?  [1664]What shall I say of the numberless kinds of food to alleviate hunger, and the variety of seasonings to stimulate appetite which are scattered everywhere by nature, and for which we are not indebted to the art of cookery?  How many natural appliances are there for preserving and restoring health!  How grateful is the alternation of day and night!  how pleasant the breezes that cool the air!  how abundant the supply of clothing furnished us by trees and animals!  Who can enumerate all the blessings we enjoy?  If I were to attempt to detail and unfold only these few which I have indicated in the mass, such an enumeration would fill a volume.  And all these are but the solace of the wretched and condemned, not the rewards of the blessed.  What then shall these rewards be, if such be the blessings of a condemned state?
Augustine of Hippo (St. Augustine of Hippo: The City of God)