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John Wyndham quotes (showing 1-30 of 64)

“When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.”
John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids
“It must be, I thought, one of the race's most persistent and comforting hallucinations to trust that "it can't happen here" -- that one's own time and place is beyond cataclysm.”
John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids
“And we danced, on the brink of an unknown future, to an echo from a vanished past.”
John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids
“So you're in love with her?' she went on.

A word again ... When the minds have learnt to mingle, when no thought is wholly one's own, and each has taken too much of the other ever to be entirely himself alone; when one has reached the beginning of seeing with a single eye, loving with a single heart, enjoying with a single joy; when there can be moments of identity and nothing is separate save bodies that long for one another ... When there is that, where is the word? There is only the inadequacy of the word that exists.

'We love one another,' I said.”
John Wyndham, The Chrysalids
tags: love
“The essential quality of life is living' the essential quality of living is change; change is evolution; and we are part of it.”
John Wyndham, The Chrysalids
“If you run away from a thing just because you don't like it, you don't like what you find either.”
John Wyndham, The Chrysalids
“I don't think it had ever occurred to me that man's supremacy is not primarily due to his brain, as most of the books would have one think. It is due to the brain's capacity to make use of the information conveyed to it by a narrow band of visible light rays. His civilization, all that he had achieved or might achieve, hung upon his ability to perceive that range of vibrations from red to violet. Without that, he was lost.”
John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids
“I shall pray to God to send charity to this hideous world, and sympathy for the weak, and love for the unhappy and unfortunate. I shall ask Him if is indeed His will that a child should suffer and its soul be damned for a little blemish on the body....And I shall pray Him, too, that the hearts of the self-righteous may be broken... ”
John Wyndham, The Chrysalids
“There was often a great deal of grown-up fuss that seemed disproportionate to causes.”
John Wyndham, The Chrysalids
“Why should I? I've done nothing to be ashamed of. I am not ashamed - I am only beaten”
John Wyndham, The Chrysalids
“Anybody who has had a great treasure has always led a precarious existence.”
John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids
“Until then I had always thought of loneliness as something negative—an absence of company, and, of course, something temporary... That day I had learned that it was much more. It was something which could press and oppress, could distort the ordinary and play tricks with the mind. Something which lurked inimically all around, stretching the nerves and twanging them with alarms, never letting one forget that there was no one to help, no one to care. It showed one as an atom adrift in vastness, and it waited all the time its chance to frighten and frighten horribly—that was what loneliness was really trying to do; and that was what one must never let it do...”
John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids
“There is an inability to sustain the tragic mood, a phoenix quality of the mind. It may be helpful or harmful, it is just a part of the will to survive—yet, also, it has made it possible for us to engage in one weakening war after another. But it is a necessary part of our mechanism that we should be able to cry only for a time over even an ocean of spilt milk—the spectacular must soon become the commonplace if life is to be supportable.”
John Wyndham
“Some quotations," said Zellaby, "are greatly improved by lack of context.”
John Wyndham, The Midwich Cuckoos
“It's humiliating to be dependent, anyway, but it's still a poorer pass to have no one to depend on.”
John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids
“And again there are no words.

Words exist that can, used by a poet, achieve a dim monochrome of the body's love, but beyond that they fail clumsily.

My love flowed out to her, hers back to me. Mine stroked and soothed. Hers caressed. The distance - and the difference - between us dwindled and vanished. We could meet, mingle, and blend. Neither one of us existed any more; for a time there was a single being that was both. There was escape from the solitary cell; a brief symbiosis, sharing all the word ...”
John Wyndham, The Chrysalids
“Knowledge is simply a kind of fuel; it needs the motor of understanding to convert it into power.”
John Wyndham, The Midwich Cuckoos
“We all have our youthful follies, embarassing to recall -- but people somehow find it hard to dismiss as a youthful folly anything that has happened to be a financial success.”
John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids
“Why should they be afraid of us? We aren’t hurting them,’ she broke in.

“I’m not sure that I know why,’ I told her. ‘But they are. It’s a feel-thing not a think-thing. And the more stupid they are, the more like everyone else they think everyone ought to be. And once they get afraid they become cruel and want to hurt people who are different – ”
John Wyndham, The Chrysalids
“... the more complex they made their world, the less capable they were of dealing with it. They had no means of consensus. They learnt to co-operate constructively in small units; but only destructively in large units. They aspired greedily, and then refused to face the responsibilities they had created. They created vast problems, and then buried their heads in the sands of idle faith.”
John Wyndham, The Chrysalids
“Knowing makes all the difference... It's the difference between just trying to keep alive, and having something to live for”
John Wyndham, The Chrysalids
“Children have a different convention of the fearful until they have been taught the proper things to be shocked at.”
John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids
“You'd expect her to see reason,' he muttered.
I don't see why. Most of us don't - we see habit. She'll oppose any modification, reasonable or not, that conflicts with her previously trained feelings of what is right and polite - and be quite honestly convinced that she's showing steadfast strength of character. . .”
John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids
“Most people […] prefer to be coaxed or wheedled, or even driven. That way they never make a mistake: if there is one, it's always due to something or somebody else”
John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids
“Find a nice, self sufficient hilltop, and fortify it.”
John Wyndham, The Kraken Wakes
“Darling, whose book is this to be?"

"Ostensibly yours, my sweet"

"I see -- rather like my life since I met you?"

"Yes darling”
John Wyndham, The Kraken Wakes
“If you want to keep alive in the jungle, you must live as the jungle does.”
John Wyndham, The Midwich Cuckoos
“You don't seriously suggest that thet're talking when they make that rattling noise.”
John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids
“But not she. Her eternity is an article of her faith. Great wars and disasters can ebb and flow, races rise and fall, empires wither with suffering and death, but these are superficialities: she, woman, is perpetual, essential; she will go on for ever.”
John Wyndham, The Midwich Cuckoos
tags: woman
“…after all, what is a planet but an island in space?”
John Wyndham, The Midwich Cuckoos
tags: space

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