A > A's Quotes

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  • #1
    Mervyn Peake
    “For death is life. It is only living that is lifeless.”
    Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan


  • #2
    Arthur Schopenhauer
    “The business of the novelist is not to relate great events, but to make small ones interesting.”
    Arthur Schopenhauer, The Works of Schopenhauer: The Wisdom of Life and Other Essays


  • #3
    Antonin Artaud
    “No one has ever written, painted, sculpted, modeled, built, or invented except literally to get out of hell.”
    Antonin Artaud


  • #4
    Lewis Carroll
    “In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die:
    Ever drifting down the stream- Lingering in the golden gleam- Life, what is it but a dream?”
    Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass


  • #5
    Katherine Dunn
    “When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets," Papa would say, "she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing.”
    Katherine Dunn, Geek Love


  • #6
    Antonin Artaud
    “I cannot conceive any work of art as having a separate existence from life itself”
    Antonin Artaud, The Theater and Its Double


  • #7
    Flannery O'Connor
    “The black sky was underpinned with long silver streaks that looked like scaffolding and depth on depth behind it were thousands of stars that all seemed to be moving very slowly as if they were about some vast construction work that involved the whole universe and would take all time to complete. No one was paying attention to the sky.”
    Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood / The Violent Bear It Away / The Complete Stories


  • #8
    Philip K. Dick
    “Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups... So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.”
    Philip K. Dick


  • #9
    Herman Melville
    “For small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity. God keep me from ever completing anything. This whole book is but a draught—nay, but the draught of a draught. Oh, Time, Strength, Cash, and Patience!”
    Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale


  • #10
    Truman Capote
    “There's lots of things you don't know. All kinds of strange things . . . mostly they happened before we were born: that makes them seem to me so much more real.”
    Truman Capote, Other Voices, Other Rooms


  • #11
    “Light was the symbol I tried to give them...The Cross was the symbol they adopted. The pain of self-sacrifice was obvious to them. The subjective reward--incomprehensible. Thus they changed it all. I told them of many mansions. They chose this mansion or that--scoured each other off the earth, to set one heaven in place of the heaven of those they defeated. Holy wars! Is such a thing conceivable to God as a holy war? Alas. The words--the images--the effort is still uncomprehended. I said Light. I said truth. I said Freedom. I meant enlightenment. Yet nearly every church that uses my name is a wall against light and a rampart against enlightenment, using fear, not love, to chain the generations in terror and pain and ignorance . . . And now--this is called civilization, and in my name, also!”
    Philip Wylie, Opus 21


  • #12
    Antonin Artaud
    “I would like to write a Book which would drive men mad, which would be like an open door leading them where they would never have consented to go, in short, a door that opens onto reality.”
    Antonin Artaud, Selected Writings


  • #13
    Doris Lessing
    “Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: 'You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.”
    Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook


  • #14
    E.M. Forster
    “It is obvious enough for the reader to conclude, "She loves young Emerson." A reader in Lucy's place would not find it obvious. Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice, and we welcome "nerves" or any other shibboleth that will cloak our personal desire. She loved Cecil; George made her nervous; will the reader explain to her that the phrases should have been reversed?”
    E.M. Forster, A Room with a View


  • #15
    E.M. Forster
    “She would only point out the salvation that was latent in his own soul, and in the soul of every man. Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die.”
    E.M. Forster, Howards End


  • #16
    China Miéville
    “When people dis fantasy—mainstream readers and SF readers alike—they are almost always talking about one sub-genre of fantastic literature. They are talking about Tolkien, and Tolkien's innumerable heirs. Call it 'epic', or 'high', or 'genre' fantasy, this is what fantasy has come to mean. Which is misleading as well as unfortunate.

    Tolkien is the wen on the arse of fantasy literature. His oeuvre is massive and contagious—you can't ignore it, so don't even try. The best you can do is consciously try to lance the boil. And there's a lot to dislike—his cod-Wagnerian pomposity, his boys-own-adventure glorying in war, his small-minded and reactionary love for hierarchical status-quos, his belief in absolute morality that blurs moral and political complexity. Tolkien's clichés—elves 'n' dwarfs 'n' magic rings—have spread like viruses. He wrote that the function of fantasy was 'consolation', thereby making it an article of policy that a fantasy writer should mollycoddle the reader.

    That is a revolting idea, and one, thankfully, that plenty of fantasists have ignored. From the Surrealists through the pulps—via Mervyn Peake and Mikhael Bulgakov and Stefan Grabiński and Bruno Schulz and Michael Moorcock and M. John Harrison and I could go on—the best writers have used the fantastic aesthetic precisely to challenge, to alienate, to subvert and undermine expectations.

    Of course I'm not saying that any fan of Tolkien is no friend of mine—that would cut my social circle considerably. Nor would I claim that it's impossible to write a good fantasy book with elves and dwarfs in it—Michael Swanwick's superb Iron Dragon's Daughter gives the lie to that. But given that the pleasure of fantasy is supposed to be in its limitless creativity, why not try to come up with some different themes, as well as unconventional monsters? Why not use fantasy to challenge social and aesthetic lies?

    Thankfully, the alternative tradition of fantasy has never died. And it's getting stronger. Chris Wooding, Michael Swanwick, Mary Gentle, Paul di Filippo, Jeff VanderMeer, and many others, are all producing works based on fantasy's radicalism. Where traditional fantasy has been rural and bucolic, this is often urban, and frequently brutal. Characters are more than cardboard cutouts, and they're not defined by race or sex. Things are gritty and tricky, just as in real life. This is fantasy not as comfort-food, but as challenge.

    The critic Gabe Chouinard has said that we're entering a new period, a renaissance in the creative radicalism of fantasy that hasn't been seen since the New Wave of the sixties and seventies, and in echo of which he has christened the Next Wave. I don't know if he's right, but I'm excited. This is a radical literature. It's the literature we most deserve.”
    China Miéville


  • #17
    Doris Lessing
    “What's terrible is to pretend that second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don't need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you're capable of better.”
    Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook




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