Waiting for the Barbarians Quotes

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Waiting for the Barbarians Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee
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Waiting for the Barbarians Quotes (showing 1-30 of 33)
“Pain is truth; all else is subject to doubt.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“You think you know what is just and what is not. I understand. We all think we know." I had no doubt, myself, then, that at each moment each one of us, man, woman, child, perhaps even the poor old horse turning the mill-wheel, knew what was just: all creatures come into the world bringing with them the memory of justice. "But we live in a world of laws," I said to my poor prisoner, "a world of the second-best. There is nothing we can do about that. We are fallen creatures. All we can do is to uphold the laws, all of us, without allowing the memory of justice to fade.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“One thought alone preoccupies the submerged mind of Empire: how not to end, how not to die, how to prolong its era. By day it pursues its enemies. It is cunning and ruthless, it sends its bloodhounds everywhere. By night it feeds on images of disaster: the sack of cities, the rape of populations, pyramids of bones, acres of desolation.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“Sleep is no longer a healing bath, a recuperation of vital forces, but an oblivion, a nightly brush with annihilation.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
tags: sleep
“To the last we have learned nothing. In all of us, deep down, there seems to be something granite and unteachable. No one truly believes, despite the hysteria in the streets that the world of tranquil certainties we were born into is about to be extinguished.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“Where civilization entailed the corruption of barbarian virtues and the creation of dependent people, I decided, I was opposed to civilization.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“But it is the knowledge of how contingent my unease is, how dependent on a baby that wails beneath my window one day and does not wail the next, that brings the worst shame to me, the greatest indifference to annihilation. I know somewhat too much; and from this knowledge, once one has been infected, there seems to be no recovering. I ought never to have taken my lantern to see what was going on in the hut by the granary. On the other hand, there was no way, once I had picked up the lantern, for me to put it down again. The knot loops in upon itself; I cannot find the end.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“الألم هو الحقيقة ، وما سواه يخضع للشك.”
ج.م. كوتزي, Waiting for the Barbarians
“I truly believe I am not afraid of death. What I shrink from, I believe, is the shame of dying as stupid and befuddled as I am.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“To the last we will have learned nothing. In all of us, deep down, there seems to be something granite and unteachable. No one truly believes, despite the hysteria in the streets, that the world of tranquil certainties we were born into is about to be extinguished. No one can accept that an imperial has been annihilated by men with bows and arrows and rusty old guns who live in tents and never wash and cannot read or write. And who am I to jeer at life-giving illusions? Is there any better way to pass these last days than in dreaming of a saviour with a sword who will scatter the enemy hosts and forgive us the errors that have been committed by others in our name and grant us a second chance to build our earthly paradise?”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“Schmerz ist Wahrheit; alles andere wird angezweifelt.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“The Empire does not require that its servants love each other, merely that they perform their duty.”
J.M. Coetzee, Aspettando i barbari
“But with this woman it is as if there is no interior, only a surface across which I hunt back and forth seeking entry. Is this how her torturers felt hunting their secret, whatever they thought it was? For the first time I feel a dry pity for them: how natural a mistake to believe that you can burn or tear or hack your way into the secret body of the other! The girl lies in my bed, but there is no good reason why it should be a bed. I behave in some ways like a lover—I undress her, I bathe her, I stroke her, I sleep beside her—but I might equally well tie her to a chair and beat her, it would be no less intimate.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“With the buck before me suspended in immobility, there seems to be time for all things, time even to turn my gaze inward and see what it is that has robbed the hunt of its savour: the sense that this has become no longer a morning's hunting but an occasion on which either the proud ram bleeds to death on the ice or the old hunter misses his aim; that for the duration of this frozen moment the stars are locked in a configuration in which events are not themselves but stand for other things.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“Empire as located its existence not in the smooth recurrent spinning time of the cycle of the seasons but in the jagged time of rise and fall, of beginning and end, of catastrophe.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“I have never seen anything like it: two little discs of glass suspended in front of his eyes in loops of wire. Is he blind?”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“...from the oppression of such freedom who would not welcome the liberation of confinement?”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“حقاً ان الانسان لم يخلق كي يعيش وحيداً”
ج.م. كوتزي, Waiting for the Barbarians
“أمور مخيفة تجري في الليل، بينما أنت وأنا نائمين، الثعلب يسرق أحشاء الأرنب، ولكن العالم يستمر في الدوران”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“لقد آمنت طوال حياتي بالسلوك المتحضر، وفي هذه المناسبة، لاأستطيع أن أنكر أن الذاكرة تتركني مشمئزا من نفسي”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“أناضل أنا مع القصة القديمة، آملا أنها قبل أن تنتهي، ستكشف لي عن السبب الذي جعلني أظن أنها جديرة بالعناء”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“أي طير يملك قلبا ليغني في أيكة من الأشواك ؟”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“الجريمة الكامنة في دواخلنا، يتوجب علينا إنزالها على أنفسنا، وليس على آخرين”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“The jackal rips out the hare's bowels, but the world rolls on.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“Space is space,life is life,everywhere is the same. But as for me, sustained by the toil of others, lacking civilized vices with which to fill my leisure, I pamper my melancholy and try to find in the vacuousness of the desert a special historical poignancy. Vain, idle, misguided! How fortunate that no one sees me!”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“I have lived through an eventful year, yet understand no more of it than a babe in arms. Of all the people of this town I am the one least fitted to write a memorial. Better the blacksmith with his cries of rage and woe.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“Vielleicht ist es so, dass nur das, was nicht ausgesprochen worden ist, durchlebt werden muss.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“El dolor es la verdad, todo lo demás está sujeto a duda.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“متى سأتعلم أن أمسك بلسان ماكر؟”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
“All that I want now is to live out my life in ease in a familiar world, to die in my own bed and be followed to the grave by old friends.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians

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