Grendel Quotes

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Grendel Grendel by John Gardner
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Grendel Quotes (showing 1-30 of 50)
“When I was a child I truly loved:
Unthinking love as calm and deep
As the North Sea. But I have lived,
And now I do not sleep.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“i understand that the world was nothing: a mechanical chaos of casual, brute enmity on which we stupidly impose our hopes and fears. i understood that, finally and absolutely, i alone exist. all the rest, i saw, is merely what pushes me, or what i push against, blindly - as blindly as all that is not myself pushes back. i create the whole universe, blink by blink.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“They watch on, evil, incredibly stupid, enjoying my destruction.

'Poor Grendel's had an accident,' I whisper. 'So may you all.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“I couldn't go on, too conscious all at once of my whispering, my eternal posturing, always transforming the world with words--changing nothing.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“There is no limit to desire but desire's needs.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“Talking, talking. Spinning a web of words, pale walls of dreams, between myself and all I see.”
John Gardner, Grendel
tags: words
“Find a pile of gold and sit on it.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“I look down past the stars to a terrifying darkness. I seem to recognize the place, but it's impossible. "Accident," I whisper. I will fall. I seem to desire the fall, and though I fight it with all my will I know in advance I can't win. Standing baffled, quaking with fear, three feet from the edge of a nightmare cliff, I find myself, incredibly, moving towards it. I look down, down, into bottomless blackness, feeling the dark power moving in me like an ocean current, some monster inside me, deep sea wonder, dread night monarch astir in his cave, moving me slowly to my voluntary tumble into death.”
John Gardner, Grendel
tags: life
“So childhood too feels good at first, before one happens to notice the terrible sameness, age after age.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“I cannot believe such monstrous energy of grief can lead to nothing!”
John Gardner, Grendel
“The world is all pointless accident... I exist, nothing else.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“It would be, for me, mere pointless pleasure, an illusion of order for this one frail, foolish, flicker-flash in the long dull fall of eternity.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“tedium is the worst pain. the mind lays out the world in blocks, and the hushed blood waits for revenge. all order, i've come to understand, is theoretical, unreal - a harmless sensible, smiling mask men slide between the two great, dark realities, the self and the world - two snake pits.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“I know everything, you see,' the old voice wheedled. 'The beginning, the present, the end. Everything. You now, you see the past and the present, like other low creatures: no higher faculties than memory and perception. But dragons, my boy, have a whole different kind of mind.' He stretched his mouth in a kind of smile, no trace of pleasure in it. 'We are from the mountaintop: all time, all space. We see in one instant the passionate vision and the blowout.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“I know what's in your mind. I know everything. That's what makes me so sick and old and tired.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“All order, I've come to understand, is theoretical, unreal — a harmless, sensible, smiling mask men slide between the two great, dark realities, the self and the world — two snake pits.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“Stars, spattered out through lifeless night from end to end, like jewels scattered in a dead king's grave, tease, torment my wits toward meaningful patterns that do not exist.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“Pick an apocalypse, any apocalypse. A sea of black oil and dead things. No wind. No light. Nothing stirring, not even an ant, a spider. A silent universe. Such is the end of the flicker of time, the brief hot fuse of events and ideas set off, accidentally, and snuffed out, accidentally, by man. Not a real ending of course, nor even a beginning. Mere ripple in Time's stream.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“He had glimpsed a glorious ideal, had struggled toward it and seized it and come to understand it, and was disappointed. One could sympathize.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“Poor Grendel's had an accident. So may you all.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“But she was beautiful and she surrendered herself with the dignity of a sacrificial virgin. My chest was full of pain, my eyes smarted, and I was afraid – O monstrous trick against reason – I was afraid I was about to sob. I wanted to smash things, bring down the night with my howl of rage. But I kept still. She was beautiful, as innocent as dawn on winter hills. She tore me apart as once the Shaper’s song had done.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“Theology does not thrive in the world of action and reaction, change: it grows on calm, like the scum on a stagnant pool. And it flourishes, it prospers, on decline. Only in a world where everything is patently being lost can a priest stir men's hearts as a poet would by maintaining that nothing is in vain.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“But dragons, my boy, have a whole different kind of mind.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“Standing on an open hill, I imagine muffled footsteps overhead.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“I should have cracked his skull mid song and sent his blood spraying out wet through the mead hall like a shocking change of key.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“It's not easy to kill a mountain goat. He thinks with his spine.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“Fate often enough will spare a man if his courage holds.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“My advice to you, my violent friend, is to seek out gold and sit on it.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“I have eaten several priests. They sit on the stomach like duck eggs.”
John Gardner, Grendel
“O the ultimate evil in the temporal world is deeper than any specific evil, such as hatred, or suffering, or death! The ultimate evil is that Time is perpetual perishing, and being actual involves elimination. The nature of evil may be epitomized, therefore, in two simple but horrible and holy propositions: 'Things fade' and 'Alternatives exclude.' Such is His mystery: that beauty requires contrast, and that discord is fundamental to the creation of new intensities of feeling. Ultimate wisdom, I have come to perceive, lies in the perception that the solemnity and grandeur of the universe rise through the slow process of unification in which the diversities of existence are utilized, and nothing, 'nothing' is lost.”
John Gardner, Grendel

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