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Barry Hannah quotes Showing 1-30 of 34

“You've got to lie to stay halfway interested in yourself.”
Barry Hannah
“What a bog and labyrinth the human essence is... We are all overbrained and overemotioned.”
Barry Hannah, Airships
“The point is to strip down, get protestant, then even more naked. Walk over scorched bricks to find your own soul. Your heart a searching dog in the rubble.”
Barry Hannah
“Where is the angry machine of all of us? Why is God such a blurred magician? Why are you begging for your life if you believe those things? Prove to me that you’re better than the rabbits we ate last night.”
Barry Hannah
“You need to see a bit of hell now and then. That, and great joy.”
Barry Hannah, Yonder Stands Your Orphan
“I looked over the despondency of the home crowd. Fools! Fools! I thought. Love it! Love the loss as well as the gain. Go home and dig it. Nobody was killed. We saw victory and defeat, and they were both wonderful.”
Barry Hannah, Airships
“My sense of the past is vivid and slow. I hear every sign and see every shadow.”
Barry Hannah, Airships
“Literature is the history of the soul.”
Barry Hannah
“Unable to swim, he had maneuvered to fall off an old-timers’ party yacht in the Hudson River. His departure was not remarked by the revelers. They motored on toward the Atlantic and he bobbed around in the wash. He couldn’t swim. But he did. He learned how. Before he knew it, he was making time and nearing the dock where a small Italian liner sat dead still, white, three stories high. Nobody was around when he pulled up on a stray rope on the wharf and walked erect to the street, where cars were flashing. Day after tomorrow was his seventieth birthday. What a past, he said. I’ve survived. Further, I’m horny and vindictive. Does the fire never stop?”
Barry Hannah, Airships
“Let us have it plain: my society is comprised of metal-worshipers. They pray to metal, are owned by metal, and metal uses them; it shoots them, it stabs them. I witness its sycophants, grave zombies, moved about humorlessly as its agents. My minions are spiritually rapt as the ages climaxes in gunpowder. One notes that, upon first being handed a rifle -- by Burton or Speke? -- a chieftain blithely shot one of his own lackeys, expressing radiant joy as the man tumbled dead. Do not stop there, happy Klansman, but watch with me early in the morning as I come in from work: across the street here in the clean "burbs" your white policeman goes reverently to his car with a deer rifle coddled in his right arm like a precocious, beautiful child. This man lives with a pistol on his hip all week, but that is not enough, no, he is devout and it is the Christmas season. His own cowardice, affirmed by the use of guns, would not occur to him any more than the cowardice of God. The gun lobby, oh my peaceful friends, you may hate, but first you had better understand that it is a religion, only secondarily connected to the Bill of Rights. The thick-headed, sometimes even close to tearful, gaze you get when chatting with one of its partisans emanates from the view that they're holding a piece of God. There is no persuading them otherwise, even by a genus, because a life without guns implies the end of the known world to them. Any connection they make to our " pioneer past" is also a fraud, a wistful apology. Folks love a gun for what it can do. A murderer always thinks it was an accident, he says, as if a religious episode had passed over him.”
Barry Hannah, Bats Out of Hell
“Ring!" he shrieked at the vapid instrument.”
Barry Hannah
“Many robins got in the church from the trees and roosted among the congregation. They were drunk from some berries and fallen persimmons. Come into the mead hall out of the chill. In Viking history, once a Christian described human life as the flight of a bird through the mead hall. The outerness afterward, eternity.”
Barry Hannah, Yonder Stands Your Orphan
“I got no idea wht a writer of a book should have respect. Or even get the time of day, unless he's a prophet. It's a sign of our present-day hell. Books, think about it, the writer of a book does envy, sloth, gluttony, lust, larceny, greed or what? Oh, vanity. He don't miss a single one of them. He is a peeping Tom, an onanist, a busybody, and he's faking humility every one of God's minutes.”
Barry Hannah
“I think women are closer to God than we are. They walk right out there like they know what they're doing.”
Barry Hannah, Airships
“A man has to sleep with as many animals as possible, Ulrich blurted. But not in the sexual way. By no means. An execration. No. Just get in the bed there with them, invite them on in, know their smell and their cold nose.
You smell the good dirt in their fur. Fur is individual. No two alike, like a snowflake. It ought to be a state law.
The others listened, but he was through and at peace.”
Barry Hannah, Yonder Stands Your Orphan
“She had shared his sheets, and, in nightmares of remorse, he had shared her body, waking with drastic regret, feeling as soiled and soilsome as the city itself.”
Barry Hannah, Airships
“Memory, the whole lying opera of it, is killing me now.”
Barry Hannah, Airships
“Memory, the whole lying opera of it.”
Barry Hannah
“...nightly rolling of Mother Ocean ("It's all right, it's all right; everything is calm; we are just eating every thing that moves in here, dry people")..."p.57”
Barry Hannah, Hey Jack!
“...it's always your first attempt every time you write, with your only companions being fear and coffee. That's the way it is a lot of times. You have fear and coffee, and that's it.”
Barry Hannah
“When you read and wonder, for six seconds, about the random pointless violence of these days, then are blissful it was not you, having, really, a better day, stop and think: Could not these felons be, really, God's children loose, adept, so hungry and correct in our world?”
Barry Hannah, Bats Out of Hell
“It came to him, the very picture: he was unshucked oyster, hurtling on the winds, all air, gonad and gut. Chances seemed in a loud hurry around him, but he could do nothing--nothing-- about them. Mestre yearned to be driven by some grand circumstance. Everything in his existence was too slack.”
Barry Hannah, Bats Out of Hell
“It came to him, the very picture: he was an unshucked oyster, hurtling on the winds, all air, gonad and gut. Chances seemed in a loud hurry around him, but he could do nothing--nothing-- about them. Mestre yearned to be driven by some grand circumstance. Everything in his existence was too slack”
Barry Hannah, Bats Out of Hell
“Jones told them they wouldn’t get to wear the new uniforms, wouldn’t deserve to wear them, until they came in one morning playing faultlessly. In two months, he had them all considering serious life careers in music. Jones was that good.”
Barry Hannah, Geronimo Rex
“...she found Robinson among the hundreds of New Yorkers who managed to make a great amount of money for doing almost nothing at all but was pretty as god and possessed of a voice like a French horn, so that at crucial parties he could say practically nothing and leave the impression among the more musically eared that profundity of the eternal sort had passed near.”
Barry Hannah
“What he was was pretty near invisible, except for the bell of his horn, the all-but-closed eyes, the Arabian nose, the brown hair with its halo of white ends, the desperate oralness, the giant reed punched into his face, and hazy Quadberry, loving the wound in a private dignified ecstasy.”
Barry Hannah, Airships
“In Mississippi it is difficult to achieve a vista.”
Barry Hannah, Airships
“He sifted into Elaine’s, drunk, Southern and insulting, but was ignored.”
Barry Hannah, Airships
“Marriage was a good cause, thought Ross. On a given day chances were one of you might be human.”
Barry Hannah
“I am a dragon. America the beautiful, like you will never know.”
Barry Hannah, Airships

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