Grotesque Quotes

Quotes tagged as "grotesque" Showing 1-30 of 32
Flannery O'Connor
“Anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic.”
Flannery O'Connor, Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose

Natsuo Kirino
“In order to induce the process of decay, water is necessary. I think that, in the case of women, men are the water.”
Natsuo Kirino, Grotesque

Flannery O'Connor
“I use the grotesque the way I do because people are deaf and dumb and need help to see and hear.”
Flannery O'Connor

Charles Baudelaire
“Relate comic things in pompous fashion. Irregularity, in other words the unexpected, the surprising, the astonishing, are essential to and characteristic of beauty. Two fundamental literary qualities: supernaturalism and irony. The blend of the grotesque and the tragic are attractive to the mind, as is discord to blasé ears. Imagine a canvas for a lyrical, magical farce, for a pantomime, and translate it into a serious novel. Drown the whole thing in an abnormal, dreamy atmosphere, in the atmosphere of great days … the region of pure poetry.”
Charles Baudelaire, Intimate Journals

Sherwood Anderson
“In the beginning when the world was young there were a great many thoughts but no such thing as a truth. Man made the truths himself and each truth was a composite of a great many vague thoughts. All about in the world were the truths and they were all beautiful. [...]

There was the truth of virginity and the truth of passion, the truth of wealth and of poverty, of thrift and of profligacy, of carelessness and abandon. Hundreds and hundreds were the truths and they were all beautiful.

And then the people came along. Each as he appeared snatched up one of the truths and some who were quite strong snatched up a dozen of them.

It was the truths that made the people grotesques. The old man had quite an elaborate theory concerning the matter. It was his notion that the moment one of the people took one of the truths to himself, called it his truth, and tried to live his life by it, he became a grotesque and the truth he embraced became a falsehood.”
Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio

Flannery O'Connor
“When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax and use more normal means of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock -- to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures.”
Flannery O'Connor, Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose

Mark Fisher
“We could go so far as to say that it is the human condition to be grotesque, since the human animal is the one that does not fit in, the freak of nature who has no place in the natural order and is capable of re-combining nature's products into hideous new forms.”
Mark Fisher, The Weird and the Eerie

Lewis Carroll
“Well, then,' the Cat went on, 'you see, a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass

“Our fiction is not merely in flight from the physical data of the actual world…it is, bewilderingly and embarrassingly, a gothic fiction, nonrealistic and negative, sadist and melodramatic – a literature of darkness and the grotesque in a land of light and affirmation…our classic [American] literature is a literature of horror for boys”
Leslie Fielder

Michelangelo Buonarroti
“But if it so happens ... a work ... under pain of otherwise becoming shameful or false, requires fantasy ... [and that] certain limbs or elements of a figure are altered by borrowing from other species, for example transforming into a dolphin the hinder end of a griffon or a stag ... these alterations will be excellent and the substitution, however unreal it may seem, deserves to be declared a fine invention in the genre of the monstrous.

When a painter introduces into this kind of work of art chimerae and other imaginary beings in order to divert and entertain the senses and also to captivate the eyes of mortals who long to see unclassified and impossible things, he shows himself more respectful of reason than if he produced the usual figures of men or of animals.”
Michaelangelo

Charles Baudelaire
“The mixture of the grotesque and the tragic is agreeable to the spirit, as are discords to the jaded ear.”
Charles Baudelaire

Guy de Maupassant
“O sleep! ridiculous mystery which makes faces appear so grotesque, you are the revealer of human ugliness. You uncover all shortcomings, all deformities and all defects. You turn every face touched by you into a caricature.”
Guy de Maupassant, 88 Short Stories

Lara Williams
“I had always believed that the very best food contains something elementally repugnant. That its innate grotesquerie is what makes it so perversely alluring. My own favorite foods tended toward a certain sludgy, muddy texture. And from the most expensive and genteel through to the indulgently crass, the appeal of slop abides: caviar, escargots, foie gras or hamburgers, kebabs, macaroni and cheese. Even vegetable soup forms a membrane. Apples begin rotting from the very first bite. No matter which end of the spectrum, there lies fundamentally and yet delectably disgusting, some squirmy, sinewy, oozing, greasy, sticky, glutinous, mushy, fatty, chewy, viscous thing that compels. The line between pleasure and revulsion can seem so very thin, if it even exists at all.”
Lara Williams, Supper Club

Bryant McGill
“Nothing is more beautiful than freedom, and nothing more grotesque than its molestation.”
Bryant McGill, Voice of Reason

William Faulkner
“She [Mrs. Hines] stood before the door as if she were barring them from the house--a dumpy, fat little woman with a round face like dirty and unovened dough, and a tight screw of scant hair.”
William Faulkner, Light in August

Patrick McGrath
“There is something I have learned since being paralyzed, and that is that in the absence of sensory information, the imagination always tends to the grotesque.
Patrick McGrath, The Grotesque

Hilary Mantel
“And looking down on them, the other Londoners, those monsters who live in the air, the city's uncounted population of stone men and women and beasts, and things that are neither human nor beasts, fanged rabbits and flying hares, four-legged birds and pinioned snakes, imps with bulging eyes and duck's bills, men who are wreathed in leaves or have the heads of goats or rams; creatures with knotted coils and leather wings, with hairy ears and cloven feet, horned and roaring, feathered and scaled, some laughing, some singing, some pulling back their lips to show their teeth; lions and friars, donkeys and geese, devils with children crammed into their maws, all chewed up except for their helpless paddling feet; limestone or leaden, metalled or marbled, shrieking and sniggering above the populace, hooting and gurning and dry-heaving from buttresses, walls and roofs.”
Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall

Dan Chaon
“He pictures amputated human arms flopping like fish down the center of the road; syringes floating on beds of liposuctioned fat; gelatinous human eyeballs wiggling merrily as they roll down the highway; and so on. He could imagine other such grotesque stuff, but chooses not to.”
Dan Chaon, Stay Awake

Mark Haddon
“The Dordogne in 1984 was the nadir. Diarrhea, moths like flying hamsters, the blowtorch heat. Awake at three in the morning on a damp and lumpy mattress. Then the storm. Like someone hammering sheets of tin. Lightning so bright it came through the pillow. In the morning sixty, seventy dead frogs turning slowly in the pool. And at the far end something larger and furrier, a cat perhaps, or the Franzetti's dog, which Katie was poking with a snorkel.”
Mark Haddon, A Spot of Bother

Craig D. Lounsbrough
“The extent of God’s grace always eclipses the extent of my grotesqueness. Therefore, I can never be bad enough for God to tell me that He’s had enough.”
Craig D. Lounsbrough

Flannery O'Connor
“And as for that strangeness in your gut, that comes from you, not the Lord. When you were a child you had worms. As likely as not you have them again.”
Flannery O'Connor, The Violent Bear It Away

Catherine Lacey
“It was grotesque and eerie, too strange of a dream.”
Catherine Lacey, The Answers

Hanns Heinz Ewers
“I know, you were much closer to the painter than any of us. In spite of that, your lips, too, will want to curl up into a smile. There are levels of tragedy whose mind-numbing properties can only be checked by laughter, and what story does not contain an inkling of the grotesque? When we Germans will have learnt to laugh like the Gauls, we will truly be the rulers of this earth; even more so than before, one might add."

"John Hamilton Llewellyn's End”
Hanns Heinz Ewers, Nachtmahr: Strange Tales

Sara Baume
“Why is it only now that I can see how many ordinary things are actually grotesque?”
Sara Baume, A Line Made by Walking

Italo Calvino
“The splendor of the salmon canapés radiant with mayonnaise disappears, swallowed by the dark shopping bags of the customers. Certainly every one of these men and women knows exactly what he wants, heads straight for his objective with a decisiveness admitting no hesitancy; and rapidly he dismantles mountains of vol-au-vents, white puddings, cervelats.
Mr. Palomar would like to catch in their eyes some reflection of those treasures' spell, but the faces and actions are only impatient and hasty, of people concentrated on themselves, nerves taut, each concerned with what he has and what he does not have. Nobody seems to him worthy of the Pantagruelic glory that unfolds in those cases, on the counters. A greed without joy or youth drives them; and yet a deep, atavistic bond exists between them and those foods, their consubstance, flesh of their flesh.”
Italo Calvino, Mr Palomar

Craig D. Lounsbrough
“If something is ugly, it’s likely that it’s only ugly because it’s never been given the opportunity to be beautiful. And never having had that opportunity is likely the ugliest thing of all.”
Craig D. Lounsbrough

Emil M. Cioran
“Cine şi-a văzut figura în ipostaza grotescă nu se va putea uita niciodată, fiindcă se va teme totdeauna de el însuşi. Disperarea este urmată de o nelinişte extrem de chinuitoare. Şi ce face acest grotesc altceva decît să actualizeze şi să intensifice teama şi neliniştea?”
Emil M. Cioran, On the Heights of Despair

Sherwood Anderson
“In principio, quando il mondo era giovane, c'erano molti pensieri ma non esisteva nulla si simile a una verità. Le verità le fabbricò l'uomo, e ogni verità fu composta da un grande numero di pensieri imprecisi. Così in tutto il mondo ci furono verità. Ed erano meravigliose. Il vecchio aveva elencato nel suo libro centinaia di verità. Io non cercherò di riferirvele tutte. C'erano la verità della verginità e la verità della passione, la verità della ricchezza e quella della povertà, della modestia e dello sperpero, dell'indifferenza e dell'entusiasmo. Centinaia e centinaia erano le verità, e tutte meravigliose. Poi veniva la gente. Ognuno, appena compariva, si gettava su una delle verità e se ne impadroniva; alcuni, molto forti, arrivavano a possederne una dozzina contemporaneamente. Erano le verità a trasformare la gente in caricature grottesche. Il vecchio aveva una sua complessa teoria a questo proposito. Era sua opinione che quando qualcuno s'impadroniva di una verità, e diceva che quella era la sua verità e si sforzava di vivere secondo essa, allora costui si trasformava in una caricatura, e la verità che abbracciava in una menzogna.”
Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio

Adam Nevill
“It was as if they had made themselves deliberately grotesque.”
Adam Nevill, Apartment 16

Rin Chupeco
“Intimidation," she told me, amused by my repulsion.

"Men abandon battle when they see their own fates in these ruined faces”
Rin Chupeco

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