Pataphysics Quotes

Quotes tagged as "pataphysics" (showing 1-12 of 12)
David Foster Wallace
“The most dangerous thing about an academic education is that it enables my tendency to over-intellectualize stuff, to get lost in abstract thinking instead of simply paying attention to what’s going on in front of me.”
David Foster Wallace, This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life

David Foster Wallace
“It is extremely difficult to stay alert & attentive instead of getting hypnotized by the constant monolog inside your head.”
David Foster Wallace, This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life

“The Coach’s head was oblong with tiny slits that served as eyes, which drifted in tides slowly inward, as though the face itself were the sea or, in fact, a soup of macromolecules through which objects might drift, leaving in their wake, ripples of nothingness. The eyes—they floated adrift like land masses before locking in symmetrically at seemingly prescribed positions off-center, while managing to be so closely drawn into the very middle of the face section that it might have seemed unnecessary for there to have been two eyes when, quite likely, one would easily have sufficed. These aimless, floating eyes were not the Coach’s only distinctive feature—for, in fact, connected to the interior of each eyelid by a web-like layer of rubbery pink tissue was a kind of snout which, unlike the eyes, remained fixed in its position among the tides of the face, arcing narrowly inward at the edges of its sharp extremities into a serrated beak-like projection that hooked downward at its tip, in a fashion similar to that of a falcon’s beak. This snout—or beak, rather—was, in fact, so long and came to such a fine point that as the eyes swirled through the soup of macromolecules that comprised the man’s face, it almost appeared—due to the seeming thinness of the pink tissue—that the eyes functioned as kinds of optical tether balls that moved synchronously across the face like mirror images of one another.

'I wore my lizard mask as I entered the tram, last evening, and people found me fearless,' the Coach remarked, enunciating each word carefully through the hollow clack-clacking sound of his beak, as its edges clapped together. 'I might have exchanged it for that of an ox and then thought better. A lizard goes best with scales, don’t you think?' Bunnu nodded as he quietly wondered how the Coach could manage to fit that phallic monstrosity of a beak into any kind of mask, unless, in fact, this disguise of which he spoke, had been specially designed for his face and divided into sections in such a way that they could be readily attached to different areas—as though one were assembling a new face—in overlapping layers, so as to veil, or perhaps even amplify certain distinguishable features. All the same, in doing so, one could only imagine this lizard mask to be enormous to the extent that it would be disproportionate with the rest of the Coach’s body. But then, there were ways to mask space, as well—to bend light, perhaps, to create the illusion that something was perceptibly larger or smaller, wider or narrower, rounder or more linear than it was in actuality. That is to say, any form of prosthesis designed for the purposes of affecting remedial space might, for example, have had the capability of creating the appearance of a gap of void in occupied space. An ornament hangs from the chin, let’s say, as an accessory meant to contour smoothly inward what might otherwise appear to be hanging jowls. This surely wouldn’t be the exact use that the Coach would have for such a device—as he had no jowls to speak of—though he could certainly see the benefit of the accessory’s ingenuity. This being said, the lizard mask might have appeared natural rather than disproportionate given the right set of circumstances. Whatever the case, there was no way of even knowing if the Coach wasn’t, in fact, already wearing a mask, at this very moment, rendering Bunnu’s initial appraisal of his character—as determined by a rudimentary physiognomic analysis of his features—a matter now subject to doubt. And thus, any conjecture that could be made with respect to the dimensions or components of a lizard mask—not to speak of the motives of its wearer—seemed not only impractical, but also irrelevant at this point in time.”
Ashim Shanker, Don't Forget to Breathe

Alfred Jarry
“Pataphysics will be, above all, the science of the particular, despite the common opinion that the only science is that of the general. Pataphysics will examine the laws governing exceptions, and will explain the universe supplementary to this one; or, less ambitiously, will describe a universe which can be - and perhaps should be - envisaged in the place of the traditional one.”
Alfred Jarry

“Sound waves, regardless of their frequency or intensity, can only be detected by the Mole Fly’s acute sense of smell—it is a little known fact that the Mole Fly’s auditory receptors do not, in fact, have a corresponding center in the brain designated for the purposes of processing sensory stimuli and so, these stimuli, instead of being siphoned out as noise, bypass the filters to be translated, oddly enough, by the part of the brain that processes smell. Consequently, the Mole Fly’s brain, in its inevitable confusion, understands sound as an aroma, rendering the boundary line between the auditory and olfactory sense indistinguishable.

Sounds, thus, come in a variety of scents with an intensity proportional to its frequency. Sounds of shorter wavelength, for example, are particularly pungent. What results is a species of creature that cannot conceptualize the possibility that sound and smell are separate entities, despite its ability to discriminate between the exactitudes of pitch, timbre, tone, scent, and flavor to an alarming degree of precision. Yet, despite this ability to hyper-analyze, they lack the cognitive skill to laterally link successions of either sound or smell into a meaningful context, resulting in the equivalent of a data overflow.
And this may be the most defining element of the Mole Fly’s behavior: a blatant disregard for the context of perception, in favor of analyzing those remote and diminutive properties that distinguish one element from another. While sensory continuity seems logical to their visual perception, as things are subject to change from moment-to-moment, such is not the case with their olfactory sense, as delays in sensing new smells are granted a degree of normality by the brain. Thus, the Mole Fly’s olfactory-auditory complex seems to be deprived of the sensory continuity otherwise afforded in the auditory senses of other species. And so, instead of sensing aromas and sounds continuously over a period of time—for example, instead of sensing them 24-30 times per second, as would be the case with their visual perception—they tend to process changes in sound and smell much more slowly, thereby preventing them from effectively plotting the variations thereof into an array or any kind of meaningful framework that would allow the information provided by their olfactory and auditory stimuli to be lasting in their usefulness.

The Mole flies, themselves, being the structurally-obsessed and compulsive creatures that they are, in all their habitual collecting, organizing, and re-organizing of found objects into mammoth installations of optimal functional value, are remarkably easy to control, especially as they are given to a rather false and arbitrary sense of hierarchy, ascribing positions—that are otherwise trivial, yet necessarily mundane if only to obscure their true purpose—with an unfathomable amount of honor, to the logical extreme that the few chosen to serve in their most esteemed ranks are imbued with a kind of obligatory arrogance that begins in the pupal stages and extends indefinitely, as they are further nurtured well into adulthood by a society that infuses its heroes of middle management with an immeasurable sense of importance—a kind of celebrity status recognized by the masses as a living embodiment of their ideals. And yet, despite this culture of celebrity worship and vicarious living, all whims and impulses fall subservient, dropping humbly to the knees—yes, Mole Flies do, in fact, have knees!—before the grace of the merciful Queen, who is, in actuality, just a puppet dictator installed by the Melic papacy, using an old recycled Damsel fly-fishing lure. The dummy is crude, but convincing, as the Mole flies treat it as they would their true-born queen.”
Ashim Shanker, Don't Forget to Breathe

Alfred Jarry
“Maintenant que la glace est rompue, causons." (Now the ice is broken, let's talk.)

-After shooting into a mirror”
Alfred Jarry

Julien Torma
“The present is always the best, even when its rough.”
Julien Torma, 4 Dada Suicides: Selected Texts of Arthur Cravan, Jacques Rigaut, Julien Torma, and Jacques Vaché

“Hyperbolic Suggestion is—as one might infer from the term’s literal interpretation—a method of suggestion induced upon the subject (or subjects), in question, through the blatant and immoderate invocation of hyperbole. Simply stated, excessive exaggeration induces a trance upon the recipient, rendering him or her remarkably susceptible to suggestion. Thus, through the use of a multitude of descriptive adjectives and superlatives, neural mechanisms and pathways are overloaded, as canals and bypasses are burrowed into the thick of the gray matter. The dendrites are, through this process, tuned to a predetermined frequency by which the seeds of suggestion can be sown. When this occurs, the subject becomes incredibly compliant to any orders given at a certain tone of voice. In some cases, orders need not be given. The subject’s attitudes might well be so affected by the hyperbole as to affect his natural tendencies...Emmanuel silently wondered if there existed a perfect combination of words or phrases that could somehow—as in the case of Hyperbolic Suggestion—subvert even the most stubborn of wills. Then again, maybe it wasn’t so much the words as it was how they were spoken: if he achieved exactly the most desirable intonation, rhythm, timing, pitch and pronunciation in his speaking, would his verbal appeals somehow make greater inroads in garnering their consent? There had to be some optimal combination of aspirated consonants, diphthongs, facial expressions and inflection he could somehow affect in order to persuade them effectively. But it seemed that to search for this elusive mixture of ingredients would only prove an onerous task, conceivably of little benefit. In view of this sobering reality, he decided instead to try out a completely different approach from those previous: it occurred to him that his attempts at persuasion might be slightly more effective if he carried them out as dialogues, rather than as monologues.”
Ashim Shanker, Only the Deplorable

Julien Torma
“For us life is a fact, no less, and, above all, no more.”
Julien Torma, 4 Dada Suicides: Selected Texts of Arthur Cravan, Jacques Rigaut, Julien Torma, and Jacques Vaché

“Princess Cookie’s cognitive pathways may have required a more comprehensive analysis. He knew that it was possible to employ certain progressive methods of neural interface, but he felt somewhat apprehensive about implementing them, for fear of the risks involved and of the limited returns such tactics might yield. For instance, it would be a particularly wasteful endeavor if, for the sake of exhausting every last option available, he were even to go so far as resorting to invasive Ontological Neurospelunkery, for this unorthodox process would only prove to be the cerebral equivalent of tracking a creature one was not even sure existed: surely one could happen upon some new species deep in the caverns somewhere and assume it to be the goal of one’s trek, but then there was a certain idiocy to this notion, as one would never be sure this newfound entity should prove to be what one wished it to be; taken further, this very need to find something, to begin with, would only lead one to clamber more deeply inward along rigorous paths and over unsteady terrain, the entirety of which could only be traversed with the arrogant resolve of someone who has already determined, with a misplaced sense of pride in his own assumptions, that he was undoubtedly making headway in a direction worthwhile. And assuming still that this process was the only viable option available, and further assuming that Morell could manage to find a way to track down the beast lingering ostensibly inside of Princess Cookie, what was he then to do with it? Exorcise the thing? Reason with it? Negotiate maybe? How? Could one hope to impose terms and conditions upon the behavior of something tracked and captured in the wilds of the intellect? The thought was a bizarre one and the prospect of achieving success with it unlikely. Perhaps, it would be enough to track the beast, but also to let it live according to its own inclinations inside of her. This would seem a more agreeable proposition.

Unfortunately, however, the possibility still remained that there was no beast at all, but that the aberration plaguing her consciousness was merely a side effect of some divine, yet misunderstood purpose with which she had been imbued by the Almighty Lord Himself. She could very well have been functioning on a spiritual plane far beyond Morell’s ability to grasp, which, of course, seared any scrutiny leveled against her with the indelible brand of blasphemy. To say the least, the fear of Godly reprisal which this brand was sure to summon up only served to make the prospect of engaging in such measures as invasive Ontological Neurospelunkery seem both risky and wasteful. And thus, it was a nonstarter.”
Ashim Shanker, Only the Deplorable

Arthur Cravan
“Glory is a scandal. Let me state once & for all: I do not wish to be civilized.”
Arthur Cravan, 4 Dada Suicides: Selected Texts of Arthur Cravan, Jacques Rigaut, Julien Torma, and Jacques Vaché

Lionel Suggs
“While I do not believe in imperative goals or ends, I do believe in a returning endgame. When you reach one end, it should be for conception. When you reach the next end, it should be for immortality. One should reach the state of existing and non-existing at the same time. One's goals and endgame should be metaphysical and pataphysical, stepping over the edge of logic and reason. If you are not reaching to step above... then you belong at the bottom.”
Lionel Suggs