Perversity Quotes

Quotes tagged as "perversity" Showing 1-22 of 22
Edgar Allan Poe
“We have a task before us which must be speedily performed. We know that it will be ruinous to make delay. The most important crisis of our life calls, trumpet-tongued, for immediate energy and action. We glow, we are consumed with eagerness to commence the work, with the anticipation of whose glorious result our whole souls are on fire. It must, it shall be undertaken to-day, and yet we put it off until to-morrow; and why? There is no answer, except that we feel perverse, using the word with no comprehension of the principle. To-morrow arrives, and with it a more impatient anxiety to do our duty, but with this very increase of anxiety arrives, also, a nameless, a positively fearful, because unfathomable, craving for delay. This craving gathers strength as the moments fly. The last hour for action is at hand. We tremble with the violence of the conflict within us, — of the definite with the indefinite — of the substance with the shadow. But, if the contest have proceeded thus far, it is the shadow which prevails, — we struggle in vain. The clock strikes, and is the knell of our welfare. At the same time, it is the chanticleer-note to the ghost that has so long overawed us. It flies — it disappears — we are free. The old energy returns. We will labor now. Alas, it is too late!”
Edgar Allan Poe, The Complete Stories and Poems

Neal Stephenson
“An old market had stood there until I'd been about six years old, when the authorities had renamed it the Olde Market, destroyed it, and built a new market devoted to selling T-shirts and other objects with pictures of the old market. Meanwhile, the people who had operated the little stalls in the old market had gone elsewhere and set up a thing on the edge of town that was now called the New Market even though it was actually the old market.”
Neal Stephenson, Anathem

“Like symbolism, decadence puts forth the idea that the function of literature is to evoke impressions and 'correspondences', rather than to realistically depict the world. ... the decadent aestheticized decay and took pleasure in perversity. In decadent literature, sickness is preferable to health, not only because sickness was regarded as more interesting, but because sickness was construed as subversive, as a threat to the very fabric of society. By embracing the marginal, the unhealthy and the deviant, the decadents attacked bourgeois life, which they perceived as the chief enemy of art.”
Asti Hustvedt

Clive Barker
“Let us not neglect the forbidden. Let us not sophisticate ourselves out of the cheap thrill and chill of it: the story told for perversity's sake, and all the better for that; the image created because an artist gets tired of reasons sometimes, and wants to dredge up some picture he's been haunted by, and parade it like a new tattoo. I go with it, readily.”
Clive Barker

Charles Brockden Brown
“All men are, at times, influenced by inexplicable sentiments. Ideas haunt them in spite of all their efforts to discard them. Prepossessions are entertained, for which their reason is unable to discover any adequate cause. The strength of a belief, when it is destitute of any rational foundation, seems, of itself, to furnish a new ground for credulity. We first admit a powerful persuasion, and then, from reflecting on the insufficiency of the ground on which it is built, instead of being prompted to dismiss it, we become more forcibly attached to it.”
Charles Brockden Brown, Somnambulism and Other Stories

C.M. Stunich
“Perversion is just another form of art. It's like painting or drawing or sculpting. Except instead of paint, us perverts use sex as our medium. ”
C.M. Stunich, Losing Me, Finding You

Jean Lorrain
“In the course of my life I have had pre-pubescent ballerinas; emaciated duchesses, dolorous and forever tired, melomaniac and morphine-sodden; bankers' wives with eyes hollower than those of suburban streetwalkers; music-hall chorus girls who tip creosote into their Roederer when getting drunk...

I have even had the awkward androgynes, the unsexed dishes of the day of the *tables d'hote* of Montmartre. Like any vulgar follower of fashion, like any member of the herd, I have made love to bony and improbably slender little girls, frightened and macabre, spiced with carbolic and peppered with chlorotic make-up.

Like an imbecile, I have believed in the mouths of prey and sacrificial victims. Like a simpleton, I have believed in the large lewd eyes of a ragged heap of sickly little creatures: alcoholic and cynical shop girls and whores. The profundity of their eyes and the mystery of their mouths... the jewellers of some and the manicurists of others furnish them with *eaux de toilette*, with soaps and rouges. And Fanny the etheromaniac, rising every morning for a measured dose of cola and coca, does not put ether only on her handkerchief.

It is all fakery and self-advertisement - *truquage and battage*, as their vile argot has it. Their phosphorescent rottenness, their emaciated fervour, their Lesbian blight, their shop-sign vices set up to arouse their clients, to excite the perversity of young and old men alike in the sickness of perverse tastes! All of it can sparkle and catch fire only at the hour when the gas is lit in the corridors of the music-halls and the crude nickel-plated decor of the bars. Beneath the cerise three-ply collars of the night-prowlers, as beneath the bulging silks of the cyclist, the whole seductive display of passionate pallor, of knowing depravity, of exhausted and sensual anaemia - all the charm of spicy flowers celebrated in the writings of Paul Bourget and Maurice Barres - is nothing but a role carefully learned and rehearsed a hundred times over. It is a chapter of the MANCHON DE FRANCINE read over and over again, swotted up and acted out by ingenious barnstormers, fully conscious of the squalid salacity of the male of the species, and knowledgeable in the means of starting up the broken-down engines of their customers.

To think that I also have loved these maleficent and sick little beasts, these fake Primaveras, these discounted Jocondes, the whole hundred-franc stock-in-trade of Leonardos and Botticellis from the workshops of painters and the drinking-dens of aesthetes, these flowers mounted on a brass thread in Montparnasse and Levallois-Perret!

And the odious and tiresome travesty - the corsetted torso slapped on top of heron's legs, painful to behold, the ugly features primed by boulevard boxes, the fake Dresden of Nina Grandiere retouched from a medicine bottle, complaining and spectral at the same time - of Mademoiselle Guilbert and her long black gloves!...

Have I now had enough of the horror of this nightmare! How have I been able to tolerate it for so long?

The fact is that I was then ignorant even of the nature of my sickness. It was latent in me, like a fire smouldering beneath the ashes. I have cherished it since... perhaps since early childhood, for it must always have been in me, although I did not know it!”
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

Éliphas Lévi
“It must be pleasant to be occasionally guilty of a small abomination.”
Éliphas Lévi, Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual

Dave Hickey
“Out of sheer perversity, I followed beauty where it lead, into the silence.”
Dave Hickey, The Invisible Dragon: Essays on Beauty

William Beckford
“The Climber did not interfere. He praised the education I had received, and approved greatly of our immersions, just after birth, by the Sages, adding maliciously that nothing so sharpened the wits as a passion somewhat out of the common. (“The Story of Princess Zulkais and the Prince Kalilah”)”
William Beckford, The Episodes of Vathek

Lars Iyer
“As we look out to sea, a great shadow seems to move under the water. He can see it, says W. - 'Look: the kraken of your idiocy'. Yes, there it is, moving darkly beneath the water.”
Lars Iyer, Spurious

“Why do people value most the things they haven't got?”
Marty Rubin

Aleister Crowley
“...the true test of the perversity of a pleasure is that it occupies a disproportionate amount of the attention.”
Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend

Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly
“It had to have been the first time something hideous has ever taken place! A father and a mother hurling the heart of their dead child into each other's faces!”
Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly, Les Diaboliques

Rafael Yglesias
“Jeff had learned the wisdom of perversity and made his lonely secret into art.”
Rafael Yglesias, The Wisdom of Perversity

Vladimir Nabokov
“I can only explain my behaviour then by the mechanism of that dream vacuum wherein revolves a deranged mind.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

“In the contorted bookkeeping of the broken, the distance you hold yourself away from them is your only value.”
stephanie roberts

Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly
“So this had been going on for three months?' asked Tressignies--not daring to specify what *this* referred to; his vagueness was in fact more horrible than precison would have been.

'Yes,' she said. 'Three months.' Then she added, 'But what's three months? It takes time to cook and cook some more this dish of vengeance I'm preparing for him, to pay back for that heart of Esteban's that he wouldn't let me eat ...”
Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly, Les Diaboliques - édition enrichie

Jean Baudrillard
“All effects are perverse in so far as they run free of their causes: epilepsy of reality. The very possibility of effects without causes, or causes without effects, or effects producing their causes in a retrospective sequence, destabilizes any logical order and leads into a paradoxical one.

Admiration: a real sacred prostitution in which the most alienated is not the one you think. Thinking in these terms of a gentle violation, Lichtenberg spoke of a 'virginity of admiration' . And of those who remain virgins all their lives.”
Jean Baudrillard, Cool Memories V: 2000 - 2004

C.G. Jung
“Superstition and perversity are after all one and the same. They are transitional or embryonic stages from which new and riper forms will emerge.”
C.G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul

Jean Baudrillard
“A strategy of this kind is far from innocent. It is the strategy adopted by children. Whereas adults make children believe that they, the adults, are adults, children for their part let adults believe that they, the children, are children. Of these two strategies the second is the subtler, for while adults believe that they are adults, children do not believe that they are children. They are children, but they do not believe it. They sail under the flag of childhood as under a flag of convenience. The ruse (and the seduction) is total. Children are not far removed, in fact, from Schnitzler's microbes: they are, as it were, a different species, and their vitality and development announce the eventual destruction of the superior - adult - world that surrounds them. Childhood haunts the adult universe as a subtle and deadly presence. It is in this sense that the child is other to the adult: the child is the adult's destiny, the adult is his most subtly distilled form. The child nevertheless repudiates the adult - all the while moving within him with all the grace of those who have no will of their own.”
Jean Baudrillard, The Transparency of Evil: Essays in Extreme Phenomena

“Victime de la perversité. Pervertie, mais pas perverse, maman.”
Camille Kouchner, La familia grande