The Testament of Gideon Mack Quotes

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The Testament of Gideon Mack The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson
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“I prefer the pen. There is something elemental about the glide and flow of nib and ink on paper.”
James Robertson, The Testament of Gideon Mack
“I never savoured life for what it was: I only wanted to get to the next stage of it. I wish now I'd taken a little more time, but it is too late for such regrets. I was like the child in the cinema whose chief anticipation lies not in the film but in wondering what he will do after it is over; I was the reader who hurries through a 500-page novel not to see what will happen but simply to get to the end.”
James W. Robertson, The Testament of Gideon Mack
“for what is religion if not a kind of madness, and what is madness without a touch of religion?”
James Robertson, The Testament of Gideon Mack
“This is the hard lesson of my life: love is not in us from the beginning, like an instinct; love is no more original to human beings than sin. Like sin, it must be learned.”
James W. Robertson, The Testament of Gideon Mack
“That's what I think more and more. There's nothing. No God, no Devil, nothing. No damnation, no redemption. There's just us and what we do. The things we achieve or the mess we make.”
James Robertson Jr., The Testament of Gideon Mack
“Hell wasn't looking into her eyes, it was looking out of them. Being trapped inside, looking for an exit; not even doing that, just wandering empty rooms in bewilderment.”
James Robertson Jr., The Testament of Gideon Mack
“People think we didn't have theatres in Scotland for centuries because the Church suppressed them. Well, perhaps. But you could also argue that we had theatres in every town and village in the land: they were called kirks, and every week folk packed in to see a one-man show about life, death and the universe.”
James Robertson, The Testament of Gideon Mack
“Walking through a deserted city in the hours before dawn is sobering way beyond the undoing of the effects of alcohol. Every thing is familiar, and everything is strange. It's as if you are the only survivor of some mysterious calamity which has emptied the place of its population, and yet you know that behind the shuttered and curtained windows people lie sleeping in their tens of thousands, and all their joys and disasters lie sleeping too. It makes you think of your own life, usually suspended at that hour, and how you are passing through it as if in a dream. Reality seems very unreal.”
James Robertson, The Testament of Gideon Mack
“I have walked and run through this world pretending emotions rather than feeling them. Oh, I could feel pain, physical pain, but I had to imagine joy, sorrow, anger. As for love, I didn't know what it meant. But I learned early to keep myself well disguised.”
James W. Robertson, The Testament of Gideon Mack
“But I do like Scotland. I like the miserable weather. I like the miserable people, the fatalism, the negativity, the violence that's always just below the surface. And I like the way you deal with religion. One century you're up to your lugs in it, the next you're trading the whole apparatus in for Sunday superstores. Praise the Lord and thrash the bairns. Ask and ye shall have the door shut in your face. Blessed are they that shop on the Sabbath, for they shall get the best bargains. Oh yes, this is a very fine country.”
James Robertson, The Testament of Gideon Mack