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Old 03-03-2014   #501
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

The pouches under his eyes were like purses that contained the smuggled memories of a disappointing life.

- Graham Greene

Flash fiction story of mine: Pseudopod Pseudopod Bonus Flash: The Discussion Of Mimes

Flash fiction story of mine: Guardian Devils

Flash fiction story of mine
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Old 03-16-2014   #502
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

An extended bit of Schopenhauer - I could not find an unabridged version of "On the Vanity of Existence" online, so I'm mixing and matching Dirck's Essays and Saunder's Essays to reconstruct the best passage in the essay with the best wording:

"Human life must be some kind of mistake. The truth of this will be sufficiently obvious if we only remember that man is a compound of needs and necessities hard to satisfy; and that even when they are satisfied, all he obtains is a state of painlessness, where nothing remains to him but abandonment to boredom. This is direct proof that existence has no real value in itself; for what is boredom but the feeling of the emptiness of life? If life--the craving for which is the very essence of our being--were possessed of any positive intrinsic value, there would be no such thing as boredom at all: mere existence would satisfy us in itself, and we should want for nothing. But as it is, we take no delight in existence except when we are struggling for something; and then distance and difficulties to be overcome make our goal look as though it would satisfy us--an illusion which vanishes when we reach it; or else when we are occupied with some purely intellectual interest--when in reality we have stepped forth from life to look upon it from the outside, much after the manner of spectators at a play. And even sensual pleasure itself means nothing but a struggle and aspiration, ceasing the moment its aim is attained. Whenever we are not occupied in one of these ways, but cast upon existence itself, its vain and worthless nature is brought home to us; and this is what we mean by boredom. The hankering after what is strange and uncommon--an innate and ineradicable tendency of human nature--shows how glad we are at any interruption of that natural course of affairs which is so very tedious."

"That this most perfect manifestation of the will to live, the human organism, with the cunning and complex working of its machinery, must fall to dust and yield up itself and all its strivings to extinction--this is the naïve way in which Nature, who is always so true and sincere in what she says, proclaims the whole struggle of this will as in its very essence barren and unprofitable. Were it of any value in itself, anything unconditioned and absolute, it could not thus end in mere nothing." [Saunders]

"Yet what a difference there is between our beginning and our end. We begin in the madness of carnal desire and the transport of voluptuousness, we end in the dissolution of all our parts and the musty stench of corpses. And downhill from the one to the other too goes, in regard to our
well-being and enjoyment of life, steadily downhill: happily dreaming childhood, exultant youth, toil-filled years of manhood, infirm and often wretched old age, the torment of the last illness and finally the throes of death - does it not look as if existence were an error the consequences of
which gradually grow more and more manifest. We shall do best to think of life ...as a process of disillusionment: since this is, clearly enough, what everything that happens to us is calculated to produce." [Dirck]

"If we turn from contemplating the world as a whole, and, in particular, the generations of men as they live their little hour of mock-existence and then are swept away in rapid succession; if we turn from this, and look at life in its small details, as presented, say, in a comedy, how ridiculous it all seems! It is like a drop of water seen through a microscope, a single drop teeming with infusoria; or a speck of cheese full of mites invisible to the naked eye. How we laugh as they bustle about so eagerly, and struggle with one another in so tiny a space! And whether here, or in the little span of human life, this terrible activity produces a comic effect.

It is only in the microscope that our life looks so big. It is an indivisible point, drawn out and magnified by the powerful lenses of Time and Space" [Saunders]

Last edited by Speaking Mute; 03-17-2014 at 12:35 AM..
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Old 03-17-2014   #503
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

“Now I know why Sylvia Plath put her head in a toaster!”
“It was an oven.”
- Before Midnight (2013)

Now I will try to keep awake. The fog.
~ Eric Basso, “The Beak Doctor”
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Old 03-29-2014   #504
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

"There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe ... but not for us."

A classic by Franz Kafka.
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Old 03-29-2014   #505
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

"It had become apparent to me from early childhood that life was an unpunished evil..and that it would continue nonetheless." William Golding, "Free Fall"

“The real reason why so few men believe in God is that they have ceased to believe that even a God can love them.”
― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
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Old 03-29-2014   #506
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

A very suitable definition of contemporary man might be that he is man under observation—observed by the state, for one, with more and more sophisticated methods, while man makes more and more desperate attempts to escape being observed, which in turn renders man increasingly suspect in the eyes of the state and the state even more suspect in the eyes of man

--Friedrich Durrenmatt
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Old 04-01-2014   #507
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

When sleep is running away from a man, and the man lies on his bed, dumbly stretching out his legs, while nearby a clock ticks on the nightstand and sleep is running away from the clock, then it seems to the man that an immense black window opens wide before him and that his thin little gray human soul is going to fly out through this window and his lifeless body will stay lying on the bed, dumbly stretching out its legs, and the clock will ring its quiet bell: “Yet another man has fallen asleep.” At that moment, the immense and utterly black window will swing shut with a bang. A man by the last name of Oknov was lying on his bed, dumbly stretching out his legs, trying to fall asleep. But sleep was running away from Oknov. Oknov lay with his eyes open, and frightening thoughts knocked inside his increasingly wooden head.

- Daniil Kharms

Now I will try to keep awake. The fog.
~ Eric Basso, “The Beak Doctor”
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Old 04-08-2014   #508
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

"I mean it. I want a life!"
"This is life! We suffer and slave and expire. That's it."


From Black Books, a British sitcom.
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Old 04-08-2014   #509
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

Black Books is a fantastic show, very funny and morbid.

In honor of Monsieur Cioran's day of impermanent leashing...

“The deepest and most organic death is death in solitude, when even light becomes a principle of death. In such moments you will be severed from life, from love, smiles, friends and even from death. And you will ask yourself if there is anything besides the nothingness of the world and your own nothingness.”
—Emil Cioran

Now I will try to keep awake. The fog.
~ Eric Basso, “The Beak Doctor”
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Old 04-09-2014   #510
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

To be stupid and selfish and to have good health are the three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, the others are useless.

-- Gustave Flaubert, Letter to Loise Colet, August 13, 1846 (trans. Francis Steegmuller)

"Reality is the shadow of the word." -- Bruno Schulz
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