THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK
Go Back   THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK > Discussion & Interpretation > Quotation Forum > Themed Quotations
Home Forums Content Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Contagion Members Media Diversion Info Register
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes Translate
Old 05-15-2008   #41
Bleak&Icy's Avatar
Bleak&Icy
Grimscribe
Threadstarter
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 811
Quotes: 0
Points: 38,735, Level: 100 Points: 38,735, Level: 100 Points: 38,735, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

Few writers of fiction have managed to evoke such damned bleakness as Flannery O'Connor. An anecdote, to begin with: After reading one of her stories ("A Good Man is Hard to Find," I think) which had been published in a popular magazine, a shocked reader wrote the author an indignant letter, claiming that, "Yes, I admit the story was powerful, but it left a bad taste in my mouth." Ms. O'Connor dryly wrote back: "You weren't supposed to eat it." If it's possible to be posthumously in love with a female writer, I love Flannery.

This "passage" (ever since I began this threat (typo, I meant thread) the word "passage" has acquired rather strange and sinsitter (typo, sinister) and amusing connotations... never mind), this passage comes from her short story "Good Country People." The woman in the story has a Ph.D in nihilistic philosophy, and a wooden leg; and the man is a young bible salesman. The action takes place in the loft of a barn. Enjoy:

Her voice when she spoke had an almost pleading sound. "Aren't you," she murmured, "aren't you good country people?"

The boy cocked his head. He looked as if he were just beginning to understand that she might be trying to insult him. "Yeah," he said, curling his lip slightly, "but it ain't held me back none. I'm as good as you any day of the week."

"Give me my leg," she said.

He pushed it farther away with his foot. "Come on now, let's begin to have us a good time," he said coaxingly. "We ain't got to know one another good yet."

"Give me my leg!" she screamed and tried to lunge for it but he pushed her down easily.

"What's the matter with you all of a sudden?" he asked, frowning as he screwed the top on the flask and put it quickly back inside the Bible. "You just a while ago said you didn't believe in nothing. I thought you was some girl!"

Her face was almost purple. "You're a Christian!" she hissed. "You're fine Christian! You're just like them all--say one thing and do another. You're a perfect Christian, you're..."

The boy's mouth was set angrily. "I hope you don't think," he said in a lofty indignant tone, "that I believe in that crap! I may sell Bibles but I know which end is up and I wasn't born yesterday and I know where I'm going!"

"Give me my leg!" she screeched. He jumped so quickly that she barely saw him sweep the cards and the blue box back into the Bible and throw the Bible into the valise. She saw him grab the leg and then she saw it for an instant slanted forlornly across the inside of the suitcase with a Bible at either side of its opposite ends. He slammed the lid shut and snatched up the valise and swung it down the hole and then stepped through himself.

When all of him had passed but his head, he turned and regarded her with a look that no longer had any admiration in it. "I've gotten a lot of interesting things," he said. "One time I got a woman's glass eye this way. And you needn't to think you'll catch me because Pointer ain't really my name. I use a different name at every house I call at and don't stay nowhere long. And I'll tell you another thing, Hulga," he said, using the name as if he didn't think much of it, "you ain't so smart. I been believing in nothing ever since I was born!" and then the toast-colored hat disappeared down the hole and the girl was left, sitting on the straw in the dusty sunlight. When she turned her churning face toward the opening, she saw his blue figure struggling successfully over the green speckled lake.

"Reality is the shadow of the word." -- Bruno Schulz
Bleak&Icy is offline   Reply With Quote
2 Thanks From:
hopfrog (12-21-2008), Ligeia (05-30-2009)
Old 05-15-2008   #42
Nemonymous's Avatar
Nemonymous
Grimscribe
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,383
Quotes: 0
Points: 130,055, Level: 100 Points: 130,055, Level: 100 Points: 130,055, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 99% Activity: 99% Activity: 99%
Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

I'm loving all this pessimism. It is in danger of becoming a great comfort to me.
Thanks.
des

"Beliefs are dangerous. Beliefs allow the mind to stop functioning. A non-functioning mind is clinically dead. Believe in nothing."
Henry Miller

I think I am an Elephant,
Behind another Elephant
Behind another Elephant who isn't really there.
--A. A. Milne

It is futile to call life futile, because it is.
DF Lewis (1967)

MY WEBSITE: www.nemonymous.com
Nemonymous is offline   Reply With Quote
2 Thanks From:
hopfrog (12-21-2008), Ligeia (05-30-2009)
Old 05-15-2008   #43
Bleak&Icy's Avatar
Bleak&Icy
Grimscribe
Threadstarter
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 811
Quotes: 0
Points: 38,735, Level: 100 Points: 38,735, Level: 100 Points: 38,735, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

Here is a lovely passage from Mark Samuels' Ligottian tale, "Colony" (ellipsis and italics are the author's):

We are all of us lost in the vast and endless night that is ourselves. We wander, hopelessly and eternally abandoned, through our own secret chambers of hell. Just as shadows are devoured by the night so our souls cry out for their source. And all that remains is the truth: there is nothing to understand; the words of the dead language cannot be deciphered and everything is bleak and icy and desolate, without meaning or final resolution...

from The White Hands and Other Weird Tales (Tartarus Press)

"Reality is the shadow of the word." -- Bruno Schulz
Bleak&Icy is offline   Reply With Quote
2 Thanks From:
hopfrog (12-21-2008), Ligeia (05-30-2009)
Old 05-15-2008   #44
eldritch00's Avatar
eldritch00
Mystic
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 112
Quotes: 0
Points: 10,520, Level: 70 Points: 10,520, Level: 70 Points: 10,520, Level: 70
Level up: 90% Level up: 90% Level up: 90%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
Send a message via ICQ to eldritch00 Send a message via Yahoo to eldritch00
Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

I doubt that Thomas Ligotti reads Gene Wolfe, much less is influenced by him. Having read a lot of Ligotti myself, however, my own mind has become attuned to seeing the former's world-view in what I read, even in works published way before Ligotti's own:

One from The Claw of the Conciliator:
Quote
Whatever we may say, all of us suffer from disturbed sleep at times. Some in truth hardly sleep, though some who sleep copiously swear that they do not. Some are disquieted by incessant dreams, and a fortunate few are visited often by dreams of delightful character. Some will say they were at one time troubled in sleeping but have "recovered" from it, as though awareness were a disease, as perhaps it is.
Two from The Sword of the Lictor:
Quote
She was in that state of disease in which we no longer feel pity for the sick person, who has instead become an object of horror. Her face was a death's head over which was stretched skin as thin and translucent as the head of a drum. Her lips could no longer cover her teeth even in sleep, and under the scythe of fever, her hair had fallen away until only wisps remained.
Quote
"There is something in all of us that has always been dead," I said. "If only because we know that eventually we will die. All of us except the smallest children."
And hey, what about my signature?

"When the emptiness in you grows too large
You fill its vaulted chambers with the ash of memory
With the dust of desire."
- PZB
eldritch00 is offline   Reply With Quote
2 Thanks From:
hopfrog (12-21-2008), Ligeia (05-30-2009)
Old 05-15-2008   #45
G. S. Carnivals's Avatar
G. S. Carnivals
Our Temporary Supervisor
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 26,616
Quotes: 397
Points: 272,439, Level: 100 Points: 272,439, Level: 100 Points: 272,439, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 100% Activity: 100% Activity: 100%
Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

"'If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.'"
George Orwell, 1984

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
G. S. Carnivals is offline   Reply With Quote
2 Thanks From:
hopfrog (12-21-2008), Ligeia (05-30-2009)
Old 05-15-2008   #46
gveranon's Avatar
gveranon
Grimscribe
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,090
Quotes: 0
Points: 26,466, Level: 100 Points: 26,466, Level: 100 Points: 26,466, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 29% Activity: 29% Activity: 29%
Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

…we heard, in meticulous detail, how Dr. Ressler left microbiology….Todd got his answer as to how a person might descend into moratorium and never reemerge. And I learned that the man I’d researched was not who he was at all.

Not reticent, not demure, not this neutralized retreat behind grace and syntax. The effacing fifty-year-old was a detour, not Ressler by nature, not who he was slated to become. I began to see what had done it: circumstance and a certain turn of mind had conspired to give him violent proof that the individual organism was a lie. Thoughtful, precise, romantic, driven, needy: the a la carte traits were all phantom, paper bookkeeping. The self was wedged between two far more real antagonists – the genes it was designed to haul around and the running average of a population statistically indifferent, even hostile, to it.

What possible response was there, upon discovering that all responses were embarrassing, misrepresentative semaphores? Laughter was after something; even kindness had ulterior motives. Character was composed of processes intent on short-term results. The molecule, eternally rolling its repertoire against the monster-generating numbers, cared as little for a trait as for its polar opposite. Life was not the polite venture it seemed at eye level. One step up or down the hierarchy and the project grew sweeping, terrible, so indirect in means that it made him, the best part of his nature, seem a self-duping, shady junior partner in a fly-by-night mail-order scheme.

Even pure science – the most advanced display of living potential – was not approved by either gene or population, both indifferent to any but practical knowledge. The one was a stupid, sniffing truffle hound rooting out instant gain, the other a totalitarian juggler, insatiable for accuracy. As unsavory as that left things, the linkup between molecule and mob was still so brute-beautiful that Ressler might well have lived on curiosity alone, even manipulated, puppet curiosity, were it not for one implication in the unified theory. Life proceeded not by survival of the fittest, but by differential reproduction. It was enough simply to make more than you lost. There was no Jacob’s Ladder leading higher and higher. There was only breeding, faster, hungrier, until speed, appetite, and success did you in.

Yet life in theory (more beautiful because more crystal-cold) didn’t do him in; life as lived did, the twist experience laid at his door. He could not erase his traits without erasing himself – a choice he stopped just short of. But he could swear off the self-serving bouquet of characteristics in abject humility. Monasticism. The night shift.
--Richard Powers, The Gold Bug Variations
gveranon is offline   Reply With Quote
2 Thanks From:
hopfrog (12-21-2008), Ligeia (05-30-2009)
Old 05-15-2008   #47
Bleak&Icy's Avatar
Bleak&Icy
Grimscribe
Threadstarter
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 811
Quotes: 0
Points: 38,735, Level: 100 Points: 38,735, Level: 100 Points: 38,735, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

"...the general impression I desire to convey is of a side door crashing open in life's full flight, and a rush of roaring black time drowning with its whipping wind the cry of lone disaster." -- Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

"Reality is the shadow of the word." -- Bruno Schulz
Bleak&Icy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2008   #48
Shadow Under the Heart
Mannikin
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1
Quotes: 0
Points: 4,573, Level: 46 Points: 4,573, Level: 46 Points: 4,573, Level: 46
Level up: 12% Level up: 12% Level up: 12%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

"Man at last knows that he is alone in the unfeeling immensity of the universe, out of which he emerged only by chance." Jacques Monod, The Ethic of Knowledge and the Socialist Ideal.

The first quote I ever read that produced a feeling of "aw shucks."
Shadow Under the Heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Thanks From:
ChildofOldLeech (01-18-2016)
Old 05-16-2008   #49
Bleak&Icy's Avatar
Bleak&Icy
Grimscribe
Threadstarter
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 811
Quotes: 0
Points: 38,735, Level: 100 Points: 38,735, Level: 100 Points: 38,735, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

"The Head in the Box" by Thomas Wiloch

Every evening he opens the closet and takes the box down from its shelf. He settles himself in the easy chair, opens the box, and removes the head he keeps inside.
Hello, he says to it pleasantly.
The head refuses to answer.
And how are you today? he asks
The head ignores him.
Nice day, he tries
The head spits at him.
This will never do! he shouts.
The head just smirks.
He puts the head back in the box, places it back on the shelf, slams the closet door, and storms from the room. He paces for a while, then sits in his easy chair and pretends to read the newspaper.
It's still early in the evening. It will be a long night. And so quiet.
Except for that muffled laughter from within the closet...

From Thomas Wiloch's Stigmata Junction (Naked Snake Press, 2005)

"Reality is the shadow of the word." -- Bruno Schulz
Bleak&Icy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2008   #50
Bleak&Icy's Avatar
Bleak&Icy
Grimscribe
Threadstarter
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 811
Quotes: 0
Points: 38,735, Level: 100 Points: 38,735, Level: 100 Points: 38,735, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

The importance of insomnia is so colossal that I am tempted to define man as the animal who cannot sleep... there is not another animal in the entire creation that wants to sleep yet cannot. E. M. Cioran, On the Heights of Despair

"Reality is the shadow of the word." -- Bruno Schulz
Bleak&Icy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
day, passage, pessimistic
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Unlabelled Passage Of The Day Nemonymous Themed Quotations 338 12-06-2016 08:42 AM
Dream Passage of the Day G. S. Carnivals Themed Quotations 326 08-18-2013 12:02 PM
Erotic Passage of the Day Bleak&Icy Themed Quotations 87 05-22-2009 07:42 PM
Hysterical Passage of the Day Viva June Themed Quotations 13 11-17-2008 03:15 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:22 PM.



Style Based on SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER as Published by Silver Scarab Press
Design and Artwork by Harry Morris
Emulated in Hell by Dr. Bantham
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Template-Modifications by TMS