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Old 04-09-2014   #511
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

Quote Originally Posted by Bleak&Icy View Post
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)
"I'm positive tonight that all literary advice is just Louis Bouilhet and Max Du Camp wishing Madame Bovary on Flaubert. All right, so between the two of them, with their exquisite taste, they got him to write a masterpiece. They killed his chances of ever writing his heart out. He died like a celebrity, which was the one thing he wasn't. His letters are unbearable to read. They're so much better than they should be. They read waste, waste, waste. They break my heart."

-- J. D. Salinger, Seymour: An Introduction
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Old 04-10-2014   #512
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

"His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink."
— William Golding (Lord of the Flies)

“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 05-07-2014   #513
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

"The Ultimate Truth is a sledgehammer to the nose."


Norvquist

“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 05-07-2014   #514
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

It occurs to me that, if it is a wonder our children survive the mistakes we make with them, it is no less astounding that we are not done in by them ourselves; those of us with any conscience, I should add.

-- John Langan, "Mr. Gaunt"

"Reality is the shadow of the word." -- Bruno Schulz
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Old 05-08-2014   #515
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

Life isn’t all glitter, even for the fortunate. The earth on which we live, this home of audacious conceit, of games and sorrows, of fashionably blonde, mollycoddled dolls lying in their elegant carriages, of murderers and butterflies, autumnal roses and persistent hunger, has both its gates of Hell and realms of Heaven. There grows no hedgerow separating misery from eternal bliss. The lonely live among the blessed, all under one roof. There, at the gates to idylic houses, burns the coal basin of Purgatory; the grape leaves fade upon the stone walls, the sighs of the perjured echo. But the pangs of love are indestructible, and are for everyone the same. In the ruined fields it sprouts as a stalk, full of yearning. It tearfully coos and flutters like a shamefully soiled brocade on the crest of those unaccustomed to hope.

--- Paul Leppin: Blaugast (in Cynthia Klima's translation, Twisted Spoon, 2007)
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Old 05-17-2014   #516
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

"One has only to consider the human being himself, complete with his emotions, his passions, his laughter, his sex and his secretions, to conclude that man is nothing but a dirty little germ - an irrational virus marring a universe of transparency. Once he has been purged, once everything has been cleaned up and all infection - whether of a social or a bacillary kind - has been driven out, then only the virus of sadness will remain in a mortally clean and mortally sophisticated world."

-- Jean Baudrillard, The Transparency of Evil
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Old 05-25-2014   #517
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

"Nothing can come from anywhere except from us. This is, in a way, the most absolute misfortune."

-- Jean Baudrillard, The Transparency of Evil
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Old 05-28-2014   #518
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

Pessimistic video-quote (2:14 min) from one of the best movies of last decade, pessimism-Charlie Kaufman-style...


I knew that someday I was gonna die / And I knew before I died Two things would happen to me / That number one I would regret my entire life / And number two I would want to live my life over again.
Hubert Selby Jr.
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Old 06-30-2014   #519
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

But depression wasn’t the word. This was a plunge encompassing sorrow and revulsion far beyond the personal: a sick, drenching nausea at all humanity and human endeavor from the dawn of time. The writhing loathsomeness of the biological order. Old age, sickness, death. No escape for anyone. Even the beautiful ones were like soft fruit about to spoil. And yet somehow people still kept f%#$ing and breeding and popping out new fodder for the grave, producing more and more new beings to suffer like this was some kind of redemptive, or good, or even somehow morally admirable thing: dragging more innocent creatures into the lose-lose game. Squirming babies and plodding, complacent, hormone-drugged moms. Oh, isn’t he cute? Awww. Kids shouting and skidding in the playground with no idea what future Hells awaiting them: boring jobs and ruinous mortgages and bad marriages and hair loss and hip replacements and lonely cups of coffee in an empty house and a colostomy bag at the hospital. Most people seemed satisfied with the thin decorative glaze and the artful stage lighting that, sometimes, made the bedrock atrocity of the human predicament look somewhat more mysterious or less abhorrent. People gambled and planted gardens and traded stocks and had sex and bought new cars and practiced yoga and worked and prayed and redecorated their homes and got worked up over the news and fussed over their children and gossiped about their neighbors and pored over restaurant reviews and founded charitable organizations and supported political candidates and attended the U.S. Open and dined and travelled and distracted themselves with all kinds of gadgets and devices, flooding themselves incessantly with information and texts and communication and entertainment from every direction to try to make themselves forget it: where we were, what we were. But in a strong light there was no good spin you could put on it. It was rotten top to bottom. Putting your time in at the office; dutifully spawning your two point five; smiling politely at the retirement party; then chewing on your bedsheet and choking on your canned peaches at the nursing home. It was better never to have been born – never to have wanted anything, never to have hoped for anything.
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Old 06-30-2014   #520
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

“Yet, at the same time, as the Eastern sages also knew, man is a worm and food for worms. This is the paradox: he is out of nature and hopelessly in it; he is dual, up in the stars and yet housed in a heart-pumping, breath-gasping body that once belonged to a fish and still carries the gill-marks to prove it. His body is a material fleshy casing that is alien to him in many ways—the strangest and most repugnant way being that it aches and bleeds and will decay and die. Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order to blindly and dumbly rot and disappear forever. It is a terrifying dilemma to be in and to have to live with. The lower animals are, of course, spared this painful contradiction, as they lack a symbolic identity and the self-consciousness that goes with it. They merely act and move reflexively as they are driven by their instincts. If they pause at all, it is only a physical pause; inside they are anonymous, and even their faces have no name. They live in a world without time, pulsating, as it were, in a state of dumb being. This is what has made it so simple to shoot down whole herds of buffalo or elephants. The animals don't know that death is happening and continue grazing placidly while others drop alongside them. The knowledge of death is reflective and conceptual, and animals are spared it. They live and they disappear with the same thoughtlessness: a few minutes of fear, a few seconds of anguish, and it is over. But to live a whole lifetime with the fate of death haunting one's dreams and even the most sun-filled days—that's something else.” - Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death
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