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  1. #8776
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    “I am sifting my memories, the way men pan the dirt under a barroom floor for the bits of gold dust that fall between the cracks. It's small mining -- small mining. You're too young a man to be panning memories, Adam. You should be getting yourself some new ones, so that the mining will be richer when you come to age.”

    ― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

  2. #8777
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    It is the wine that leads me on,
    the wild wine
    that sets the wisest man to sing
    at the top of his lungs,
    laugh like a fool – it drives the
    man to dancing... it even
    tempts him to blurt out stories
    better never told.

    ― Homer, The Odyssey

  3. #8778
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    “For suddenly, just as the men tried to cross, a fatal bird-sign flashed before their eyes, an eagle flying high on the left across their front and clutching a monstrous bloody serpent in both talons, still alive, still struggling - it had not lost its fight, writhing back to strike it fanged the chest of its captor right beside the throat - and agonized by the bites the eagle flung it away to earth, dashed it down amidst the milling fighters, loosed a shriek and the bird veered off along the gusting wind. The Trojans shuddered to see the serpent glistening, wriggling at their feet, a sign from storming Zeus.”

    ― Homer, Iliad

  4. #8779
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    It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,
    And in this flea our two bloods mingled be...

    ― John Donne

  5. #8780
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    “Beyond work and love, I would add two other ingredients that give meaning to life. First, to fulfill whatever talents we are born with. However blessed we are by fate with different abilities and strengths, we should try to develop them to the fullest, rather than allow them to atrophy and decay.

    We all know individuals who did not fulfill the promise they showed in childhood. Many of them became haunted by the image of what they might have become. Instead of blaming fate, I think we should accept ourselves as we are and try to fulfill whatever dreams are within our capability.

    Second, we should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. As individuals, we can make a difference, whether it is to probe the secrets of Nature, to clean up the environment and work for peace and social justice, or to nurture the inquisitive, vibrant spirit of the young by being a mentor and a guide.”

    ― Michio Kaku

  6. #8781
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    “All I wanted and all Neal wanted and all anybody wanted was some kind of penetration into the heart of things where, like in a womb, we could curl up and sleep the ecstatic sleep that Burroughs was experiencing with a good big mainline shot of M. and advertising executives in NY were experiencing with twelve Scotch & Sodas in Stouffers before they made the drunkard's train to Westchester---but without hangovers.”

    ― Jack Kerouac, On the Road: the Original Scroll

  7. #8782
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    “It is a splendid thing to think that the woman you really love will never grow old to you. Through the wrinkles of time, through the mask of years, if you really love her, you will always see the face you loved and won.

    And a woman who really loves a man does not see that he grows old; he is not decrepit to her; he does not tremble; he is not old; she always sees the same gallant gentleman who won her hand and heart.

    I like to think of it in that way; I like to think that love is eternal. And to love in that way and then go down the hill of life together, and as you go down, hear, perhaps, the laughter of grandchildren, while the birds of joy and love sing once more in the leafless branches of the tree of age.”

    ― Robert G. Ingersoll, The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child

  8. #8783
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    “There are times, however, and this is one of them, when even being right feels wrong. What do you say, for instance, about a generation that has been taught that rain is poison and sex is death?

    If making love might be fatal and if a cool spring breeze on any summer afternoon can turn a crystal blue lake into a puddle of black poison right in front of your eyes, there is not much left except TV and relentless masturbation. It's a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die.”

    ― Hunter S. Thompson, Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the '80's

  9. #8784
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    “He had suddenly felt that wealth, and power, and life - all that people arrange and preserve with such care - all this, if it is worth anything, is only so because of the pleasure with which one can abandon it all.

    It was that feeling on account of which a volunteer recruit drinks up his last kopeck, a man on a drunken binge smashes mirrors and windows without any apparent reason and knowing it will cost him his last penny; that feeling on account of which a man does (in the banal sense) insane things, as if testing his personal power and strength, claiming the presence of a higher judgement over life, which stands outside human conventions.”

    ― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

  10. #8785
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    Near is not so far away.




    Reality as seen through.....





    the fish's eye.

  11. #8786
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    I had a girl, or should I say,



    she once had me.





    The Beatles.




    fish?

  12. #8787
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    “Germaine, on the other hand, was a whore from the cradle; she was thoroughly satisfied with her role, enjoyed it in fact, except when her stomach pinched or her shoes gave out, little surface things of no account, nothing that ate into her soul, nothing that created torment.

    Ennui! That was the worst she ever felt. Days there were, no doubt, when she had a bellyful, as we say – but no more than that! Most of the time she enjoyed it – or gave the illusion of enjoying it. It made a difference, of course, whom she went with – or came with.

    But the principal thing was a man. A man! That was what she craved. A man with something between his legs that could tickle her, that could make her writhe in ecstasy, make her grab that bushy twat of hers with both hands and rub it joyfully, boastfully, proudly, with a sense of connection, a sense of life. That was the only place where she experienced any life – down there where she clutched herself with both hands.”

    ― Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

  13. #8788
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    “If at eighty you're not a cripple or an invalid, if you have your health, if you still enjoy a good walk, a good meal (with all the trimmings), if you can sleep without first taking a pill, if birds and flowers, mountains and sea still inspire you, you are a most fortunate individual and you should get down on your knees morning and night and thank the good Lord for his savin' and keepin' power.

    If you are young in years but already weary in spirit, already on your way to becoming an automaton, it may do you good to say to your boss - under your breath, of course - "Fuck you, Jack! you don't own me."

    If you can whistle up your ass, if you can be turned on by a fetching bottom or a lovely pair of teats, if you can fall in love again and again, if you can forgive your parents for the crime of bringing you into the world, if you are content to get nowhere, just take each day as it comes, if you can forgive as well as forget, if you can keep from going sour, surly, bitter and cynical, man you've got it half licked.”

    ― Henry Miller, Sextet: Six Essays

  14. #8789
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    “As one whose genius has been duly certified by several dozen learned biographers, I think I may say a word or two on the topic of intellectual summits; which is simply that clarity of thought is a shining point in a vast expanse of unrelieved darkness. Genius is not so much a light as it is a constant awareness of the surrounding gloom, and its typical cowardice is to bathe in its own glow and avoid, as much as possible, looking out beyond its boundary.”

    ― Stanisław Lem, His Master's Voice

  15. #8790
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    “Who doesn't like to be a center for concern? A kind of second childhood falls on so many men. They trade their violence for the promise of a small increase of life span. In effect, the head of the house becomes the youngest child. And I have searched myself for this possibility with a kind of horror.

    For I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I've lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment. I did not want to surrender fierceness for a small gain in yardage. My wife married a man; I saw no reason why she should inherit a baby.

    I knew that ten or twelve thousand miles driving a truck, alone and unattended, over every kind of road, would be hard work, but to me it represented the antidote for the poison of the professional sick man. And in my own life I am not willing to trade quality for quantity. If this projected journey should prove too much then it was time to go anyway. I see too many men delay their exits with a sickly, slow reluctance to leave the stage. It's bad theater as well as bad living.

    I am very fortunate in having a wife who likes men, not elderly babies. Although this last foundation for the journey was never discussed, I am sure she understood it.”

    ― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

  16. #8791
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    “For these reasons, as soon as my age permitted me to pass from under the control of my instructors, I entirely abandoned the study of letters, and resolved no longer to seek any other science than the knowledge of myself, or of the great book of the world. I spent the remainder of my youth in traveling, in visiting courts and armies, in holding intercourse with men of different dispositions and ranks, in collecting varied experience, in proving myself in the different situations into which fortune threw me,”

    ― René Descartes, The Works of Rene Descartes

  17. #8792
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    “She is rotting quietly under her skirts with a melancholy smile, like the odour of violets given off by a decomposing body.”

    ― Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea

  18. #8793
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    "It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the Archbishop had come to see me".



    Anthony Burgess - Earthly Powers

  19. #8794
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    “Do you know I've been sitting here thinking to myself: that if I didn't believe in life, if I lost faith in the woman I love, lost faith in the order of things, were convinced in fact that everything is a disorderly, damnable, and perhaps devil-ridden chaos, if I were struck by every horror of man's disillusionment -- still I should want to live. Having once tasted of the cup, I would not turn away from it till I had drained it!

    At thirty though, I shall be sure to leave the cup even if I've not emptied it, and turn away -- where I don't know. But till I am thirty I know that my youth will triumph over everything -- every disillusionment, every disgust with life. I've asked myself many times whether there is in the world any despair that could overcome this frantic thirst for life. And I've come to the conclusion that there isn't, that is until I am thirty.”

    ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  20. #8795
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    I can win - if the gods are with me. Yes but how much are you prepared to gamble on the gods ?


    "Eeee, young Ian," Old Chen-chen had told him many times, "beware of expecting help from the gods, however much you petition them with god or promises. Gods are gods and gods go out to lunch and sleep and get bored and turn their eyes away. Gods are the same as people: good and bad, lazy and strong, sweet and sour, stupid and wise! Why else are they gods, heya?"

    Page 1093

    James Clavell - Nobel House

  21. #8796
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    More from Clavell...






    ' Richard Kwang beamed. HIs dinner with Venus Poon had been an enormous success. She had worn the new knee-length Christian Dior he had bought for her, black clinging silk and gossamer underneath. When he had seen her get out of his Rolls and come up the steps of the Old Vic his heart had turned over and his Secret Sack had jiggled.




    She had been all smiles at the effect her entrance had on the entire foyer, her chunky gold bracelets glittering, and had insisted on walking up the grand staircase instead of using the elevator. His chest had been tight with suppressed glee and terror. They they had walked through the formal, well groomed diners. European and Chinese, many in evening dress - husbands and wives, tourists and locals, men at business dinners, lovers and would be lovers of all nationalities. He was wearing a new, Saville Row dark suit of the most expensive lightweight cashmere wool. As they
    moved towards the choice table that had cost him a red-100 dollars- he waved to many friends, and groaned inwardly four times as he saw four of his Chinese intimates with their wives, bouffant and overjeweled. The wives had stared at him glassily.




    Richard Kwang shuddered. Wives really are dragons and all the same, he thought. Oh oh oh! And your lies sound false to them even before you've spoken them. He had not gone home yet to face Mai-ling who would have already been told by at least three good friends about Venus Poon. He would let her rant and scream and tear her hair for a while to release her devil wind and would say that enemies had filled her head with bile - how can she listen to such evil women? -and then he would meekly tell her about the full length mink that he had ordered three weeks ago, that he was to collect today in time for her to wear to the races Saturday. Then there would be peace in the house - until the next time.




    He chortled at his acumen in ordering the mink. That he had ordered it for Venus Poon and had, this morning, just an hour ago in the warmth of her embrace, promised it to her tonight so she would wear it to the races on Saturday did not bother him at all.
    It's much too good for the strumpet anyway, he was thinking. That coat cost 40,000HK. I'll get her another one. Ah, perhaps I could find a secondhand one....
    He saw Smiler Ching leering at him. "What?"


    "Venus Poon, heya?"


    "I'm thinking of going into film production and making her a star," he said grandly, proud of the cover story he had invented as part of his excuse to his wife.
    Smiler Ching was impressed. "Eeee, but that's a risky business, heya?"
    "Yes, but there are ways to.... to insure your risk." He winked knowingly.
    "Ayeeyah, you mean a nudie film? Oh! Let me know when you set the production, I might take a point or two. Venus Poon naked! Ayeeyah, all Asia'd pay to see that! What's she like at the pillow?"
    "Perfect now that I've educated her. She was a virgin when I fir-
    "What joss!" Smiler Ching said, then added, "How many times did you scale the Ramparts?"
    "Last night? Three times - each stronger than before!" Richard Kwang leaned forward. "Her Flower Heart's the best I've ever seen. Yes. And her triangle! Lovely silken hair and her inner lips pink and delicate. Eeee, and her Jade Gate...her Jade Gate's really heart-shaped and her 'one square inch' is a perfect oval, pink, fragrant and the Pearl on the Step also pink... " Richard Kwang felt himself beginning to sweat as he remembered how she had spread herself on the sofa and handed him a big magnifying glass.


    "Here," She had said proudly. "Examine the goddess your bald headed monk's about to worship." And he had. Meticulously.
    "The best pillow partner I've ever had," Richard Kwang continued expansively, stretching the truth. "I was thinking about buying her a large diamond ring. Poor Little Mealy Mouth wept this morning when I left the apartment I've given her. She was swearing suicide because she's so in love with me." He used the English word.


    "Eeee, you're a lucky man!" Smiler Ching spoke no English except the words of love. He felt eyes on his back and he glanced around. In the next section of the stands, fifty yards away, slightly above him, was was the foreign devil policeman Big Mountain of Dung, the hated chief of the CID Kowloon. The cold fish eyes were staring at him, binoculars hanging from the mans neck. Ayeeyah, Ching muttered to himself, his mind darting over the various checks and traps and balances that guarded his main source of revenue. ...


    .... Robert Armstrong had noted that Smiler Ching was talking to Banker Kwang and knew surely that the pair were up to no good.....




    Noble House


    Pages 458-460

  22. #8797
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    "By the age of nine, I had a thorough knowledge of contemporary Polish literature as well as of foreign literature in Polish translation, and I began to write poems in honour of a lady of thirty years. Naturally, she knew nothing about them."

    - Wladyslaw Reymont

  23. #8798
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    “A man is lying under machine-gun fire on a street in an embattled city. He looks at the pavement and sees a very amusing sight: the cobblestones are standing upright like the quills of a porcupine. The bullets hitting against their edges displace and tilt them. Such moments in the consciousness of a man judge all poets and philosophers.

    Let us suppose, too, that a certain poet was the hero of the literary cafes, and wherever he went was regarded with curiosity and awe. Yet his poems, recalled in such a moment, suddenly seem diseased and highbrow. The vision of the cobblestones is unquestionably real, and poetry based on an equally naked experience could survive triumphantly that judgment day of man’s illusions.”

    ― Czesław Miłosz, The Captive Mind

  24. #8799
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    “When the ship approached the equator, I stopped going out on deck in the daytime. The sun burned like a flame. The days had shortened and night came swiftly. One moment it was light, the next it was dark. The sun did not set but fell into the water like a meteor. Late in the evening, when I went out briefly, a hot wind slapped my face.

    From the ocean came a roar of passions that seemed to have broken through all barriers:'We must procreate and multiply! We must exhaust all the powers of lust!'

    The waves glowed like lava, and I imagined I could see multitudes of living beings - algae, whales, sea monsters - reveling in an orgy, from the surface to the bottom of the sea. Immortality was the law here. The whole planet raged with animation. At times, I heard my name in the clamor: the spirit of the abyss calling me to join them in their nocturnal dance.”

    ― Isaac Bashevis Singer

  25. #8800
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    “We die to each other daily. What we know of other people is only our memory of the moments during which we knew them. And they have changed since then. To pretend that they and we are the same is a useful and convenient social convention which must sometimes be broken. We must also remember that at every meeting we are meeting a stranger.”

    ― T.S. Eliot, The Cocktail Party

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