Life's only choosing when to die. Life's a big postponement because the choice is so difficult. It's a tremendous relief not to have to choose.
People don't want to know. They have to be made to know. Whether they act on what they know is up to them. But they have to know.
You got shook and shook till there was nothing left. You lost your name and your body and your self and you just didn't care.
You have no cause to grumble boy. You made your choice and all this is a consequence of your choice. Whatever now ensues is what you yourself have chosen.
And now, talking of praying, I realise sadly that there will be little point in praying for you. You are passing now to a region where you will be beyond the reach of the power of prayer.
The sweetest and most heavenly of activities partake in some measure of violence - the act of love, for instance; music, for instance. You must take your chance, boy. The choice has been all yours.
And yet, in a sense, in choosing to be deprived of the ability to make an ethical choice, you have in a sense really chosen the good.
What does God want? Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses the bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?
You can viddy that everything in this wicked world counts. You can pony that one thing always leads to another. Right right right.
The thrill of theft, of violence, the urge to live easy - is it worth it when we have undeniable proof, yes, yes, incontrovertible evidence that hell exists?
In a story you had to find a reason, but real life gets on very well without even Freudian motivations.
The modern State, whether in a totalitarian or a democratic country, has far too much power, and we are probably right to fear it.
But when the social entity grows large, becomes a megalopolis, a state, a federation, then the governing machine grows remote, impersonal, even inhuman. It takes money from us for purposes we do not seem to sanction; it treats us as abstract statistics; it controls an army; it supports a police force whose function does not always appear to be protective.
Look, I don't see why bad artists - I mean artists who are obviously incompetent... - why they should be presented hypocritically as good artists just because they're supposed to be advancing the frontiers of freedom of expression or... ...demonstrating that there should be no limit on subject matter.
A work of art is somehow organic, and to slash a painting or smash a statue is not just an offence against property: it is an offence against life.
Perhaps, all these years, the historiographers had been unwilling to recognize history as a spiral, perhaps because a spiral was so difficult to describe. Easier to photograph the spiral from the top, easier to flatten the spring into a coil.
What sort of world is it at all? Men on the moon and men spinning round the earth like it might be midges round a lamp, and there's not no attention paid to earthly law nor order no more.
My son, my son. When I had my son I would explain all that to him when he was starry enough to like understand. But then I knew he would not understand or would not want to understand at all and would do all the veshches I had done, yes perhaps even killing some poor starry forella surrounded with mewing kots and koshkas, and I would not be able to really stop him. And nor would he be able to stop his own son, brothers. And so it would itty on to like the end of the world...
Self-interest, fear of physical pain, drove him to that grotesque act of self-abasement. Its insincerity was clearly to be seen. He ceases to be a wrongdoer. He ceases also to be a creature capable of moral choice.
The heresy of an age of reason,' or some such slovos [words]. 'I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.
You're a romantic,” said Crabbe. “You expect too much. Reality's always dull, you know, but when we see that it's all there is, well-it miraculously ceases to be dull.
A perverse nature can be stimulated by anything. Any book can be used as a pornographic instrument, even a great work of literature if the mind that so uses it is off-balance. I once found a small boy masturbating in the presence of the Victorian steel-engraving in a family Bible.
They were like waking up to what was being done to their malenky persons and saying that they wanted to go home and like I was a wild beast. They looked like they had been in some big bitva, as indeed they had, and were all bruised and pouty. Well, if they would not go to school they must have there education. And education they had had.
You've sinned, I suppose, but your punishment has been out of all proportion. They have turned you into something other than a human being. You have no power of choice any longer. You are committed to socially acceptable acts, a little machine capable only of good. And I see that clearly - that business about marginal conditionings. Music and the sexual act, literature and art, all must be a source now not of pleasure but of pain.
A work of fiction should be, for its author, a journey into the unknown, and the prose should convey the difficulties of the journey.