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Entropy Words
The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.
From Murphy by Samuel Beckett (via thewildernessunderground)
I’m losing the appetite for strangers. Once I would have focused on the excitement, the hazard; now it’s the mess, the bother. Getting your clothes off gracefully, always such an impossibility; thinking up what to say afterward, without setting the echoes going in your head. Worse, the encounter with another set of particularities: the toenails, the ear holes, the nosehairs.
From Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
What we share…may be a lot like a traffic accident, but we do share it. We are survivors, of each other. We have been shark to one another, but also lifeboat. That counts for something.
From Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
It was a distress she’d not felt since childhood when somebody (she’d forgotten who) had taught her the trick of looking at infinity by putting two mirrors face to face, each staring into the other’s reflection. She’d been twelve, thirteen at most, and completely spooked by the idea of this emptiness echoing emptiness, back and forth, back and forth, until they reached the limits of light. For years after she’d remembered that moment, confronted with a physical representation of something her mind revolted at.
From The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker 
I feel lighter, as if I’m shedding matter, losing molecules, calcium from my bones, cells from my blood; as if I’m shrinking, as if I’m filling with cold air, or gently falling snow.
From Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn’t crying for him at all, but for the things he did. I cried because he would never do them again, he would never carve another piece of wood or help us raise doves and pigeons in the backyard or play the violin the way he did, or tell us jokes the way he did. He was part of us and when he died, all the actions stopped dead and there was no one to do them the way he did. He was individual. He was an important man. I’ve never gotten over his death. Often I think what wonderful carvings never came to birth because he died. How many jokes are missing from the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands? He shaped the world. He did things to the world. The world was bankrupted of ten million fine actions the night he passed on.
From Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (via larmoyante)
We all need someone to look at us. We can be divided into four categories according to the kind of look we wish to live under. The first category longs for the look of an infinite number of anonymous eyes, in other words, for the look of the public. The second category is made up of people who have a vital need to be looked at by many known eyes. They are the tireless hosts of cocktail parties and dinners. They are happier than the people in the first category, who, when they lose their public, have the feeling that the lights have gone out in the room of their lives. This happens to nearly all of them sooner or later. People in the second category, on the other hand, can always come up with the eyes they need. Then there is the third category, the category of people who need to be constantly before the eyes of the person they love. Their situation is as dangerous as the situation of people in the first category. One day the eyes of their beloved will close, and the room will go dark. And finally there is the fourth category, the rarest, the category of people who live in the imaginary eyes of those who are not present. They are the dreamers.
From The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (via thewilderness underground)
Everybody gets told to write about what they know. The trouble with many of us is that at the earlier stages of life we think we know everything- or to put it more usefully, we are often unaware of the scope and structure of our ignorance.
From Slow Learner: Early Stories by Thomas Pynchon
Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness,” “joy,” or “regret.” Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic traincar constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster.” Or: the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.” I’d like to show how “intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members” connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.” I’d like to have a word for “the sadness inspired by failing restaurants” as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.” I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever.
From Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (via glitteringinstrument)
From The Great and Secret Show
Hotchkiss: There's a whole world...about which we know next to nothing. And it's changing all the time. Sure, there's rivers, but there's a good deal else besides. Whole species that never see the sun.
Grillo: Doesn't sound like much fun.
Hotchkiss: They accommodate, as we all do. They live with their limitations. We're all of us living on a fault line, after all, which could open up at any moment. We accommodate that.
Ammu…peered down the road to Age and Death…It wasn’t what lay at the end of her road that frightened Ammu as much as the nature of the road itself. No milestones marked its progress. No trees grew along it. No dappled shadows shaded it. No mists rolled over it. No birds circled it. No twists, no turns or hairpin bends obscured even momentarily her clear view of the end. This filled Ammu with an awful dread, because she was not the kind of woman who wanted her future told. She dreaded it too much. So if she were granted one small wish, perhaps it would only have been Not to Know. Not to know what each day held in store for her. Not to know where she might be, next month, next year. Ten years on. Not to know which way her road might turn and what lay beyond the bend.
From The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
He [psychiatrist] asked the question they all ask. “Why do you feel that you need narcotics, Mr. Lee?”
When you hear this question you can be sure that the man who asks it knows nothing about junk.
“I need it to get out of bed in the morning, to shave and eat breakfast.”
“I mean psychically.”
I shrugged. Might as well give him his diagnosis so he will go. “It’s a good kick.”
From Junky by William S. Burroughs
Male fantasies, male fantasies, is everything run by male fantasies? Up on a pedestal or down on your knees, it’s all a male fantasy: that you’re strong enough to take what they dish out, or else too weak to do anything about it. Even pretending you aren’t catering to male fantasies is a male fantasy: pretending you’re unseen, pretending you have a life of your own, that you can wash your feet and comb your hair unconscious of the ever-present watcher peering through the keyhole, peering through the keyhole in your own head, if nowhere else. You are a woman with a man inside watching a woman. You are your own voyeur.
From The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood (via monkeyknifefight)
Weed does not inspire anyone to commit crimes. I have never seen anyone get nasty under the influence of weed….I cannot understand why the people who claim weed causes crimes do not follow through and demand the outlawing of alcohol. Every day, crimes are committed by drunks who would not have committed the crime sober.
From Junky by William S. Burroughs
You become a narcotics addict because you do not have strong motivations in any other direction. Junk wins by default.
From Junky by William S. Burroughs