If, as C. S. Lewis claimed, the old gods die to faith but rise as allegory, then old myths die to religion but rise as fantasy.
Anne Carson, Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides
I have sea foam in my veins, I understand the language of waves.
- Jean Cocteau, from Le Testament d’Orphée (Les Éditions Cinégraphiques, 1960)
We can be terrified of this much love together.
- roxane gay, an untamed state
Is it better to out-monster the monster or to be quietly devoured?
- Friedrich Nietzsche
All the literati keep at least one imaginary friend.
MICHAEL: I do think you're pretty, Natalie. Something must be holding me back.
NATALIE: How many girls have you kissed?
MICHAEL: Four. Oh, you mean not counting my sisters?
Natalie impulsively kisses him passionately on the mouth.
NATALIE: Your sisters are frustrating your natural, vigorous...you know.
NATALIE: They've made you see yourself as they see you—only as a girl's brother.
NATALIE: It's because of their limited progress in transcending their objective reality.
MICHAEL: (enlightened) Well, no wonder!
The people won’t forgive when the future custodian of a broken statue, a stripped wall, a desecrated grave, tells everyone who passes by, ‘Yes-yes, all this was destroyed by the revolution.’ The destroyers wear nihilism like a cockade — they think they destroy because they’re radicals. But they destroy because they’re disappointed conservatives — let down by the ancient dream of a perfect society where circles are squared and conflict is cancelled out. But there is no such place and Utopia is its name. So until we stop killing our way towards it, we won’t be grown up as human beings. Our meaning is in how we live in an imperfect world, in our time. We have no other.
Tom Stoppard, Salvage (Coast of Utopia Trilogy)
i re-read The Coast of Utopia today and, just, Stoppard’s non-Arcadia and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern works are so underappreciated on tumblr and i would like to try and rectify that.
(i may or may not’ve been specifically looking for this quote for a reason related to something i’m writing for shakespeareandpunk but shhhhh don’t tell her)
The entire catastrophe of being a poet is that, after the fact, everything will be too eerily coincidental: the fact that the fire could not and would not light; the fact that the kindling flamed fast only to extinguish itself; the fact that the bed sheets were two sizes too small; the suggestion the doves gave of not being able to roost, of having to move on again. And later, some evening without a fire, when the poet writes it down, as she will and as she must, the other more obvious metaphors of lameness, impotence, shame, and weariness: the thunderstorm that was not as tormenting as the weatherman said it would be; that we could not, try as we might, properly row our boat to shore; the same storm’s lightning felling the old sycamore to cinders and ash; the sound of a train in the distance; the over-used view of the moon caught between branches. And so, the entire catastrophe of the poet is the conspiracy of the world, how everything can be read yet how the poem the poet writes regarding this written world will never be read by the one for whom it is intended. The bridegroom after all is not ready, will not tear through the scenery, does not have a musical mating call. And when the snow storm comes late in spring and gathers in clumps in your windows and doorframe, and you know the wisteria is suffering some other kind of forbearance, then you will know what this means: a metaphor for another kind of demystifying; another kind of premature parting; the beginning of solitude and other such things.
they called her witch because she knew how to heal herself.
- Here We Are, Reflections of A God Gone Mad (2nd edition)
If I cannot move Heaven, I will raise Hell.
Sophie’s teeth chattered, but she said proudly: “He’s the best wizard in Ingary or anywhere else. If he’d only had time, he would have defeated that djinn. And he’s sly and selfish and vain as a peacock and cowardly, and you can’t pin him down to anything.”
“Indeed?” asked Abdullah. “Strange that you should speak so proudly such a list of vices, most loving of ladies.”
“What do you mean, vices?” Sophie asked angrily. “I was just describing Howl.”
Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, to rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts.
- salman rushdie, as quoted by anne bogart in what’s the story: essays about art, theater, and storytelling
Anne Carson, Antigonick
I am Ophelia. The one the river didn’t keep. The woman dangling from the rope. The women with her arteries cut open. The woman with the overdose. SNOW ON HER LIPS. The woman with her head in the gas stove. Yesterday I stopped killing myself. I’m alone with my breasts my thighs my womb. I smash the tools of my captivity, the chair the table the bed. I destroy the battlefield that was my home. I fling open the doors so the wind gets in and the scream of the world. I smash the window. With my bleeding hands I tear the photos of the men I loved and who tied me on the bed on the table on the chair on the ground. I set fire to my prison. I throw my clothes into the fire. I wrench the clock that was my heart out of my breast. I walk into the street clothed in my blood.
—Hamletmachine, Heiner Muller