Tropic of Cancer: SFW Quotes

18 Oct

Despite what my review suggested, it’s actually pretty easy to find quotes in Tropic of Cancer that wouldn’t draw the attention of the Parents Television Council (or whatever the book version of them is.)

“When into the womb of time everything is again withdrawn, chaos will be restored and chaos is the score upon which reality is written.”

“For a hundred years or more the world, our world, has been dying. And not one man, in these last hundred years or so, has been crazy enough to put a bomb up the asshole of creation and set it off.”

“New York makes even a rich man feel his unimportance. New York is cold, glittering, malign.  The buildings dominate.  There is a sort of atomic frenzy to the activity going on; the more furious the pace, the more diminished the spirit.  A constant ferment, but it might just as well be going on in a test tube.  Nobody knows what it’s all about.  Nobody directs the energy.  Stupendous. Bizarre.  Baffling.  A tremendous reactive urge, but absolutely uncoordinated.”

“On the meridian of time there is no injustice: there is only the poetry of motion creating the illusion of truth and drama.  If at any moment anywhere one comes face to face with the absolute, that great sympathy which makes men like Gautama and Jesus seem divine freezes away; the monstrous thing is not that men have created roses out of this dung heap, but that, for some reason or other, they should want roses.  For some reason or other man looks for the miracle, and to accomplish it he will wade through blood.  He will debauch himself with ideas, he will reduce himself to a shadow if for only one second of his life he can close his eyes to the hideousness of reality.  Everything is endured—disgrace, humiliation, poverty, war, crime, ennui—in the belief that overnight something will occur, a miracle, which will render life tolerable.”

“The cradles of civilization are the putrid sinks of the world, the charnel houses to which the stinking wombs confide their bloody packages of flesh and bone.”

“It’s best to keep America always in the background, a sort of picture post card which you look at in a weak moment. Like that, you imagine it’s always there waiting for you, unchanged, unspoiled, a big patriotic open space with cows and sheep and tenderhearted men ready to bugger everything in sight, man, woman or beast.  It doesn’t exist, America.  It’s a name you give to an abstract idea…”

“When I see the figures of men and women moving listlessly behind their prison walls, sheltered, secluded for a few brief hours, I am appalled by the potentialities for drama that are still contained in these feeble bodies.”

“There’s something obscene in this love of the past which ends in breadlines and dugouts.  Something obscene about this spiritual racket which permits an idiot to sprinkle holy water over Big Berthas and dreadnoughts and high explosives. Every man with a bellyful of the classics is an enemy to the human race.”

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