Thomas Pynchon Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 211 quotes)
Facts are but the Play-things of lawyers,-- Tops and Hoops, forever a-spin... Alas, the Historian may indulge no such idle Rotating. History is not Chronology, for that is left to Lawyers,-- nor is it Remembrance, for Remembrance belongs to the People. History can as little pretend to the Veracity of the one, as claim the Power of the other,-- her Practitioners, to survive, must soon learn the arts of the quidnunc, spy, and Taproom Wit,-- that there may ever continue more than one life-line back into a Past we risk, each day, losing our forebears in forever,-- not a Chain of single Links, for one broken Link could lose us All,-- rather, a great disorderly Tangle of Lines, long and short, weak and strong, vanishing into the Mnemonick Deep, with only their Destination in common.
The magic in these Masonic rituals is very, very old. And way back in those days, it worked. As time went on, and it started being used for spectacle, to consolidate what were only secular appearances of power, it began to lose its zip. But the words, moves, and machinery have been more or less faithfully carried down over the millennia, through the grim rationalizing of the World, and so the magic is still there, though latent, needing only to touch the right sensitive head to reassert itself.
Dream tonight of peacock tails,Diamond fields and spouter whales.Ills are many, blessings few,But dreams tonight will shelter you.Let the vampire's creaking wingHide the stars while banshees sing;Let the ghouls gorge all night long;Dreams will keep you safe and strong.Skeletons with poison teeth,Risen from the world beneath,Ogre, troll, and loup-garou,Bloody wraith who looks like you,Shadow on the window shade,Harpies in a midnight raid,Goblins seeking tender prey,Dreams will chase them all away.Dreams are like a magic cloakWoven by the fairy folk,Covering from top to toe,Keeping you from winds and woe.And should the Angel come this nightTo fetch your soul away from light,Cross yourself, and face the wall:Dreams will help you not at all.
Damned Beaver/Jeremy is the War, he is every assertion the fucking War has ever made--that we are meant for work and government, for austerity: and these shall take priority over love, dreams, the spirit, the senses and the other second-class trivia that are found among the idle and mindless hours of the day....Damn them, they are wrong. They are insane.
It was not an act of treason, nor possibly even of defiance. But it was a calculated withdrawal, from the life of the Republic, from its machinery. Whatever else was being denied them out of hate, indifference to the power of their vote, loopholes, simple ignorance, this withdrawal was their own, unpublicized, private. Since they could not have withdrawn into a vacuum (could they?), there had to exist the separate, silent, unsuspected world.
There is also the story about Tyrone Slothrop, who was sent into the Zone to be present as his own assembley--perhaps heavily paranoid voices whisper, 'his time's assembley'--and there ought to be a punchline to it, but there isn't. The plan went wrong. He is being broken down instead and being scattered. His cards have been laid down, Celtic style, in the order suggested by Mr. A.E. Waite, laid out and read, but they are the cards of a tanker and feeb: they point only to a long and scuffling future, to mediocrity...-to no clear happiness or redeeming cataclysm.
I think that there is a terrible possibility now, in the World. We may not brush it away, we must look at it. It is possible that They will not die. That it is now within the state of Their art to go on forever - though we, of course, will keep dying as we always have. Death has been the source of Their power. It was easy enough for us to see that. If we are here once, only once, then clearly we are here to take what we can while we may. If They have taken much more, and taken not only from Earth but also from us - well, why begrudge Them, when they’re just as doomed to die as we are? All in the same boat, all under the same shadow … yes … yes. But is that really true? Or is it the best, and the most carefully propagated, of all Their lies, known and unknown? We have to carry on under the possibility that we die only because They want us to: because They need our terror for Their survival.
He gazes through sunlight's buttresses, back down the refectory at the others, wallowing in their plenitude of bananas, thick palatals of their hunger lost somewhere in the stretch of morning between them and himself. A hundred miles of it, so suddenly. Solitude, even among the meshes of this war, can when it wishes so take him by the blind gut and touch, as now, possessively. Pirate's again some other side of a window, watching strangers eat breakfast.
the only way clear of the cool/crazy flipflop was obviously slow, frustrating and hard work. Love with your mouth shut, help without breaking your ass or publicizing it: keep cool, but care. He might have known, if he'd used any common sense. It didn't come as a revelation, only something he'd as soon not've admitted.
She looked down a slope, needing to squint for the sunlight, onto a vast sprawl of houses which had grown up all together, like a well-tended crop, from the dull brown earth; and she thought of the time she’d opened a transistor radio to replace a battery and seen her first printed circuit. The ordered swirl of houses and streets, from this high angle, sprang at her now with the same unexpected, astonishing clarity as the circuit card had. Though she knew even less about radios than about Southern Californians, there were to both outward patterns a hieroglyphic sense of concealed meaning, of an intent to communicate. There’d seemed no limit to what the printed circuit could have told her (if she had tried to find out); so in her first minute of San Narciso, a revelation also trembled just past the threshold of her understanding.
He gets back to the Casino just as big globular raindrops, thick as honey, begin to splat into giant asterisks on the pavement, inviting him to look down at the bottom of the text of the day, where footnotes will explain all. He isn't about to look. Nobody ever said a day has to be juggled into any kind of sense at day's end. He just runs. Rain grows in wet crescendo. His footfalls send up fine flowers of water, hanging a second behind his flight.
...part of me must have really wanted to believe--like a child hearing, in perfect safety, a tale of horror--that the unconscious would be like any other room, once the light was let in. That the dark shapes would resolve only into toy horses and Biedermeyer furniture. That therapy could tame it after all, bring it into society with no fear of its someday reverting. I wanted to believe, despite everything my life had been. Can you imagine?
But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the parabola. They must have guessed, once or twice -- guessed and refused to believe -- that everything, always, collectively, had been moving toward that purified shape latent in the sky, that shape of no surprise, no second chance, no return. Yet they do move forever under it, reserved for its own black-and-white bad news certainly as if it were the rainbow, and they its children. . . .
MARG: You are so close. STEN: To whom? Margravine, not even to himself. This place, this island: all his life he's done nothing but hop from island to island. Is that a reason? Does there have to be a reason? Shall he tell you: he works for no Whitehall, non conceivable unless, ha, ha, the network of white halls in his own brain: these featureless corridors he keeps swept and correct for occasional visiting agents.