Leper Quotes (displaying: 1 - 29 of 29 quotes )
For centuries, as pope and emperor tore each other apart in their quarrels over power, the excluded went on living on the fringe, like lepers, of whom true lepers are only the illustration ordained by God to make us understand this wondrous parable, so that in saying 'lepers' we would understand 'outcast, poor, simple, excluded, uprooted from the countryside, humiliated in the cities.' But we did not understand; the mystery of leprosy has continued to haunt us because we have not recognized the nature of the sign.
Once leprosy had gone, and the figure of the leper was no more than a distant memory, these structures still remained. The game of exclusion would be played again, often in these same places, in an oddly similar fashion two or three centuries later. The role of the leper was to be played by the poor and by the vagrant, by prisoners and by the 'alienated', and the sort of salvation at stake for both parties in this game of exclusion is the matter of this study.
Everyone contributed to this legend except Phineas. At the outset, with the attempt on Hitler’s life, Finny had said, “If someone gave Leper a loaded gun and put it at Hitler’s temple, he’d miss.” There was a general shout of outrage, and then we recommended the building of Leper’s triumphal arch around Brinker’s keystone. Phineas took no part in it, and since little else was talked about in the Butt Room he soon stopped going there and stopped me from going as well—”How do you expect to be an athlete if you smoke like a forest fire?” He drew me increasingly away from the Butt Room crowd, away from Brinker and Chet and all other friends, into a world inhabited by just himself and me, where there was no war at all, just Phineas and me alone among all the people of the world, training for the Olympics of 1944.
That was my first instinct -- to protect him. It never occurred to me that there was a greater need to protect myself. Innocence always calls mutely for protection when we would be so much wiser to guard ourselves against it: innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm.
An odd by-product of my loss is that I’m aware of being an embarrassment to everyone I meet. At work, at the club, in the street, I see people, as they approach me, trying to make up their minds whether they’ll ‘say something about it’ or not. I hate it if they do, and if they don’t. Some funk it altogether. R. has been avoiding me for a week. I like best the well brought-up young men, almost boys, who walk up to me as if I were a dentist, turn very red, get it over, and then edge away to the bar as quickly as they decently can. Perhaps the bereaved ought to be isolated in special settlements like lepers.
New York! The white prisons, the sidewalks swarming with maggots, the breadlines, the opium joints that are built like palaces, the kikes that are there, the lepers, the thugs, and above all, the ennui, the monotony of faces, streets, legs, houses, skyscrapers, meals, posters, jobs, crimes, loves... A whole city erected over a hollow pit of nothingness. Meaningless. Absolute meaningless.
The White Goddess. All saints revile her, and all sober men. Ruled by the God Apollo's golden mean -In scorn of which we sailed to find her. In distant regions likeliest to hold her. Whom we desired above all things to know, Sister of the mirage and echo. It was a virtue not to stay, To go our headstrong and heroic way. Seeking her out at the volcano's head, Among pack ice, or where the track had faded. Beyond the cavern of the seven sleepers: Whose broad high brow was white as any leper's, Whose eyes were blue, with rowan-berry lips, With hair curled honey-coloured to white hips. The sap of Spring in the young wood a-stir. Will celebrate with green the Mother, And every song-bird shout awhile for her; But we are gifted, even in November. Rawest of seasons, with so huge a sense. Of her nakedly worn magnificence. We forget cruelty and past betrayal, Heedless of where the next bright bolt may fall.
B-but, Mr Jimson, I w-want to be an artist.''Of course you do,' I said, 'everybody does once. But they get over it, thank God, like the measles and the chickenpox. Go home and go to bed and take some hot lemonade and put on three blankets and sweat it out.''But Mr J-Jimson, there must be artists.''Yes, and lunatics and lepers, but why go and live in an asylum before you're sent for? If you find life a bit dull at home,' I said, 'and want to amuse yourself, put a stick of dynamite in the kitchen fire, or shoot a policeman. Volunteer for a test pilot, or dive off Tower Bridge with five bob's worth of roman candles in each pocket. You'd get twice the fun at about one-tenth of the risk.
Up to the present man has hardly cultivated sympathy at all. He has merely sympathy with pain, and sympathy with pain is not the highest form of sympathy. All sympathy is fine, but sympathy with suffering is the least fine mode. It is tainted with egotism. It is apt to become morbid. There is in it a certain element of terror for our own safety. We become afraid that we ourselves might be as the leper or as the blind, and that no man would have care of us. It is curiously limiting, too. One should sympathise with the entirety of life, not with life's sores and maladies merely, but with life's joy and beauty and energy and health and freedom.
Pacing back and forth now on the spur of his conflicting needs, Covenant growled, "Baradakas said just about the same thing. By hell! You people terrify me. When I try to be responsible, you pressure me -- and when I collapse you -- You're not asking the right questions. You don't have the vaguest notion of what a leper is, and it doesn't even occur to you to inquire. _That's_ why Foul chose me for this. Because I can't-- Damnation! Why don't you ask me about where I come from? I've got to tell you. The world I come from doesn't allow anyone to live except on its own terms. Those terms-- those terms contradict yours."What are its terms?" the High Lord asked carefully."That your world is a dream."
The truly solitary being is not the man who is abandoned by men, but the man who suffers in their midst, who drags his desert through the marketplace and deploys his talents as a smiling leper, a mountebank of the irreparable. The great solitaries were happy in the old days, knew nothing of duplicity, had nothing to hide: they conversed only with their own solitude.
When I was 17, I went to India for six weeks and had what, at the time, was a very challenging trip. You walk down the street and you see lepers and beggars, and there were several of us, a group of Americans. I remember we were just trying to park one night somewhere and people were just sleeping in the parking lot.