Underground Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 116 quotes )
Though I have said that I envy the normal man to the point of exasperation, yet I would not care to be in his place as he is now (though I will not stop envying him. No, no; anyway the underground life is more advantageous!) There, at any rate, one can-- bah! But after all, even now I am lying! I am lying because I know myself as surely as two times two makes four, that it is not at all underground that is better, but something different, quite different, for which I long but which I cannot find! Damn underground!
Oh, yes, we'll be in chains, and there will be no freedom, but then, in our great grief, we will arise once more into joy, without which it's not possible for man to live, or for God to be, for God gives joy, it's his prerogative, a great one...Lord, let man dissolve in prayer! How would I be there underground without God? Rakitin's lying: if God is driven from the earth, we'll meet him underground! It's impossible for a convict to be without God, even more impossible than for a non-convict! And then from the depths of the earth, we, the men underground, will start singing a tragic hymn to God, in who there is joy! Hail to God and his joy! I love him!
Even there, in the mines, underground, I may find a human heart in another convict and murderer by my side, and I may make friends with him, for even there one may live and love and suffer. One may thaw and revive a frozen heart in that convict, one may wait upon him for years, and at last bring up from the dark depths a lofty soul, a feeling, suffering creature; one may bring forth an angel, create a hero! There are so many of them, hundreds of them, and we are all to blame for them. [...] If they drive God from the earth, we shall shelter Him underground.
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (November 11 [O.S. October 30] 1821? February 9 [O.S. January 28] 1881) is considered one of two greatest prose writers of Russian literature, alongside close contemporary Leo Tolstoy. Dostoevsky's works have had a profound and lasting effect on twentieth-century thought and world literature. Dostoevsky's chief ouevre, mainly novels, explore the human psychology in the disturbing political, social and spiritual context of his 19th-century Russian society. Considered by many as a founder or precursor of 20th-century existentialism, his Notes from Underground (1864), written in the anonymous, embittered voice of the Underground Man, is considered by Walter Kaufmann as the "best overture for existentialism ever written." Source: Wikipedia
Clap! Snap! the black crack! Grip, grab! Pinch, nab! And down down to Goblin-town You go, my lad! Clash, crash! Crush, smash! Hammer and tongs! Knocker and gongs! Pound, pound, far underground! Ho, ho! my lad! Swish, smack! Whip crack! Batter and beat! Yammer and bleat! Work, work! Nor dare to shirk, While Goblins quaff, and Goblins laugh, Round and round far underground Below, my lad!
When we relate to our bodies as having soul, we attend to their beauty, their poetry and their expressiveness. Our very habit of treating the body as a machine, whose muscles are like pulleys and its organs engines, forces its poetry underground, so that we experience the body as an instrument and see its poetics only in illness.
You want to know about voting. I'm here to tell you about voting. Imagine you're locked in a huge underground night-club filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pitbulls for fun. And you ain't allowed out until you all vote on what you're going to do tonight. You like to put your feet up and watch "Republican Party Reservation". They like to have sex with normal people using knives, guns, and brand new sexual organs you did not even know existed. So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as your eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades. That's voting. You're welcome.
This story ["The Depressed Person"] was the most painful thing I ever wrote. It's about narcissism, which is a part of depression. The character has traits of myself. I really lost friends while writing on that story, I became ugly and unhappy and just yelled at people. The cruel thing with depression is that it's such a self-centered illness - Dostoevsky shows that pretty good in his "Notes from Underground". The depression is painful, you're sapped/consumed by yourself; the worse the depression, the more you just think about yourself and the stranger and repellent you appear to others.
But it's precisely in this cold, loathsome half-despair, half-belief, in this deliberate burying of yourself underground for forty years out of sheer pain, in this assiduously constructed, and yet somewhat dubious hopelessness, in all this poision of unfulfilled desires turned inward, this fever of vacillations, of resolutions adopted for eternity, and of repentances a moment later that you find the very essence of that strange, sharp pleasure.
The subtlest change in New York is something people don't speak much about but that is in everyone's mind. The city, for the first time in its long history, is destructible. A single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly end this island fantasy, burn the towers, crumble the bridges, turn the underground passages into lethal chambers, cremate the millions. The intimation of mortality is part of New York now: in the sound of jets overhead, in the black headlines of the latest edition. (Written in 1949, 22 years before the World Trade Center was completed.)
The family which takes its mauve an cerise, air-conditioned, power-steered and power-braked automobile out for a tour passes through cities that are badly paved, made hideous by litter, lighted buildings, billboards and posts for wires that should long since have been put underground. They pass on into countryside that has been rendered largely invisible by commercial art. (The goods which the latter advertise have an absolute priority in our value system. Such aesthetic considerations as a view of the countryside accordingly come second. On such matters we are consistent.) They picnic on exquisitely packaged food from a portable icebox by a polluted stream and go on to spend the night at a park which is a menace to public health and morals. Just before dozing off on an air mattress, beneath a nylon tent, amid the stench of decaying refuse, they may reflect vaguely on the curious unevenness of their blessings. Is this, indeed, the American genius?
Here's something else I'd like your opinion about," I said. "If he went back underground and sat down again in the same spot, wouldn't the sudden transition from the sunlight mean that his eyes would be overwhelmed by darkness?" "Certainly," he replied. "Now, the process of adjustment would be quite long this time, and suppose that before his eyes had settled down and while he wasn't seeing well, he had once again to compete against those same old prisoners at identifying those shadows. Would he make a fool of himself? Wouldn't they say that he'd come back from his upward journey with his eyes ruined, and that it wasn't even worth trying to go up there? And would they -- if they could -- grab hold of anyone who tried to set them free and take them up there and kill him?
Then he explains Chinese food in Manhattan to me: 'See the way it works is, there's one central location out on Long Island where all this stuff is made. Then it's piped into the city through a series of underground pipes that run parallel to the train and subway tracks. The restaurants then just pull a lever. One lever for General Tso's chicken, another for beef with broccoli sauce. It's like beer; it's on tap.' It's amazing how convincing he is when he says this. There's no pause in his description, nowhere for him to stop and think, to make this up as he goes along. It's as though he's simply repeating something he read in the Times yesterday. This makes me love him more than I did just five minutes ago.
Cigarettes and Whiskey and Wild, Wild Women" Perhaps I was born kneeling, born coughing on the long winter, born expecting the kiss of mercy, born with a passion for quickness and yet, as things progressed, I learned early about the stockade or taken out, the fume of the enema. By two or three I learned not to kneel, not to expect, to plant my fires underground where none but the dolls, perfect and awful, could be whispered to or laid down to die. Now that I have written many words, and let out so many loves, for so many, and been altogether what I always was— a woman of excess, of zeal and greed, I find the effort useless. Do I not look in the mirror, these days, and see a drunken rat avert her eyes? Do I not feel the hunger so acutely that I would rather die than look into its face? I kneel once more, in case mercy should come in the nick of time.
The song is gone; the danceis secret with the dancers in the earth, the ritual useless, and the tribal storylost in an alien tale. Only the grass stands upto mark the dancing-ring; the apple-gumsposture and mime a past corroboree, murmur a broken chant. The hunter is gone; the spearis splintered underground; the painted bodiesa dream the world breathed sleeping and forgot. The nomad feet are still. Only the rider's hearthalts at a sightless shadow, an unsaid wordthat fastens in the blood of the ancient curse, the fear as old as Cain.
For, like almost everyone else in our country, I started out with my share of optimism. I believed in hard work and progress and action, but now, after first being 'for' society and then 'against' it, I assign myself no rank or any limit, and such an attitude is very much against the trend of the times. But my world has become one of infinite possibilities. What a phrase - still it's a good phrase and a good view of life, and a man shouldn't accept any other; that much I've learned underground. Until some gang succeeds in putting the world in a strait jacket, its definition is possibility.