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Globalization makes it impossible for modern societies to collapse in isolation, as did Easter Island and the Greenland Norse in the past. Any society in turmoil today, no matter how remote ... can cause trouble for prosperous societies on other continents and is also subject to their influence (whether helpful or destabilizing). For the first time in history, we face the risk of a global decline. But we also are the first to enjoy the opportunity of learning quickly from developments in societies anywhere else in the world today, and from what has unfolded in societies at any time in the past. That's why I wrote this book.
Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps . . . perhaps . . . love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.
The night is always old. He'd walked too often down dark streets in the secret hours and felt the night stretching away, and known in his blood that while days and kings and empires come and g, the night is always the same age, always aeons deep. Terrors unfolded in the velvet shadows and while the nature of the talons may change, the nature of the beast does not.
It was the pivotal teaching of Pluthero Quexos, the most celebrated dramatist of the Second Dominion, that in any fiction, no matter how ambitious its scope or profound its theme, there was only ever room for three players. Between warring kings, a peacemaker; between adoring spouses, a seducer or a child. Between twins, the spirit of the womb. Between lovers, Death. Greater numbers might drift through the drama, of course -- thousands in fact -- but they could only ever be phantoms, agents, or, on rare occasions, reflections of the three real and self-willed beings who stood at the center. And even this essential trio would not remain intact; or so he taught. It would steadily diminish as the story unfolded, three becoming two, two becoming one, until the stage was left deserted.
Maybe I can put it another way... Life, Charlie Brown, is like a deck chair."Like a what?"Have you ever been on a cruise ship? Passengers open up these canvas deck chairs so they can sit in the sun... Some people place their chairs facing the rear of the ship so they can see where they've been... Other people face their chairs forward... They want to see where they're going! On the cruise ship of life, Charlie Brown, which way is your deck chair facing?"I've never been able to get one unfolded...
Chris Claremont once said of Alan Moore, "if he could plot, we'd all have to get together and kill him." Which utterly misses the most compelling part of Alan's writing, the way he develops and expresses ideas and character. Plot does not define story. Plot is the framework within which ideas are explored and personalities and relationships are unfolded.
I was no conscious chronicler or witness of the events that unfolded in those times. Surely you understand. You must understand. Do you look thousands of years into the future? Do you measure what's happening to you now by what may matter a thousand years hence? I was stumbling and lurching, groping and from time to time drowning, as any man might.
The fight unfolded like background noise. White noise. In the foreground, even with his ghastly pale face looking dead in my hands, my fingers clenching his ragged hair, all I could see was random images of Fang, not dead. Fang telling me stupid fart jokes from the dog crate next to mine at the school, trying to make me laugh. Fang asleep at Jeb's old house, and me jumping wildly on his bed to wake him up. Him pretending to be asleep. Me laughing when I "accidentally" kicked him where it counts. Him dumping me off the bed. Fang gagging on my first attempt at cooking dinner after Jeb disappeared. Him spitting out the mac and cheese. Me dumping the rest of the bowl on him in response. Fang on the beach, that first time he was badly injured. Me realizing how I felt about him. Fang kissing me. So close I couldn't even see his dark eyes anymore. The first time. The second time. The third. I could always remember each and every one of them. Would always remember them. Fang. Not. Dead.
Two mornings later, entering her daughter’s room, Kate was struck by the flatness of the bed, and then by the sight of a folded paper laid dead centre of the untenanted pillow. Unfolded, it proved to be a witty and delightfully-written apology from her daughter for upsetting the household, coupled with the information that, having some business of vital importance to transact north of the Border in the immediate future, she had taken the liberty of leaving for a few days without permission, as she just knew that Kate would make a fuss and stop her. She would be back directly with some heather, and Kate was not to worry and not to speak to any strange men. She had, Philippa concluded, taken Cheese-wame Henderson with her: thus becoming the only known fugitive to persuade her bodyguard to run away, too. It was a typical Somerville letter, and in other circumstances Kate no doubt would have been charmed by the spelling alone. As it was, she roused the neighbourhood for ten miles around, and there was no able-bodied Englishman within reach of Flaw Valleys who slept in his own bed that night or the next.
, I found the whole modern world talking scientific fatalism; saying that everything is as it must alwayshave been, being unfolded without fault from the beginning. The leaf on the tree is green because it couldnever have been anything else. Now, the fairy-tale philosopher is glad that the leaf is green precisely becauseit might have been scarlet. He feels as if it had turned green an instant before he looked at it.
I didn't think i could possibly love another baby as much as I loved the one I'd already had," I continue. "But the strangest thing happened when I held you for the first time. It was like my heart suddenly unfolded. Like there was this secret space I didn't even know existed, and there was room for both of you." I stare at her. "Once my feelings were stretched like that, there was no going back. Without you, it just would have felt empty.
It was the cool gray dawn, and there was a delicious sense of repose and peace in the deep pervading calm and silence of the woods. Not a leaf stirred; not a sound obtruded upon great Nature's meditation [...] Gradually the cool dim gray of the morning whitened, and as gradually sounds multiplied and life manifested itself. The marvel of Nature shaking off sleep and going to work unfolded itself to the musing boy [...] All Nature was wide awake and stirring, now; long lances of sunlight pierced down through the dense foliage far and near, and a few butterflies came fluttering upon the scene.
We were green: we ripened and grew golden. The Sea terrified us: we learned how to drown. Squat and earthbound, we unfolded huge wings. We started sober: are love's startled drunkards. You hide me in your cloak of nothingness. Reflect my ghost in your glass of being. I am nothing, yet appear: transparent dream. Where your eternity briefly trembles.
Matthew had sheepishly unfolded the dress from its paper swathings and held it out with a deprecatory glance at Marilla, who feigned to be contemptuously filling the teapot, but nevertheless watched the scene out of the corner of her eye with a rather interested air. Anne took the dress and looked at it in reverent silence. Oh, how pretty it was--a lovely soft brown gloria with all the gloss of silk; a skirt with dainty frills and shirrings; a waist elaborately pintucked in the most fashinable way, with a little ruffle of filmy lace at the neck. But the sleeves--they were the crowning glory! Long elbow cuffs, and above them two beautiful puffs divided by rows of shirring and bows of brown-silk ribbon.
I watched bulls bred to cows, watched mares foal, I saw life come from the egg and the multiplicative wonders of mudholes and ponds, the jell and slime of life shimmering in gravid expectation. Everywhere I looked, life sprang from something not life, insects unfolded from sacs on the surface of still waters and were instantly on prowl for their dinner, everything that came into being knew at once what to do and did it, unastonished that it was what it was, unimpressed by where it was, the great earth heaving up bloodied newborns from every pore, every cell, bearing the variousness of itself from every conceivable substance which it contained in itself, sprouting life that flew or waved in the wind or blew from the mountains or stuck to the damp black underside of rocks, or swam or suckled or bellowed or silently separated in two.