Pivotal Quotes (displaying: 1 - 10 of 21 quotes )
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.
He did. He researched her. Someone told him that she had a special interest in John Milton. It did not take long to discover the century to which this man belonged. A third-year literature student in Bear?s college who owed him a favor (for procuring tickets to a Cream concert) gave him an hour on Milton, what to read, what to think. He read?Comu? and was astounded by its silliness. He read through?Lycidas??Samson Agonistes? and?Il Penseros? stilted and rather prissy in parts, he thought. He fared better with?Paradise Los? and, like many before him, preferred Sata?s party to Go?s. He, Beard, that is, memorized passages that appeared to him intelligent and especially sonorous. He read a biography, and four essays that he had been told were pivotal. The reading took him one long week. He came close to being thrown out of an antiquarian bookshop in the Turl when he casually asked for a first edition of?Paradise Lost? He tracked down a kindly tutor who knew about buying old books and confided to him that he wanted to impress a girl with a certain kind of present, and was directed to a bookshop in Covent Garden where he spent half a ter?s money on an eighteenth-century edition of?Areopagitica? When he speed-read it on the train back to Oxford, one of the pages cracked in two. He repaired it with Sellotape.
Imagine you are sitting down in a chair and on a screen before you you are shown a bloody, ripping film of yourself undergoing surgery. The surgery saved your life. It was pivotal in making you you. But you don't remember it. Or do you? Do we understand the events that make us who we are? Do we ever understand the factors that make us do the things we do? When we sleep at night - when we walk across a field and see a tree full of sleeping birds - when we tell small lies to our friends - when we make love - what acts of surgery are happening to our souls - what damage and healing and shock are we going through that we will never be able to fathom? What films are generated that we will never be shown?