Sunday, June 06, 2004

"I'd begun to realise that there was an unspoken prejudice among book-learned people, a secret conviction they all seemed to share, that life as we know it is an imperfect vision of reality, and that only art, like a pair of reading glasses, can correct it. The scholars and intellectuals I met at our dinner-table always seemed to hold a grudge against the world. They could never quite reconcile themselves that our lives don't follow the dramatic arc that a good author gives to a great literary character. Only in accidents of pure perfection does the world actually become a stage. And that, they seemed to think, was a shame."
- The Rule of Four, Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason
"Yes," he continued, "that is one of the great secrets of life. Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes."

~Oscar Wilde,The Picture of Dorian Gray
And this was perhaps the first time in my life that death occurred to me as a reality. I thought of the people before me who had looked down at the river and gone to sleep beneath it. I wondered about them. I wondered how they had done it--it, the physical act. I had thought of suicide when I was much younger, as, possibly, we all have, but then it would have been for revenge, it would have been my way of informing the world how awfully it had made me suffer. But the silence of the evening, as I wandered home, had nothing to do with that storm, that far-off boy. I simply wondered about the dead because their days had ended and I did not know how I would get through mine.
-James Baldin, Giovanni's Room