Gene Wolfe Famous Quotes & Sayings

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100 Gene Wolfe Famous Sayings, Quotes and Quotation.

Gene Wolfe Sayings: There is no magic. There is only knowledge, more or less hidden. There is no magic. There is only knowledge, more or less hidden.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: Do you not believe that you deserve to die painfully?" "By the revolutionary," I said, Do you not believe that you deserve to die painfully?" "By the revolutionary," I said, hoping that if I asked that death as a favor it would not be granted. "Yes, that would be fitting. But ... " And here he paused. The moment passed, then two. The first brass-backed fly of the new summer buzzed against the port. I wanted to crush it, to catch and release it, to shout at Master Palaemon to speak, to flee from the room; but I could do none of these things. I sat, instead, in the old wooden chair beside his table, feeling that I was already dead but still must die.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: We talked of love, and all we said would fill a book thicker than this. We talked of love, and all we said would fill a book thicker than this. Yet all we said was only this: that I loved her and she loved me, and we had waited long and long, would be parted no longer.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: The castle? The monster? The man of learning? I only just thought of it. Surely The castle? The monster? The man of learning? I only just thought of it. Surely you know that just as the momentous events of the past cast their shadows down the ages, so now, when the sun is drawing toward the dark,our own shadows race into the past to trouble mankind's dreams.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: It is not easy for me to speak of the desert. Still less easy is It is not easy for me to speak of the desert. Still less easy is it for me to scribe it as I do. There is so much that might be said; and yet no one who reads this will have understanding of the desert. Not even those who share this ship with me have it. One must go. I say again: one must go. I went. Perhaps there can be too much understanding. I have so much now, and that is why I will never forget this place. My companions understand nothing of that. The whisper of the sands, and the night silence when the sands no longer spoke.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: Things opposite unite and appear to disappear. The potential for both remains. That is one Things opposite unite and appear to disappear. The potential for both remains. That is one of the greatest principles of the causes of things.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: Knowledge is soon changed, then lost in the mist, an echo half-heard. Knowledge is soon changed, then lost in the mist, an echo half-heard.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: Feels good, this time of year," he said. "The sun's dead and don't know it Feels good, this time of year," he said. "The sun's dead and don't know it yet, but we do. If you're killed, you'll get to miss next winter, and if you're hurt bad, you'll get to stay inside. That's what I always tell them. Of course, most of the fights are around midsummer's eve, so it's more appropriate then, so to speak. I don't know if it comforts them or not, but it does no harm.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: What a many-sided thing is the telling of any tale. What a many-sided thing is the telling of any tale.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: And yet I loved her still, or would have loved her if I could. And yet I loved her still, or would have loved her if I could.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: Whether the medium is ready for consumers is better judged by those consumers. I sometimes Whether the medium is ready for consumers is better judged by those consumers. I sometimes read online - but not often. The stigma is attached to pay scales. Much online publication is no pay or small pay.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: Each of us finds his way, his place; we rattle around the universe until everything Each of us finds his way, his place; we rattle around the universe until everything fits; this is life; this is science, or something better than science.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: Little Ozzie cried until he could cry no more. He could not have said just Little Ozzie cried until he could cry no more. He could not have said just why he cried, but he cried because he knew, in some deep part of him where the knowledge would remain till he was dead, that the world was a more horrible place than he could imagine. He might think of monsters or mad dogs, but the world would beat him. It would turn the people he loved and trusted into monsters; it would reveal those meant to help him as mad dogs. He wept for himself, and he wept because he knew there would never really be anyone else to weep for him.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: The world is filled half with evil and half with good. We can tilt it The world is filled half with evil and half with good. We can tilt it forward so that more good runs into our minds, or back, so that more runs into this." A movement of her eyes took in all the lake. "But the quantities are the same, we change only their proportion here or there." "I would tilt it as far back as I can, until at last the evil runs out altogether," I said. "It might be the good that would run out. But I am like you; I would bend time backward if I could.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: Dorcas's skin was flecked with little golden freckles, and she was so slender that I Dorcas's skin was flecked with little golden freckles, and she was so slender that I was always aware of her bones; yet she was more desirable in her imperfections than Jolenta had ever been in the lushness of her flesh.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: Love was the greatest of enchantments; if Echidna and her children succeeded in killing Kypris, Love was the greatest of enchantments; if Echidna and her children succeeded in killing Kypris, Thelxiepeia would no doubt, would doubtless ... Become the goddess of love in a century or less, said the Outsider, standing not behind Silk as he had in the ball court, but before him - standing on the still water of the pool, tall and wise and kind, with a face that nearly came into focus. I would claim her in that case, long before the end. As I have so many others. As I am claiming Kypris even now because love always proceeds from me, real love, true love. First romance. The Outsider was the dancing man on a toy, and the water the polished toy-top on which he danced with Kypris, who was Hyacinth and Mother, too. First romance, sang the Outsider with the music box. First romance. It was why he was called the Outsider. He was outside -
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: I was trapped in admiration for what I had once admired, as a fly in I was trapped in admiration for what I had once admired, as a fly in amber remains the captive of some long-vanished pine.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: He shook his head. Everyone fears me, except you, Latro. When a man is respected, He shook his head. Everyone fears me, except you, Latro. When a man is respected, no one wants to plant a dagger in his back. When he is feared, everyone thinks upon it, and tests the point.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: He had a wild yellow beard and long, tangled hair that stood out from his He had a wild yellow beard and long, tangled hair that stood out from his head in a way that made it seem too large for his shoulders, though they were twice the width of mine. But these were not the things I noticed first. Nor, I think, the things that anyone would notice first. Before anything else, I saw his eyes: They were huge, and yellow as gold. And after that, I saw the way he moved. Cim Glowing is beautiful, and walks with liquid grace; but sometimes she looks clumsy beside him. I think I had guessed who he was before she called his name. "Ketin," she said, and raised the endieva wand as though to strike, backing away until her shoulders were against the wall. "Yes, Ketin," the bearded man said. His voice was like a storm five kilometers off.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: About the Maker you know?" I nodded and said that we called him the Outsider. About the Maker you know?" I nodded and said that we called him the Outsider. "A good name for him that is. Outside him we keep, into our hearts we don't let him come. "When everything he's got made, he got to paint. First the water. Easy it is. Then the ground, all the rocks. A little harder it gets. Then sky and trees. Grass harder than you think it is, the little brush he had got to use, and paint so when the wind blows the color changes, and different colors for different kinds. Then dogs and greenbucks, all the different animals. Birds and flowers going to be tough they are. This he knows. So for the last them he leaves." I
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: And with them ten thousand men and women; those who, in seeking a private resurrection, And with them ten thousand men and women; those who, in seeking a private resurrection, had rendered their corpses forever imperishable lay here like drunkards after their debauch, their crystal sarcophagi broken, their limbs relaxed in grotesque disarray, their clothing rotted or rotting, and their eyes blindly fixed upon the sky.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: As I stared into the fire, it seemed more possible than I would have liked As I stared into the fire, it seemed more possible than I would have liked to believe that someday, perhaps after a blow on the head, perhaps for no discernable cause, my imagination and my reason might reverse their places - just as two friends who come every day to the same seats in some public garden might at last decide for novelty's sake to exchange them.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: A dark flask dangled from the bedpost like a ripe fruit. Someone he could not A dark flask dangled from the bedpost like a ripe fruit. Someone he could not see was seated beside his bed. He turned his head and craned his neck to no avail. At last he extended a hand toward the visitor; and the visitor took it between his own, which were large and hard and warm. As soon as their hands touched, he knew. You said you weren't going to help, he told the visitor. You said I wasn't to expect help from you, yet here you are. The visitor did not reply, but his hands were clean and gentle and full of healing.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: I was miserable before I knew I was no longer happy I was miserable before I knew I was no longer happy
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: There was a time when she did not remember my name or that we were There was a time when she did not remember my name or that we were married, but she still remembered that she loved me.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us; we are We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges. When soldiers take their oath they are given a coin, an asimi stamped with the profile of the Autarch. Their acceptance of that coin is their acceptance of the special duties and burdens of military life - they are soldiers from that moment, though they may know nothing of the management of arms. I did not know that then, but it is a profound mistake to believe that we must know of such things to be influenced by them, and in fact to believe so is to believe in the most debased and superstitious kind of magic. The would-be sorcerer alone has faith in the efficacy of pure knowledge; rational people know that things act of themselves or not at all.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: Hope is a psychological mechanism unaffected by external realities. Hope is a psychological mechanism unaffected by external realities.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: And then I saw it - not below, where I had looked, but over my And then I saw it - not below, where I had looked, but over my head, a vast and noble curve stretching away to either side, with white cloud flying between ourselves and it, a world all speckled over with blue and green like the egg of a wild bird.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: Nations are like men - growing old, never young. My son had the misfortune to Nations are like men - growing old, never young. My son had the misfortune to be a young man of an old nation.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: . . .Consciousness came and went.Consciousness went and came like the errant winds of spring, . . .Consciousness came and went.

Consciousness went and came like the errant winds of spring, and I, who so often have had difficulty in falling asleep among the besieging shades of memory, now fought to stay awake as a child struggles to lift a faltering kite by the string.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: That's something I didn't understand until recently: you don't get that degree; it gets you. That's something I didn't understand until recently: you don't get that degree; it gets you.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: All time exists. That is the truth ... If the future did not exist now, All time exists. That is the truth ... If the future did not exist now, how could we journey toward it? If the past does not exist still, how could we leave it behind?
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: How big is a man's life?" asked Ultan."I have no way of knowing, but isn't How big is a man's life?" asked Ultan.
"I have no way of knowing, but isn't it larger than that?"
"You see it from the beginning, and anticipate much. I, recollecting it from its termination, know how little there has been. I suppose that is why the depraved creatures who devour the bodies of the dead seek more.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: And when he beheld their dark sails, smutted by the burning tar that had blinded And when he beheld their dark sails, smutted by the burning tar that had blinded their enemy, he believed them blackened in mourning for the young man, and he threw himself down, and so perished. For no man lives long when his dreams are dead.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: We can think only of creatures, of things He's made. Creatures are all we know, We can think only of creatures, of things He's made. Creatures are all we know, and can be all we know until we know Him. When we think of Him like that, we find we can't believe. He can't be like a creature any more than a carpenter is like a table.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: Every woman is her true age when she sleeps. Every woman is her true age when she sleeps.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: My definition of good literature is that which can be read by an educated reader, My definition of good literature is that which can be read by an educated reader, and reread with increased pleasure.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: Powerful is the charm of words, which for us reduces to manageable entities all the Powerful is the charm of words, which for us reduces to manageable entities all the passions that would otherwise madden and destroy us.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: I have said that I cannot explain my desire for her, and it is true. I have said that I cannot explain my desire for her, and it is true. I loved her with a love thirsty and desperate. I felt that we two might commit some act so atrocious that the world, seeing us, would find it irresistible.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: I have tried hard to punish myself for that, and certain other things. No more. I have tried hard to punish myself for that, and certain other things. No more. Let the Outsider punish me; we deceive ourselves when we think that we can measure out justice to ourselves. I wanted to end my guilt. What was just about that? I should feel guilty. I deserve it.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: Where there is no repentance, forgiveness is only permission by another name. I Where there is no repentance, forgiveness is only permission by another name. I
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: I get a lot of people complaining about my ambiguity, often in cases which there I get a lot of people complaining about my ambiguity, often in cases which there is nothing ambigous at all. As far as I can see, people read it when they were half stoned and listening to the TV. Then they come back and say gee, it's impossible to figure out what's going on in a story.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: God is the nest we build together. God is the nest we build together.
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Gene Wolfe Sayings: If you know anything of science, madame, you must know that water is but ice If you know anything of science, madame, you must know that water is but ice given energy.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: Are you waiting for the end of my story? It's ended. The day came when Are you waiting for the end of my story? It's ended. The day came when I was able to fly up here. I knew by then that I had much more to learn, and that I had to be stronger before I tried Crossing. But I felt I'd come more than halfway, too, and I was right. There was a corroded metal hatch over that window then. I tore it off and let it fall. When I'd explored all the rooms on all the levels, I decided to clean this one out and make it a private place just for myself, my own room in my own tower in the sky. There were bones in here and some other things, but I threw them out that window and swept this floor with my hands. When everything was tidy, I told myself I'd come back and spend hours up here after I'd made the Return Crossing, just thinking about who I was and what I had done for my children. But I never did, till now." "I'll
Gene Wolfe Sayings: A young man seeks a woman and finds her and is great and dies to A young man seeks a woman and finds her and is great and dies to the world. Afterward he is never as great again, but the woman is a comfort to him, reminding him of the time that was, and he is a little again with her what once he was wholly.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: A web of chain mail, linked rings each flattened where the ends met and clinched A web of chain mail, linked rings each flattened where the ends met and clinched with a tiny rivet, rattled about his knees. Mark felt the fine powdering of rust that fell from the rings. It was green. The rings had turned to greenness in their decay, as herbs did in health. Where the greenness had fallen away, the knees beating it out slowly like fine green snow, the metal was hot and bright and yellow. It began to chime when the green decay was gone; gongs struck by imperious lords in their tens of thousands, calling their servitors to battle with demanding yellow sound. A
Gene Wolfe Sayings: The plain shiprock walls, and the painted statue of Lord Pas (from which the paint The plain shiprock walls, and the painted statue of Lord Pas (from which the paint was peeling) will remain with me until the day I die, always somewhat colored by the wonder I felt as a small boy at seeing a black cock struggling in the old man's hands after he had cut its throat, its wings beating frantically, beating as if they might live after all, live somehow somewhere, if only they could spray the whole place with blood before they
Gene Wolfe Sayings: The green man said, "I'm a fool, I suppose, to put any confidence in you. The green man said, "I'm a fool, I suppose, to put any confidence in you. And yet I do. I am a free man, come from your own future to explore your age." "That is impossible." "The green color that puzzles your people so much is only what you call pond scum. We have altered it until it can live in our blood, and by its intervention have at last made our peace in humankind's long struggle with the sun. In us, the tiny plants live and die, and our bodies feed from them and their dead and require no other nourishment. All the famines, and all the labor of growing food, are ended." "But you must have sun." "Yes," the green man said. "And I have not enough here.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: We would be blind, Auk. As blind as I. Because I have never had eyes We would be blind, Auk. As blind as I. Because I have never had eyes of my own, I could not look out through yours. But I shall go with you, and guide you, and use your body to heal you, if I can. Look upon me, Auk." "There's nothing to see," Auk protested. But there was: a stammering light so filled with hope and pleasure and wonder that Auk would willingly have seen nothing else, if only he could have watched it forever.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: I have seldom found a lot to love about my fellow human beings, even when I have seldom found a lot to love about my fellow human beings, even when I liked them;
Gene Wolfe Sayings: It was earliest morning, when even small trees cast long shadows and scarlet foxes trot It was earliest morning, when even small trees cast long shadows and scarlet foxes trot denward through the dew like flecks of fire.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: The necropolis has never seemed a city of death to me; I know its purple The necropolis has never seemed a city of death to me; I know its purple roses (which other people think so hideous) shelter hundreds of small animals and birds. The executions I have seen performed and have performed myself so often are no more than a trade, a butchery of human beings who are for the most part less innocent and less valuable than cattle. When I think of my own death, or the death of someone who has been kind to me, or even of the death of the sun, the image that comes to my mind is that of the nenuphar, with its glossy, pale leaves and azure flower. Under flower and leaves are black roots as fine and strong as hair, reaching down into the dark waters.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: Evolution teaches us the original purpose of language was to ritualize men's threats and curses, Evolution teaches us the original purpose of language was to ritualize men's threats and curses, his spells to compel the gods; communication came later.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: The two thought themselves alone. But all the while, one watched with the night-wide eyes The two thought themselves alone. But all the while, one watched with the night-wide eyes of love. While they paced the pebbled paths between the silent flowers' spiked arrays, sage Thyme spied upon each pale sigh, peeping between bloom and leaf. And while they sat side by side and hand in hand on the stained stone bench beneath the spreading wisteria, Thyme watched unwinking from the midnight face of the mute sundial. And while they lay lazy on the soft grass, swearing the sweet oaths of love and longing, and whispering as they parted that though long lives might pass like a night and the New Sun sunder the centuries, yet never should they ever part, Thyme crept and cried, counting seconds that spilled with the sand from the hourglass, and scenting the soft breezes that cooled the child's burning cheek with his sad spice. The
Gene Wolfe Sayings: My rule is never save bits. They get the way, and you don't think of My rule is never save bits. They get the way, and you don't think of anything new. Put 'em in. Make a big mess.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: I had turned my mind from my survival just as a man suffering from a I had turned my mind from my survival just as a man suffering from a deadly sickness manages by a thousand tricks never to look at death squarely; or rather, as a woman alone in a large house refrains from looking into mirrors, and instead busies herself with trivial errands, so that she may catch no glimpse of the thing whose feet she hears at times on the stairs.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: Religion and science have always been matters of faith in something. It is the same Religion and science have always been matters of faith in something. It is the same something.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: You have understood me better than I wanted, as the man said when he looked You have understood me better than I wanted, as the man said when he looked in the mirror.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: People don't want other people to be people. People don't want other people to be people.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: Seeing him brought in, has, I think, saved me from losing my mind; for that Seeing him brought in, has, I think, saved me from losing my mind; for that I do not thank him-sanity, after all is only reason applied to human affairs, and when this reason, applied over years, has resulted in disaster, destruction, despair, misery, starvation, and rot, the mind is correct to abandon it. This decision to discard reason, I see now, is not the last but the first reasonable act; and this insanity we are taught to fear consists in nothing but responding naturally and instinctively rather than with the culturally acquired, mannered thing called reason; an insane man talks nonsense because like a bird or a cat he is too sensible to talk sense.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: You never learn how to write a novel. You just learn how to write the You never learn how to write a novel. You just learn how to write the novel that you're writing.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: After a moment the small man came in carrying his bag, and Forlesen's son placed After a moment the small man came in carrying his bag, and Forlesen's son placed a chair close to the coffin for him and went into the bedroom. "Well, what's it going to be," the small man asked, "or is it going to be nothing?" "I don't know," Forlesen said. He was looking at the weave of the small man's suit, the intertwining of the innumerable threads, and realizing that they constituted the universe in themselves, that they were serpents and worms and roots, the black tracks of forgotten rockets across a dark sky, the sine waves of the radiation of the cosmos. "I wish I could talk to my wife.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: Reason shows reason can only bring pain - how wise to forget and be happy Reason shows reason can only bring pain - how wise to forget and be happy again!
Gene Wolfe Sayings: He saw then that there was a lens at one end, disguised as a dewdrop He saw then that there was a lens at one end, disguised as a dewdrop in the throat of an asphodel. Gently he took the egg in his hands, closed one eye, and looked. The light of the interior was not, as he had half expected, gold tinted, but brilliantly white, deriving from some concealed source. A world surely meant for Earth shone within, as though seen from below the orbit of the moon - indigo sea and emerald land. Rivers brown and clear as tea ran down long plains. His mother said, "Isn't it pretty?" Night hung at the corners in funereal purple, and sent long shadows like cold and lovely arms to caress the day; and while he watched and it fell, long-necked birds of so dark a pink that they were nearly red trailed stilt legs across the sky, their wings making crosses.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: It was a cruel and lawless place without him, and it seems to me that It was a cruel and lawless place without him, and it seems to me that it's better with him, if anything. A bad horse needs a big whip, as the saying goes.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: The picture he was cleaning showed an armored figure standing in a desolate landscape. It The picture he was cleaning showed an armored figure standing in a desolate landscape. It had no weapon, but held a staff bearing a strange, stiff banner. The visor of this figure's helmet was entirely of gold, without eye slits or ventilation; in its polished surface the deathly desert could be seen in reflection, and nothing more.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: We have books here bound in the hides of echidnes, krakens, and beasts so long We have books here bound in the hides of echidnes, krakens, and beasts so long extinct that those whose studies they are, are for the most part of the opinion that no trace of them survives unfossilized.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: Before you ask more questions, think about whether you really want to know the answers. Before you ask more questions, think about whether you really want to know the answers.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: I have told myself over and over that I must get out of this house, I have told myself over and over that I must get out of this house, that I have stumbled upon a place where dreams walk by daylight and that those dreams may destroy me. But there's the money, and I have been so poor for so long. There is a terrible fascination, too. I am a scholar or I am nothing, Millie. I knew an elderly Jewish scholar at the University of Chicago, a Dr. Kopecky. He was robbed on the street, and surrendered his wallet and his watch without a struggle; but when the gang of juveniles who had surrounded him tried to take his bag, containing one old book and his notes, he fought them all. Perhaps you understand.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin. That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: Of all the good things in the world, the only ones humanity can claim for Of all the good things in the world, the only ones humanity can claim for itself are stories and music;
Gene Wolfe Sayings: Though trodden beneath the shepherd's heel, the wild hyacinth blooms on the ground. Though trodden beneath the shepherd's heel, the wild hyacinth blooms on the ground.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: You're a materialist, like all ignorant people. But your materialism doesn't make materialism true. Don't You're a materialist, like all ignorant people. But your materialism doesn't make materialism true. Don't you know that? In the final summing up, it is spirit and dream, thought and love and act that matter.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: The past stood at my shoulder, naked and defenseless as all dead things, as though The past stood at my shoulder, naked and defenseless as all dead things, as though it were time itself that had been laid open by the fall of the mountain.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: I have sometimes thought that the reason the trees are so quiet in the summer I have sometimes thought that the reason the trees are so quiet in the summer is that they are in a sort of ecstasy; it is in winter, when the biologists tell us they sleep, that they are most awake, because the sun is gone and they are addicts without their drug, sleeping restlessly and often waking, walking the dark corridors of forests searching for the sun.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: He imagined himself a mouse descending a clear stream in half an eggshell, the master He imagined himself a mouse descending a clear stream in half an eggshell, the master of a comet enfolding a hollow world.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: Women believe - or at least often pretend to believe - that all our tenderness Women believe - or at least often pretend to believe - that all our tenderness for them springs from desire; that we love them when we have not for a time enjoyed them, and dismiss them when we are sated, or to express it more precisely, exhausted. There is no truth in this idea, though it may be made to appear true. When we are rigid with desire, we are apt to pretend a great tenderness in the hope of satisfying that desire; but at no other time are we in fact so liable to treat women brutally, and so unlikely to feel any deep emotion but one.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: But I believe there is no difference between those who are called courageous and those But I believe there is no difference between those who are called courageous and those who are branded craven than that the second are fearful before the danger and the first after it. The coward is a coward, then, because he has brought his fear with him; persons we think cowardly will sometimes amaze us by their bravery, if they have had no forewarning of their danger.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: But I was awake, sitting by the window looking down at the trailer and Mr. But I was awake, sitting by the window looking down at the trailer and Mr. Zoltan's truck. I could not sleep. That is how it is with folks my age. We take naps during the day, and then we cannot sleep at night. I think that it is because God is getting us ready for the grave. Is that right? Did He ever tell you? ("The Little Stranger")
Gene Wolfe Sayings: The best offense is a good defense, but a bad defense is offensive. The best offense is a good defense, but a bad defense is offensive.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: And it came to me that these trees had been hardly smaller when I was And it came to me that these trees had been hardly smaller when I was yet unborn, and had stood as they stood now when I was a child playing among the cypresses and peaceful tombs of our necropolis, and that they would stand yet, drinking in the light of the dying sun, even as now, when I had been dead as long as those who rested there. I saw how little it weighed on the scale of things whether I lived or died, though my life was precious to me. And of those two thoughts I forged a mood by which I stood ready to grasp each smallest chance to live, yet in which I cared not too much whether I saved myself or not. By that mood, as I think, I did live; it has been so good a friend to me that I have endeavored to wear it ever since, succeeding not always, but often.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: I have a bird. Inside." She patted the flat stomach below her small breasts, and I have a bird. Inside." She patted the flat stomach below her small breasts, and for a moment Nicholas thought she had really found food. "She sits in here. She has tangled a nest in my entrails, where she sits and tears at my breath with her beak. I look healthy to you, don't I? But inside I'm hollow and rotten and turning brown, dirt and old feathers, oozing away. Her beak will break through soon.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: The brown book I carry says there is nothing stranger than to explore a city The brown book I carry says there is nothing stranger than to explore a city wholly different from all those one knows, since to do so is to explore a second and unsuspected self. I have found a thing stranger: to explore such a city only after one has lived in it for some time without learning anything of it.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: It is beyond value, which means it is worthless. It is beyond value, which means it is worthless.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: A crowd is not the sum of the individuals who compose it. Rather it is A crowd is not the sum of the individuals who compose it. Rather it is a species of animal, without language or real consciousness, born when they gather, dying when they depart.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: You see, you don't despise money. Nor do I. Wealth is stuffy and stupid and You see, you don't despise money. Nor do I. Wealth is stuffy and stupid and arrogant, and the only good thing about it is that it has money. Money's lovely stuff - just look at this." He held up the owl. "See how it shines? On one side the owl: the male principle. On the other, the Lady of Thought: the female principle." He spun the coin on the table. "Money always gives you something to think about.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: I rejoiced in the flaws that made her more real to me I rejoiced in the flaws that made her more real to me
Gene Wolfe Sayings: The experienced feel love or desire, or both. The inexperienced are sick with a thousand The experienced feel love or desire, or both. The inexperienced are sick with a thousand feelings, most of them unformed: fearful that they may be unable to love or to inspire love; fearful of what they may do if once they allow their emotions to carry them away; fearful that they may be unable to cut the cord that binds them still to the superficial affections of childhood; longing for adventure and yet unable to see that their adventure is in the present, that there will soon be nothing left but love and desire.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: A child, not knowing what is extraordinary and what commonplace, usually lights midway between the A child, not knowing what is extraordinary and what commonplace, usually lights midway between the two, finds interest in incidents adults consider beneath notice, and calmly accepts the most improbable occurrences. My
Gene Wolfe Sayings: Hyacinth, who wept before sleep, had wept that night; he had wept too - had Hyacinth, who wept before sleep, had wept that night; he had wept too - had wept in joy and pain, and in joy at his pain. When tears were done and their heads rested on one pillow, she had said that no man had ever wept with her before. Two floors below them, their reflected images knelt in the fishpond at Thelxiepeia's feet, subsistent but invisible. There she would weep for him longer than they lived. He lowered his naked body into a rising pool, warm and scarcely less romantic. Ermine
Gene Wolfe Sayings: I waded out of the sea while loving it still, even as I had earlier I waded out of the sea while loving it still, even as I had earlier dropped from the stars while loving them; and in truth there is no place in Briah that is not lovely when it no longer holds the threat of death, save for the places men have made so.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: Here is light. You will say that it is not a living entity, but you Here is light. You will say that it is not a living entity, but you miss the point that it is more, not less. Without occupying space, it fills the universe. It nourishes everything, yet itself feeds upon destruction. We claim to control it, but does it not perhaps cultivate us as a source of food? May it not be that all wood grows so that it can be set ablaze, and that men and women are born to kindle them?
Gene Wolfe Sayings: There comes a time when a sorcerer must triumph on his own or die. There comes a time when a sorcerer must triumph on his own or die.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: All the history of the stage is a struggle, the gasping of a beautiful child All the history of the stage is a struggle, the gasping of a beautiful child born at the point of death. The moralists, censorship and oppression, technology, and now poverty have all tried to destroy her. Only we, the actors and audiences, have kept her alive.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: I believe in some sense much akin to the belief of faith, that I noticed, I believe in some sense much akin to the belief of faith, that I noticed, felt, or underwent what I describe - but it may be that the only reason childhood memories act on us so strongly is that, being the most remote we possess, they are the worst remembered and so offer the least resistance to that process by which we mold them nearer and nearer to an ideal which is fundamentally artistic, or at least nonfactual; so it may be that some of these events I describe never occurred at all, but only should have, and that others had not the shades and flavors - for example, of jealousy or antiquity or shame - that I have later unconsciously chosen to give them ...
Gene Wolfe Sayings: Do not start a story unless you have an ending in mind. You can change Do not start a story unless you have an ending in mind. You can change the story's ending if you wish, but you should always have a destination.
Gene Wolfe Sayings: Time turns our lies into truth Time turns our lies into truth
Gene Wolfe Sayings: He said I had been touched by a god, and that I am a holy He said I had been touched by a god, and that I am a holy man. I said, "If I have been touched by a god, it was only to curse me." He nodded. "All who are touched by gods are holy.