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Evil is even, truth is an odd number and death is a full stop. When a dog barks late at night and then retires again to bed, he punctuates and gives majesty to the serial enigma of the dark, laying it more evenly and heavily upon the fabric of the mind. Sweeny in the trees hears the sad baying as he sits listening on the branch, a huddle between the earth and heaven; and he hears also the answering mastiff that is counting the watches in the next parish. Bark answers bark till the call spreads like fire through all Erin. Soon the moon comes forth from behind her curtains riding full tilt across the sky, lightsome and unperturbed in her immemorial calm. The eyes of the mad king upon the branch are upturned, whiter eyeballs in a white face, upturned in fear and supplication. His mind is but a shell.
Flann O’Brien, At Swim-Two-Birds (1939)
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Death by dehydration is turning out to be even more psychologically grueling than I was anticipating on Saturday. Waterlessness stalks me, the indomitable leviathan of the desert drawing in closer every hour. Enforced insomnia compounds my body’s anguish, loosing a fourth-dimensional aberration in my head. I no longer exist in a normal space-time continuum. Minute by minute, my sleep deprivation dismantles yet another brain function.
Aron Ralston, 127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Simon & Schuster, 2004)
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Under the right circumstances, anyone could end up anywhere, doing anything.
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You can argue forever about the content of a film, its aesthetic, its style, even its moral posture; but the crucial imperative is to avoid boredom at all costs.
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I had surgery when I was nine years old which made it [having children] impossible. And we didn’t find out until the first child I conceived was still-born — was strangled by adhesions. At that time they made a very poor kind of surgery and created adhesions which strangled the child. So nature denied me that. It wasn’t by choice. But I don’t feel that unless you’ve had a child you’re not fulfilled. I don’t feel that I’ve missed anything. Because I transferred that to other relationships. As [D.H.] Lawrence said, we don’t need more children, we need more hope in the world.
Anaïs Nin, A Woman Speaks (1975), edited by Evelyn Hinz
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