Saturday, June 4, 2011

Under the Volcano

Under the VolcanoUnder the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry

Lowry on...

alcoholism - "...if our civilization were to sober up for a couple of days, it'd die of remorse on the third."

actions of the unsound mind - "The act of a madman or drunkard, or of a man laboring under violent excitement, seems less free and more inevitable to the one who knows the mental condition of the man who performed the action, and more free and less inevitable to the one who does not know it." (Tolstoy)

colonization - "The only trouble was: one was afraid these particular Indians might turn out to be people with ideas too."

cockfights - "...the vicious little man-made battles, cruel and destructive, yet somehow bedraggledly inconclusive, each brief as some hideously mismanaged act of intercourse."

existence - "What is man but a little soul holding up a corpse?"

fate - "Somebody threw a dead dog after him down the ravine."

friendship - "In the final analysis , there was no one you could trust to drink with you to the bottom of the bowl."

gulp(s) of tequila - "...he felt the fire of [it] run down his spine like lightning striking a tree which thereupon, miraculously, blossoms."

geopolitics - "Can't you see there's a sort of determinism about the fate of nations? They all seem to get what they deserve in the long run." (Geoffrey Fermin)

horses - "Weary of liberty he suffered himself to be saddled and bridled, and was ridden to death for his pains." (Goethe)

intercourse - " alike are the groans of love to those of the dying."

journalism - "[It] equals male prostitution of speech and writing." (Hugh Fermin)

justification for drunken loitering - "Veo que la tierra anda; estoy esperando que pase mi casa por aqui para meterme en ella." (Geoffrey Fermin)

lighting cigarettes - "La supersticion dice - que cuando tres amigos prenden su cigarro con la misma cerilla, el ultimo muere antes que los otros dos." (Cervantes the Tlaxcaltecan Barman)

quietude - "Silence [is] as infectious as mirth, an awkward silence in one group begetting a loutish silence in another, which in turn [induces] a more general, meaningless silence in a third, until it [has] spread everywhere. Nothing in the world is more powerful than one of these sudden strange silences..."

shared beliefs - "Yes, indeed, how many patterns of life were based on kindred misconceptions, how many wolves do we feel on our heels, while our real enemies go in sheepskin by?"

the authorities - "The world [is] always within the binoculars of the police."

vultures - "Infernal bird of Prometheus! They were vultures, that on Earth so jealously contend with one another, defiling themselves with blood and filth, but who were capable of rising, like this, above the storms, to heights shared only by the condor..."

yesteryear - "...yet the banality stood: that the past was irrevocably past. And the conscience had been given man to regret it only in so far as that might change the future."

1 comment:

Isis said...

Wow Gavin !!!!

Thank you so much for that entry !!! I've heard of that book for years, but never read it, now I will ...

As for the first quote about sobering up and dying of remorse on the third, I must confess, I have felt like. TOTAL IDIOT for saying you should name your band Isis Lives. Seriously - like an idiot !!

I watched the film clip just now, uh, it looks super violent, and that sounded like Russian to me .... Anyway, I watched SALT recently w Angelina Jolie, it was awesome.