Sentences (#1)

(VPN isn’t working, for some reason, which makes almost everything impossible. No trawling about on the Internet, or twittering, today. In frustration, I’m initiating a new series — it’s ‘Quotes notes’ but decadently devoted to pure style. Feel free to consider it throat-clearing.)

Not necessarily single sentences, but no more than three (as a preliminary rule). First off, from Iain M. Banks’ The Algebraist (p.52):

He cleared his throat and sat more upright, telling himself he wasn’t going to fall asleep. But he must have, because when the screams started, they woke him.

November 27, 2014admin 10 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Sentences


10 Responses to this entry

  • Alex Says:

    And when they were all inside, round in a ring, touching each other, some one began to sing in the darkness, and some one else would make a noise like thunder with a thing they had on purpose, and on still nights people would hear the thundering noise far, far away beyond the wild land, and some of them, who thought they knew what it was, used to make a sign on their breasts when they woke up in their beds at dead of night and heard that terrible deep noise, like thunder on the mountains. And the noise and the singing would go on and on for a long time, and the people who were in a ring swayed a little to and fro; and the song was in an old, old language that nobody knows now, and the tune was queer. Nurse said her great-grandmother had known some one who remembered a little of it, when she was quite a little girl, and nurse tried to sing some of it to me, and it was so strange a tune that I turned all cold and my flesh crept as if I had put my hand on something dead.

    – Arthur Machen, The White People


    Posted on November 27th, 2014 at 7:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • Sentences (#1) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on November 27th, 2014 at 8:04 pm Reply | Quote
  • Twelve Equal Parts Says:

    The perils of “high-virtue” (and the equivalent of three sentences in these parts):

    From “The Arctic Grail” by Pierre Berton,

    “Why this apparent blindness [to the means by which Eskimos avoided scurvy]? Part of it, no doubt, was the conservatism of the senior service and part the arrogance of the nineteenth-century English upper classes, who considered themselves superior to most other peoples, whether they were Americans, Hottentots, or Eskimos. But another part of it, surely, was fear: the fear of going native. Could any proper Englishman traipse about in ragged seal fur, eating raw blubber and living in hovels built of snow? Those who had done such things in some of the world’s distant corners had been despised as misfits who had thrown away the standards of civilization to become wild animals. Besides, it was considered rather like cheating to do things the easy way. The real triumph consisted of pressing forward against all odds without ever stooping to adopt the native style. To the very proper officers who still donned formal jackets and polished buttons for mess dinners in the Arctic wastes, that idea was unthinkable. They enjoyed these strange, childlike, wayward people, but they didn’t want to copy them… nobody on this so-called scientific expedition thought to investigate how a band of people who couldn’t count past ten had managed to adapt to their formidable homeland – an omission, repeated through the century, that would cost many future explorers their lives.”


    Posted on November 27th, 2014 at 8:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • RPK Says:

    A legion of horribles, hundreds in number, half naked or clad in costumes attic or biblical or wardrobed out of a fevered dream with the skins of animals and silk finery and pieces of uniform still tracked with the blood of prior owners, coats of slain dragoons, frogged and braided cavalry jackets, one in a stovepipe hat and one with an umbrella and one in white stockings and a bloodstained weddingveil and some in headgear of cranefeathers or rawhide helmets that bore the horns of bull or buffalo and one in a pigeontailed coat worn backwards and otherwise naked and one in the armor of a Spanish conquistador, the breastplate and pauldrons deeply dented with old blows of mace or sabre done in another country by men whose very bones were dust and many with their braids spliced up with the hair of other beasts until they trailed upon the ground and their horses’ ears and tails worked with bits of brightly colored cloth and one whose horse’s whole head was painted crimson red and all the horsemen’s faces gaudy and grotesque with daubings like a company of mounted clowns, death hilarious, all howling in a barbarous tongue and riding down upon them like a horde from a hell more horrible yet than the brimstone land of Christian reckoning, screeching and yammering and clothed in smoke like those vaporous beings in regions beyond right knowing where the eye wanders and the lip jerks and drools.

    Oh my god, said the sergeant.

    -Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian


    Posted on November 27th, 2014 at 8:41 pm Reply | Quote
  • Dark Psy-Ops Says:

    Saturnine republics in proud redundant displays drum sacred night-chorus, throats dry, vessels pumping aggressive blood through morbid veins, open-ended discarded vernacular in apocalyptic shrouded broods here, what larval subjects, what twisted a cappella powers mighty Borromean rings, steadfast, like a choir singing haunted hymns. Neighbours chant the rhythmic territories undefined, unheeded, sinuously rocket to and fro off echoed appellatives, ears-pricked twisted loyalty to andante quivers, the outbred stock and cold-blooded Vernan rivers run in spring heat, sun-baked, dry-skin and feral noises. The inner Other was here, dreaming trembling fortune in whispered haunts, the terrible thing travels back-alleys, turns on the spot, questions performances and rituals ominous, then head bowed, sipping drool, heads-on to the first consecrated ensemble.


    Posted on November 27th, 2014 at 11:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mechanomica Says:

    Goaded by the conscience of that old scientist who had fastened on his soul in youth, hag-ridden and devoured, burdened like Sinbad, stolen away from himself and claimed remorselessly for abstract service, he had toiled for Gramarye since before he could remember. He had not even understood the whole of what he was doing, a beast of burden tugging at the traces. And always, he now saw, Merlyn had been behind him—that very ruthless old believer—and man in front: ferocious, stupid, unpolitical.

    -T. H. White, The Book of Merlyn


    Posted on November 27th, 2014 at 11:49 pm Reply | Quote
  • Dark Psy-Ops Says:

    Time runs hinged on forgotten eras, the past creeping onward into heaven’s conscripted lottery, through smoking halos, branded closures, seen its mind measure distant space, but back before the midnight’s curse, the tongue-lapping vistas of a throat gurgling inhuman sounds. What comes next they ask, if semantics is a function, what function does nonsense play? Or if its sense we make sense of, then intelligence has a lot to answer for. Songs of broken-down eternity, each process of healing in society’s shame-offering. Robots lack nothing, not even weakness, which itself fills motors with guzzling promise, and then turns to leave, rain trickling down the absence, sayeth like a zephyr passing the whims of spring, as frozen time streams underneath the ice of white infinity.

    “combustion at the astral core–the dorsal change
    Of energy–convulsive shift of sand… repeating to the stars
    the ancient names’ – Hart Crane


    Posted on November 28th, 2014 at 1:36 am Reply | Quote
  • Antisthenes Says:

    ‘The left claims that the guilty party in a conflict is not the one who covets another’s goods but the one who defends his own.’

    Guess who.


    Posted on November 28th, 2014 at 5:10 am Reply | Quote
  • Miskatonic U. Human Resources Says:

    By now they are controlling shit house of the world – After that, Minraud sky – their eggs all over

    W.S.B. – ‘Where You Belong’


    Posted on November 28th, 2014 at 2:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • Erebus Says:

    After some hours, the dogs, exhausted by running round, almost dead, their tongues hanging out, set upon one another and, not knowing what they are doing, tear one another into thousands of pieces with incredible rapidity. Yet they do not do this out of cruelty.

    One day, a glazed look in her eyes, my mother said to me: ‘When you are in bed and you hear the barking of the dogs in the countryside, hide beneath your blanket, but do not deride what they do: they have an insatiable thirst for the infinite, as you, and I, and all other pale, long-faced human beings do.’

    –Lautreamont, Maldoror


    Posted on November 28th, 2014 at 5:41 pm Reply | Quote

Leave a comment