Frases de Walter M. Miller

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Walter M. Miller

Data de nascimento: 23. Janeiro 1923
Data de falecimento: 9. Janeiro 1996

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Walter Michael Miller, Jr. foi um escritor norte-americano de ficção científica.

Citações Walter M. Miller

„Insofar as thought could be governed at all, it could only be commanded to follow what reason affirmed anyhow; command it otherwise, and it would not obey.“

— Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Context: How easy it would have been flatly to have told the boy that his pilgrim was only an old tramp of some kind, and then to have commanded him not to think otherwise. But by allowing the boy to see that a question was possible, he had rendered such a command ineffective before he uttered it. Insofar as thought could be governed at all, it could only be commanded to follow what reason affirmed anyhow; command it otherwise, and it would not obey. Ch 4

„She watched him with cool green eyes and smiled innocently. The eyes were alert with wonder, curiosity, and — perhaps something else — but she could apparently not see that he was in pain.“

— Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Context: She watched him with cool green eyes and smiled innocently. The eyes were alert with wonder, curiosity, and — perhaps something else — but she could apparently not see that he was in pain. There was something about her eyes that caused him to notice nothing else for several seconds. But then he noticed that the head of Mrs. Grales slept soundly on the other shoulder while Rachel smiled. It seemed a young shy smile that hoped for friendship. He tried again. "Listen, is anyone else alive? Get —" Melodious and solemn came her answer: "listen is anyone else alive — " She savored the words. She enunciated them distinctly. She smiled over them Her lips reframed them when her voice was done with them. It was more than reflexive imitation, he decided. She was trying to communicate something. By the repetition, she was trying to convey the idea: I am somehow like you. But she had only just now been born. And you're somehow different, too, Zerchi noticed with a trace of awe. Ch 29

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„The Memorabilia was there, and it was given to them by duty to preserve, and preserve it they would if the darkness in the world lasted ten more centuries, or even ten thousand years...“

— Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Context: The monks of the earliest days had not counted on the human ability to generate a new cultural inheritance in a couple of generations if an old one is utterly destroyed, to generate it by virtue of lawgivers and prophets, geniuses or maniacs; through a Moses, or through a Hitler, or an ignorant but tyrannical grandfather, a cultural inheritance may be acquired between dusk and dawn, and many have been so acquired. But the new "culture" was an inheritance of darkness, wherein "simpleton" meant the same thing as "citizen" meant the same thing as "slave." The monks waited. It mattered not at all to them that the knowledge they saved was useless, that much of it was not really knowledge now, was as inscrutable to the monks in some instances as it would be to an illiterate wild-boy from the hills; this knowledge was empty of content, its subject matter long since gone. Still, such knowledge had a symbolic structure that was peculiar to itself, and at least the symbol-interplay could be observed. To observe the way a knowledge-system is knit together is to learn at least a minimum knowledge-of-knowledge, until someday — someday, or some century — an Integrator would come, and things would be fitted together again. So time mattered not at all. The Memorabilia was there, and it was given to them by duty to preserve, and preserve it they would if the darkness in the world lasted ten more centuries, or even ten thousand years... Ch 6

„It was more than reflexive imitation, he decided. She was trying to communicate something. By the repetition, she was trying to convey the idea: I am somehow like you.
But she had only just now been born.“

— Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Context: She watched him with cool green eyes and smiled innocently. The eyes were alert with wonder, curiosity, and — perhaps something else — but she could apparently not see that he was in pain. There was something about her eyes that caused him to notice nothing else for several seconds. But then he noticed that the head of Mrs. Grales slept soundly on the other shoulder while Rachel smiled. It seemed a young shy smile that hoped for friendship. He tried again. "Listen, is anyone else alive? Get —" Melodious and solemn came her answer: "listen is anyone else alive — " She savored the words. She enunciated them distinctly. She smiled over them Her lips reframed them when her voice was done with them. It was more than reflexive imitation, he decided. She was trying to communicate something. By the repetition, she was trying to convey the idea: I am somehow like you. But she had only just now been born. And you're somehow different, too, Zerchi noticed with a trace of awe. Ch 29

„He had never seen a "Fallout," and he hoped he'd never see one. A consistent description of the monster had not survived, but Francis had heard the legends.“

— Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Context: He had never seen a "Fallout," and he hoped he'd never see one. A consistent description of the monster had not survived, but Francis had heard the legends. He crossed himself and backed away from the hole. Tradition told that the Beatus Leibowitz himself had encountered a Fallout, and had been possessed by it for many months before the exorcism which accompanied his Baptism drove the fiend away. Brother Francis visualized a Fallout as half-salamander, because, according to tradition, the thing was born in the Flame Deluge, and as half-incubus who despoiled virgins in their sleep, for, were not the monsters of the world still called "children of the Fallout"? That the demon was capable of inflicting all the woes which descended upon Job was recorded fact, if not an article of creed. Ch 1

„But the princes, putting the words of their wise men to naught, thought each to himself: If I but strike quickly enough, and in secret, I shall destroy these others in their sleep, and there will be none to fight back; the earth shall be mine.
Such was the folly of princes, and there followed the Flame Deluge.“

— Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Context: It was said that God, in order to test mankind which had become swelled with pride as in the time of Noah, had commanded the wise men of that age, among them the Blessed Leibowitz, to devise great engines of war such as had never before been upon the Earth, weapons of such might that they contained the very fires of Hell, and that God had suffered these magi to place the weapons in the hands of princes, and to say to each prince: "Only because the enemies have such a thing have we devised this for thee, in order that they may know that thou hast it also, and fear to strike. See to it, m'Lord, that thou fearest them as much as they shall now fear thee, that none may unleash this dread thing which we have wrought." But the princes, putting the words of their wise men to naught, thought each to himself: If I but strike quickly enough, and in secret, I shall destroy these others in their sleep, and there will be none to fight back; the earth shall be mine. Such was the folly of princes, and there followed the Flame Deluge. Ch 6

„For that there would have to be infinite love as well.“

— Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Context: But neither infinite power nor infinite wisdom could bestow godhood upon men. For that there would have to be infinite love as well. Ch 22

„Reasoning which touches experimental reality nowhere is the business of angelologists and theologians, not of physical scientists. And yet such papers as these describe systems which touch our experience nowhere. Were they within the experimental reach of the ancients?“

— Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Context: Reasoning which touches experimental reality nowhere is the business of angelologists and theologians, not of physical scientists. And yet such papers as these describe systems which touch our experience nowhere. Were they within the experimental reach of the ancients? Certain references tend to indicate it. One paper refers to elemental transmutation — which we just recently established as theoretically impossible — and then it says — 'experiment proves.' But how? It may take generations to evaluate and understand some of these things. It is unfortunate that they must remain here in this inaccessible place, for it will take a concentrated effort by numerous scholars to make meaning of them. Ch 20

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„Brother Francis visualized a Fallout as half-salamander, because, according to tradition, the thing was born in the Flame Deluge, and as half-incubus who despoiled virgins in their sleep, for, were not the monsters of the world still called "children of the Fallout"? That the demon was capable of inflicting all the woes which descended upon Job was recorded fact, if not an article of creed.“

— Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Context: He had never seen a "Fallout," and he hoped he'd never see one. A consistent description of the monster had not survived, but Francis had heard the legends. He crossed himself and backed away from the hole. Tradition told that the Beatus Leibowitz himself had encountered a Fallout, and had been possessed by it for many months before the exorcism which accompanied his Baptism drove the fiend away. Brother Francis visualized a Fallout as half-salamander, because, according to tradition, the thing was born in the Flame Deluge, and as half-incubus who despoiled virgins in their sleep, for, were not the monsters of the world still called "children of the Fallout"? That the demon was capable of inflicting all the woes which descended upon Job was recorded fact, if not an article of creed. Ch 1

„They sang as they lifted the children into the ship. They sang old space chanteys and helped the children up the ladder one at a time and into the hands of the sisters. They sang heartily to dispel the fright of the little ones.“

— Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Context: They sang as they lifted the children into the ship. They sang old space chanteys and helped the children up the ladder one at a time and into the hands of the sisters. They sang heartily to dispel the fright of the little ones. When the horizon erupted, the singing stopped. They passed the last child into the ship. The horizon came alive with flashes as the monks mounted the ladder. The horizons became a red glow. A distant cloudbank was born where no cloud had been. The monks on the ladder looked away from the flashes. When the flashes were gone, they looked back. The visage of Lucifer mushroomed into hideousness above the cloudbank, rising slowly like some titan climbing to its feet after ages of imprisonment in the Earth. Ch 30

„The old man was sad as he sat on his porch. He knew so little of the Great Purpose.“

— Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Context: The old man was sad as he sat on his porch. He knew so little of the Great Purpose. Why must his seed fling itself starward? He knew that it must — but he lacked a reason. His grandchildren played in the twilight, played space-games, although there was not yet a starship on the planet. "The Big Hunger" (1952)

„He had seen primal innocence in those eyes, and a promise of resurrection.“

— Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Context: The image of those cool green eyes lingered with him as long as life. He did not ask why God would choose to raise up a creature of primal innocence from the shoulder of Mrs. Grales, or why God gave to it the preternatural gifts of Eden — these gifts which Man had been trying to seize by brute force again from Heaven since first he lost them. He had seen primal innocence in those eyes, and a promise of resurrection. One glimpse had been a bounty, and he wept in gratitude. Afterwards he lay with his face in the wet dirt and waited. Nothing else ever came — nothing that he saw, or felt, or heard. Ch 29

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„When mass murder’s been answered with mass murder, rape with rape, hate with hate, there’s no longer much meaning in asking whose ax is the bloodier.“

— Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Context: The abbot snapped off the set. "Where’s the truth”? he asked quietly. “What’s to be believed? Or does it matter at all? When mass murder’s been answered with mass murder, rape with rape, hate with hate, there’s no longer much meaning in asking whose ax is the bloodier. Evil, on evil, piled on evil. Was there any justification in our ‘police action’ in space? How can we know? Certainly there was no justification for what they did — or was there? We only know what that thing says, and that thing is a captive. The Asian radio has to say what will least displease its government; ours has to say what will least displease our fine patriotic opinionated rabble, which is what, coincidentally, the government wants it to say anyhow, so where’s the difference?" Ch 26

„When Brother Francis had removed the last tray, he touched the papers reverently: only a handful of folded documents here, and yet a treasure; for they had escaped the angry flames of the Simplification, wherein even sacred writings had curled, blackened, and withered into smoke while ignorant mobs howled and hailed it a triumph.“

— Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Context: When Brother Francis had removed the last tray, he touched the papers reverently: only a handful of folded documents here, and yet a treasure; for they had escaped the angry flames of the Simplification, wherein even sacred writings had curled, blackened, and withered into smoke while ignorant mobs howled and hailed it a triumph. He handled the papers as one might handle holy things, shielding them from the wind with his habit, for all were brittle and cracked from age. There was a sheaf of rough sketches and diagrams. There were hand-scribbled notes, two large folded papers, and a small book entitled Memo. Ch 2

„But there is no meaning, no dignity, no fulfillment, in the death of a child.“

— Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Context: There is a difference between tragedy and blind brutal calamity. Tragedy has meaning, and there is dignity in it. Tragedy stands with its shoulders stiff and proud. But there is no meaning, no dignity, no fulfillment, in the death of a child. "The Will" (1953)

„Listen, are we helpless? Are we doomed to do it again and again and again? Have we no choice but to play the Phoenix in an unending sequence of rise and fall?“

— Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Context: Listen, are we helpless? Are we doomed to do it again and again and again? Have we no choice but to play the Phoenix in an unending sequence of rise and fall? Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Carthage, Rome, the Empires of Charlemagne and the Turk: Ground to dust and plowed with salt. Spain, France, Britain, America — burned into the oblivion of the centuries. And again and again and again. Are we doomed to it, Lord, chained to the pendulum of our own mad clockwork, helpless to halt its swing? This time, it will swing us clean to oblivion, he thought. Ch 25

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