„When I read about the dangers of drinking, I gave up reading“

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Henny Youngman7
1906 - 1998
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„I started reading SF when I was about twelve and I read all I could, so any author who was writing about that time, I read. But there's no doubt who got me off originally and that was A. E. van Vogt.“

—  Philip K. Dick American author 1928 - 1982
Context: I started reading SF when I was about twelve and I read all I could, so any author who was writing about that time, I read. But there's no doubt who got me off originally and that was A. E. van Vogt. There was in van Vogt's writing a mysterious quality, and this was especially true in The World of Null A. All the parts of that book did not add up; all the ingredients did not make a coherency. Now some people are put off by that. They think that's sloppy and wrong, but the thing that fascinated me so much was that this resembled reality more than anybody else's writing inside or outside science fiction. … reality really is a mess, and yet it's exciting. The basic thing is, how frightened are you of chaos? And how happy are you with order? Van Vogt influenced me so much because he made me appreciate a mysterious chaotic quality in the universe which is not to be feared. As quoted in "Vertex Interviews Philip K. Dick" by Arthur Byron Cover, in Vertex, Vol. 1, no. 6 (February 1974) http://2010philipkdickfans.philipkdickfans.com/frank/vertexin.htm

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„I was about ten when I first read 1984 and Lord of the Flies, both of which absolutely terrified me“

—  Elizabeth Hand American writer 1957
Context: I was about ten when I first read 1984 and Lord of the Flies, both of which absolutely terrified me — especially 1984, because I figured out that Julia, Winston Smith's lover, would have been born the same year I was. I knew these books were fiction, but I was far too young to have a grasp on the political or cultural realities behind them — I had no distance or detachment from what I read: it seemed too real to me, too possible.

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„Take up and read; take up and read“

—  Aurelius Augustinus early Christian theologian and philosopher 354 - 430
Context: I was saying these things and weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart, when suddenly I heard the voice of a boy or a girl I know not which — coming from the neighboring house, chanting over and over again, "Take up and read; take up and read." Immediately I ceased weeping and began most earnestly to think whether it was usual for children in some kind of game to sing such a song, but I could not remember ever having heard the like. So, damming the torrent of my tears, I got to my feet, for I could not but think that this was a divine command to open the Bible and read the first passage I should light upon. For I had heard how Anthony, accidentally coming into church while the gospel was being read, received the admonition as if what was read had been addressed to him: "Go and sell what you have and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me" (Matt. 19:21). By such an oracle he was forthwith converted to thee. So I quickly returned to the bench where Alypius was sitting, for there I had put down the apostle’s book when I had left there. I snatched it up, opened it, and in silence read the paragraph on which my eyes first fell: "Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof" (Rom. 13:13). I wanted to read no further, nor did I need to. For instantly, as the sentence ended, there was infused in my heart something like the light of full certainty and all the gloom of doubt vanished away. VIII, 12