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John Crowley

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We weren't where we were in those times because we had been thrown or moved there. We didn't think so. We felt we had impelled ourselves, like the faring pioneers and immigrants driving their wagons or pushing their barrows who somewhere somehow along the way stopped and settled. [...] True, in some places we stayed on where our fathers and mothers and grandfathers had first settled, but even so we were caught up in that motion if our parents and grandparents had happened to settle in places that those on the move were now headed for or drawn to—seemingly blown to, you might think seeing them, as by those cosmic tornadoes that lift a boy on a bicycle or a chicken coop full of chickens or a ford car with Gramps and Gram inside and set it down unharmed somewhere else.
Part One, Chapter 5

John Crowley

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This book is a ripped, by no mean reliable map of some of the landscapes that make up a particular phase of my life. It’s about places where things happened or didn’t happen, places where I stayed and things that have stayed with me, places I’d wanted to see or places I passed through or just ended up. In a way they’re all the same place—the same landscape—because the person these things happened to was the same person who in turn is the sum of all things that happened or didn’t happen in these and other places. Everything in this book really happened, but some of the things that happened only happened in my head; by that same token, all the things that didn’t happen didn’t happen there too.

Geoff Dyer

You, faulty men! Not only got lost on the way of charlatains, but contravened against the divine nature. Weren't settled for the wealthy, clear air, you bewitched it with smoke and burnt smell, you weren't settled for the best spring water, you filled up yourself with several kinds of hard drinks, the sun shined for you in vain, you didn't behold it ...

Tivadar Csontvary Kosztka

I lived altogether in nine different places while in hiding, because whenever something happened, either someone betrayed the place or something happened to someone who knew where I was, I had to move. The rule of the game was never assume that anybody, however honorable, would be able to stand up under torture. If Mr. X, who knew where I was, was caught for some reason, I should move.

Abraham Pais

Hold somebody's hand and feel its warmth. Gram per gram, it converts 10 000 times more energy per second that the sun. You find this hard to believe? Here are the numbers: an average human weighs 70 kilograms and consumes about 12 600 kilojoules / day; that makes about 2 millijoules / gram.second, or 2 milliwatts / gram. For the sun it's a miserable 0.2 microjoules / gram.second. Some bacteria, such as the soil bacterium "Azotobacter" convert as much as 10 joules / gram.second, outperforming the sun by a factor 50 million. I am warm because inside each of my body cells there are dozens, hundreds or even thousands of mitochondria that burn the food I eat.

Gottfried Schatz

Go to Old Delhi, behind the Jama Masjid, and look at the way they keep chickens there in the market. Hundreds of pale hens and brightly colored roosters, stuffed tightly into wire mesh cages, packed as tightly as worms in a belly, pecking each other and shitting on each other, jostling just for breathing space; the whole cage giving off a horrible stench—the stench of terrified, feathered flesh. On the wooden desk above this coop sits a grinning young butcher, showing off the flesh and organs of recently chopped-up chicken, still oleaginous with a coating of dark blood. The roosters in the coop smell the blood from above. They see the organs of their brothers lying around them. They know they’re next. Yet they do not rebel. They do not try to get out of the coop.

Aravind Adiga
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