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Edward Plunkett Dunsany (1878 – 1957)


Anglo-Irish writer and dramatist, best known for his works of fantasy.
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Edward Plunkett Dunsany
Bricks without straw are more easily made than imagination without memories.
Dunsany quotes
One of the greatest writers of [the 20th] century.
Dunsany
The source of all imagination is here in our fields, and Creation is beautiful enough for the furthest flights of the poets. What is called realism only falls far from these flights because it is too meticulously concerned with the detail of material; mere inventories of rocks are not poetry; but all the memories of crags and hills and meadows and woods and sky that lie in a sensitive spirit are materials for poetry, only waiting to be taken out, and to be laid before the eyes of such as care to perceive them.




Once I found out the secret of the universe. I have forgotten what it was, but I know that the Creator does not take Creation seriously, for I remember that He sat in Space with all His work in front of Him and laughed.
What should a man do with the sword of Welleran?
Indeed when we trace it all back to its origin we find at the beginning of this unhappy story a man who was only an emperor and wished to be something more. He would have ruled the world but has only meddled with it; and his folly has brought misery to millions, and there lies his broken dream on the broken earth.
Edward Plunkett Dunsany
I imagine that as one penetrated out from some enormous forest of the tropics, the wild beasts would become fewer, the gloom would lighten, and the horror of the place would slowly lift. Yet as one emerges nearer to the edge of London, and nearer to the beautiful influence of the hills, the houses become uglier, the streets viler, the gloom deepens, the errors of civilisation stand bare to the scorn of the fields.
All we who write put me in mind of sailors hastily making rafts upon doomed ships.
Dunsany
I hope that when London is clean passed away and the defeated fields come back again, like an exiled people returning after a war, they may find some beautiful thing to remind them of it all; because we have loved a little that swart old city.
Inventor of a new mythology and weaver of surprising folklore, Lord Dunsany stands dedicated to a strange world of fantastic beauty . . . unexcelled in the sorcery of crystalline singing prose, and supreme in the creation of a gorgeous and languorous world of incandescently exotic vision. No amount of mere description can convey more than a fraction of Lord Dunsany's pervasive charm.
Edward Plunkett Dunsany
I know of the boons that machinery has conferred on men, all tyrants have boons to confer, but service to the dynasty of steam and steel is a hard service and gives little leisure to fancy to flit from field to field.




"How much do you know?" she said. "Do you know that dreams are illusion?"
Edward Plunkett Dunsany
It was quite dark when he went by the towers of Tor, where archers shoot ivory arrows at strangers lest any foreigner should alter their laws, which are bad, but not to be altered by mere aliens.
Dunsany quotes
No one can imitate Dunsany, and probably everyone who's ever read him has tried.
I saw a workman fall with his scaffolding right from the summit of some vast hotel. And as he came down I saw him holding a knife and trying to cut his name on the scaffolding. He had time to try and do this for he must have had nearly three hundred feet to fall. And I could think of nothing but his folly in doing this futile thing, for not only would the man be unrecognizably dead in three seconds, but the very pole on which he tried to scratch whatever of his name he had time for was certain to be burnt in a few weeks for firewood.
These plays and stories have for their continual theme the passing away of gods and men and cities before the mysterious power which is sometimes called by some great god's name but more often 'Time.' His travellers, who travel by so many rivers and deserts and listen to sounding names none heard before, come back with no tale that does not tell of vague rebellion against that power, and all the beautiful things they have seen get something of their charm from the pathos of fragility. This poet who has imagined colours, ceremonies and incredible processions that never passed before the eyes of Edgar Allen Poe or of De Quincey, and remembered as much fabulous beauty as Sir John Mandeville, has yet never wearied of the most universal of emotions and the one most constantly associated with the sense of beauty; and when we come to examine those astonishments that seemed so alien we find that he has but transfigured with beauty the common sights of the world.
Edward Plunkett Dunsany
Once, as Mung went his way athwart the Earth and up and down its cities and across its plains, Mung came upon a man who was afraid when Mung said: "I am Mung!"
I am reminded of a comment Lord Dunsany made. He saw a script which had a gorgeous description of a sun setting over a landscape, and this had to be crossed out, and it said, "Sun sets, left." This is what I mean by the visuals being supplied by someone else, in that case the stage designer and the director.
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