— Aldous Huxley, Point Counter Point
The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies “something not desirable”. The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Petain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.
It seems to me indisputably true that a good many people,
the wide world over, of varying ages, cultures, natural endowments,
respond with a special impetus, a zing, even, in some cases,
to artists and poets who as well as having a reputation for producing
great or fine art have something garishly Wrong with them as persons:
a spectacular flaw in character or citizenship, a construably romantic affliction or addiction-extreme self-centredness,
a terrible thirst,
a mortally bad cough,
a soft spot for prostitutes,
a partiality for grand-scale adultery or incest,
a certified or uncertified weakness for opium or sodomy,
and so on,
God have mercy on the lonely bastards. If suicide isn’t at the top of the list of compelling infirmities for creative men, the suicide poet or artist, one can’t help noticing, has always been given a very considerable amount of avid attention, not seldom on sentimental grounds almost exclusively, as if he were
(to put it much more horribly than I really want to)
the floppy-eared runt of the litter.
It’s a thought, anyway, finally said, that I’ve lost sleep over many times, and possibly will again.
- J.D Salinger / Seymour an Introduction
— Seymour: an Introduction - J.D. Salinger
THERE WERE ninety-seven New York advertising men in the hotel, and, the way they were monopolizing the long-distance lines, the girl in 507 had to wait from noon till almost two-thirty to get her call through. She used the time, though. She read an article in a women’s pocket-size magazine, called “Sex Is Fun-or Hell.” She washed her comb and brush. She took the spot out of the skirt of her beige suit. She moved the button on her Saks blouse. She tweezed out two freshly surfaced hairs in her mole. When the operator finally rang her room, she was sitting on the window seat and had almost finished putting lacquer on the nails of her left hand.
— J.D. Salinger - Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters (1955)
— Down and out in Paris and London | George Orwell
— Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell
— Aldous Huxley, from Brave New World
cease to exist
because they are ignored."
— Aldous Huxley
— Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
— Charles Bukowski