Vampires are so old that they don't need to impress anyone anymore. They're comfortable in their own skin. It's this enigmatic strength that's very romantic and old-fashioned. I think it goes back to something of a Victorian attitude of finding a strong man who's going to look after his woman.
Love knows no virtue, no profit; it loves and forgives and suffers everything, because it must. It is not our judgment that leads us; it is neither the advantages nor the faults which we discover, that make us abandon ourselves, or that repel us. It is a sweet, soft, enigmatic power that drives us on. We cease to think, to feel, to will; we let ourselves be carried away by it, and ask not whither?
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
Manuscripts - at least for Muslims who understand the subject - are to be read as books whose contents are to be known and understood, for that is why they were written, and not to be regarded as enigmatic specimens for critical textual and philological exercises. To them what is in the manuscripts is more important than what is on them, and so they say: Al-'ilmu fi'l-sudur la fi'l-sutur.
Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas
For decades I have tried to peel back the layers of mystery surrounding many marine creatures, though most have held tightly to their secrets. One animal that keeps me pondering is the shark. Spellbound by these enigmatic animals since I first encountered them in New England, I never tire of watching their special blend of power and grace.
The true work of art is born from the 'artist': a mysterious, enigmatic, and mystical creation. It detaches itself from him, it acquires an autonomous life, becomes a personality, an independent subject, animated with a spiritual breath, the living subject of a real existence of being.
He'd never seen one so vibrant, though, or so vividly compelling... those glowing green eyes sparkling with sunlight and curiosity and silent laughter, and when she glanced in Henry's direction, she held his gaze, a look that was both challenging and enigmatic... He was utterly certain that this was Eleanor of Aquitaine, and no less sure that the French King must be one of God's greatest fools.
Sharon Kay Penman
Fiction, at the point of development at which it has arrived, demands from the writer a spirit of scrupulous abnegation.The only legitimate of all the irreconcilable antagonisms that make our life so enigmatic, so burdensome, so fascinating, so dangerous-so full of hope. They exist! And this is the only fundamental truth of fiction.
Listen- all that she was then, all that she is now, those gestures, everything I remember but won't or can't articulate anymore, the perfect words that are somehow made imperfect when used to describe her and all that should remain unsaid about her- it is all unsupported by reason. I know that. But that enigmatic calm that attaches itself to people in the presence of reason- it's something from which I haven't been able to take comfort, not reliably, not since her.
The skies bend, the time stops, the lanes move and the fires dance, It can mean only one thing that I am with you. You are enigmatic yet so beautiful that I have lost my sense, You are as immaculate as the unadulterated morning dew And your beauty leaves me in a mystified trance. I do not foresee what you and I will be But I promise to be with you till the rocks keep meeting the sea.
Quentin had an obsolete sailing ship that had been raised from the dead. He had psychotically effective swordsman and an enigmatic witch-queen. It wasn't the Fellowship of the Ring, but then again he wasn't trying to save the world from Sauron, he was trying to perform a tax audit on a bunch of hick islanders...
'Codename Baboushka' is an action-packed modern pulp spy thriller, in the sort of British tradition of 'Modesty Blaise', New Avengers and of course James Bond. It's a book about Contessa Annika Malikova, the last of a noble Russian line and an enigmatic, mysterious figure in New York high society.
Oh! Dione of Opalescent Skin Ethereal. Your oospheric containment disperses argentous streams of velvety rays that cradle recesses of soul in gossamer of beatific visions.La Luna! Your enigmatic smile. Your watery countenance stirs the imagination and bestows inspiration on those receptive to Your Sacred Gifts.
My favorite actors are actors who are enigmatic and mysterious and never make the obvious choice in terms of the projects they do or who they work with or their craft. But I think that the less I know about an actor, the more chance I have of allowing their own persona to kind of slip away so I can get completely lost in the character they're playing, and the more that people think they know about your personal life, the more difficult it becomes to preserve that.
Places are fragmentary and inward-turning histories, pasts that others are not allowed to read, accumulated times that can be unfolded but like stories held in reserve, remaining in an enigmatic state, symbolizations encysted in the pain or pleasure of he body. 'I feel good here': the well-being under-expressed in the language it appears in like a fleeting glimmer is a spatial practice.
Michel de Certeau
Sometimes I think I am going mad. I live for days in the mystery and tears of things so that the commonest object, the most familiar face- even my own- become ghostly, unreal, enigmatic. I get into an attitude of almost total scepticism, nescience, solipsism, in a world of dumb, sphinx-like things that cannot explain themselves. The discovery of how I am situated- a sentient being on a globe in space overshadows me. I wish I were just nothing.
I heard Joby Talbot's Hovercraft piece for orchestra and felt its immediate physical impact - visceral, unsettling, hungry and direct. These short five minutes became our keystone to unlocking a strangely seductive score that tensions the aggressive force of the White Stripes with the enigmatic beauty of Talbot's own compositions.
The resulting texts always took a narrative term, enigmatic at first but ultimately explicit and often premonitory. The semantic distribution of these basic elements diverted them from their original meaning, thus revealing their real significance. Henceforth, every form of writing will consist of an operation of decoding, of contamination, and of sense perversion. All this because all language is essentially mystification, and everything is fiction.
Radio astronomy reflects our fascination with how audio can be used to understand information or ideas. Just as scientists visualize data through charts and pictures, we can use 'data sonification' to translate radio signals into sound that help us better understand some of our most enigmatic planetary systems.
Monk's music is often defined as enigmatic, eccentric and humorous - as if it had little to do with the pain he may have endured to create his art. But I believe Monk routinely shared his history with his audience, no matter how unpalatable that history was, and it is for that very reason that his music connects with people around the globe.
It has been said that the myth is a public dream, dreams are private myths. Unfortunately we give our mythic side scant attention these days. As a result, a great deal escapes us and we no longer understand our own actions. So it remains important and salutary to speak not only of the rational and easily understood, but also of enigmatic things: the irrational and the ambiguous. To speak both privately and publicly.
The combination of our mortality with our groundlessness imparts to human life its pressing and enigmatic character. We struggle to in our brief time in the midst of an impenetrable darkness. A small area is lighted up: our civilizations, our sciences, our loves. We prove unable to define the place of the lighted area within a larger space devoid of light, and must go to our deaths unenlightened.
Roberto Mangabeira Unger
Gregorius was never to forget this scene. They were his first Portuguese words in the real world and they worked. That words could cause something in the world, make someone move or stop, laugh or cry: even as a child he had found it enigmatic and it had never stopped impressing him. How did words do that? Wasn't it like magic?But at this moment, the mystery seemed greater than usual, for these were words he hadn't even known yesterday morning.
Gregorius was never to forget this scene. They were his first Portuguese words in the real world and they worked. That words could cause somethinge in the world, make someone move or stop, laugh or cry: even as a child he had found it enigmatic and it had never stopped impressing him. How did words do that? Wasn't it like magic?But at this moment, the mystery seemed greater than usual, for these were words he hadn't even known yesterday morning.
The years... when I pursued the inner images were the most important time of my life. Everything else is to be derived from this. It began at that time, and the later details hardly matter anymore. My entire life consisted in elaborating what had burst forth from the unconscious and flooded me like an enigmatic stream and threatened to break me. That was the stuff and material for more than only one life. Everything later was merely the outer classification, the scientific elaboration, and the integration into life. But the numinous beginning, which contained everything was then.
With his current mood, Elizabeth realized, she was going to have to make her own opening. Lifting her eyes to his enigmatic golden ones, she said quietly, 'Ian, have you ever wanted something very badly-something that was within your grasp-and yet you were afraid to reach out for it?' Surprised by her grave question and her use of his name, Ian tried to ignore the jealousy that had been eating at him all night. 'No, ' he said, scrupulously keeping the curtness from his voice as he gazed down at her alluring face. 'Why do you ask? Is there something you want?' Her gaze fell from his, and she nodded at his frilled white shirtfront. 'What is it you want?' 'You.
If you do a character, always make the character with a big question mark. Even if the character is very enigmatic and all over the place, make him always with a question mark, because if you turn a question mark upside down, like they do in South America in Spanish, then it becomes a hook.
Poetic experience is distinct in nature from mystical experience. Because poetry emanates from the free creativity of the spirit,it is from the very start oriented toward expression, and terminates in a word proffered, it wants to speak; whereas mystical because it emanates from the deepest longing of the spirit bent on knowing, tends of itself toward silence and internal fruition. Poetic experience is busy with the created world and the enigmatic and innumerable relations of existents with one another, not with the Principle of Being.
In other words, Hitler's soul life was not mature enough at that moment to maintain an awareness of himself and his surroundings when this alien entity entered him. During the following six months during a series of irregular meetings and discussions with Hitler, Walter Stein was to witness a maturing soul development in this enigmatic character through which he became more and more a conscious and responsive tool of the world-shattering purposes of the demonic Spirit which overshadowed him. 'I move like a sleep-walker where Providence dictates, ' said Adolf Hitler at a press interview.
A long-dead angel who thought to own me," was his enigmatic answer, the silver in his eyes almost liquid. "I tore out his throat. After that, I ate his liver and his heart. The remaining internal organs weren't as tasty so I gave them to his other creatures." Elena's hand tightened on the handle of the knife, conscious Naasir carried gleaming blades of his own in the sheaths strapped to his arms. "I wouldn't think a vampire who killed an angel would be permitted to live." A slow, feral smile. "I didn't say I killed him.
Reading, therefore, is a co-production between writer and reader. The simplicity of this tool is astounding. So little, yet out of it whole worlds, eras, characters, continents, people never encountered before, people you wouldn't care to sit next to in a train, people that don't exist, places you've never visited, enigmatic fates, all come to life in the mind, painted into existence by the reader's creative powers. In this way the creativity of the writer calls up the creativity of the reader. Reading is never passive.
So now you must choose... Are you a child who has not yet become world-weary? Or are you a philosopher who will vow never to become so? To children, the world and everything in it is new, something that gives rise to astonishment. It is not like that for adults. Most adults accept the world as a matter of course. This is precisely where philosophers are a notable exception. A philosopher never gets quite used to the world. To him or her, the world continues to seem a bit unreasonable - bewildering, even enigmatic. Philosophers and small children thus have an important faculty in common. The only thing we require to be good philosophers is the faculty of wonder...
In the final analysis, what is it that we call popular, democratic power? Beyond the expressed will of the people, as it is supposedly formulated, there is no appeal; here we meet the absolute, the universal, the indivisible, and the immovable. There is nothing a priori, nothing anterior to democratic power; no ideas of truth, no notions of good or bad, can bind the Popular Will. This 'will' is free in the sense that it stands above all notions of value. It is egalitarian because it is reared on arithmetic equality..It is not open to any appeal, it listens to no demand for grace, no plea for compassion. Like the Sphinx, the Popular Will is immovable in its enigmatic silence.
Hazed by pleasure, Nix still had to know. This could be his last chance. 'Nikolai, ' he said thickly. 'Tell me about Nikolai.' Roark's hand drifted down over Nix's pale torso. He eyed Nix wryly. 'You have his persistence, ' he allowed wryly. His eyes flickered on Nix's hot face. Everything hidden behind them even as he spoke. 'Very well. He was a genius. He was a ... thug. He was night and day. He could be kindness itself to a stranger, and yet the next day would bathe in that stranger's blood. And if you tear the shirt from Henley's back, you will doubtless find Nikolai's name carved there. Nikolai became mine, and I his, for five hundred years.' Roark's striking face was smooth, expressionless. Enigmatic. 'They were five hundred years of heaven. Five hundred years of hell. I can tell you no more. Not right now. Is that enough?
Jae T. Jaggart
Virtue is under certain circumstances merely an honorable form of stupidity: who could be ill-disposed toward it on that account? And this kind of virtue has not been outlived even today. A kind of sturdy peasant simplicity, which, however, is possible in all classes and can be encountered only with respect and a smile, believes even today that everything is in good hands, namely in the "hands of God"; and when it maintains this proportion with the same modest certainty as it would that two and two make four, we others certainly refrain from contradicting. Why disturb THIS pure foolishness? Why darken it with our worries about man, people, goal, future? And even if we wanted to do it, we could not. They project their own honorable stupidity and goodness into the heart of things (the old God, deus myops, still lives among them!); we others - we read something else into the heart of things: our own enigmatic nature, our contradictions, our deeper, more painful, more mistrustful wisdom.
In the tenth century BC, the priests of India devised the Brahmodya competition, which would become a model of authentic theological discourse. The object was to find a verbal formula to define the Brahman, the ultimate and inexpressible reality beyond human understanding. The idea was to push language as far as it would go, until participants became aware of the ineffable. The challenger, drawing on his immense erudition, began the process by asking an enigmatic question and his opponents had to reply in a way that was apt but equally inscrutable. The winner was the contestant who reduced the others to silence. In that moment of silence, the Brahman was present - not in the ingenious verbal declarations but in the stunning realisation of the impotence of speech. Nearly all religious traditions have devised their own versions of this exercise. It was not a frustrating experience; the finale can, perhaps, be compared to the moment at the end of the symphony, when there is a full and pregnant beat of silence in the concert hall before the applause begins. The aim of good theology is to help the audience to live for a while in that silence.
Once I had found the courage to tell Rebecca about the children in my head, it wasn't so hard in the coming months to tell Roberta. On the train from Huddersfield one day in May I made a roll call of the usual suspects: Baby Alice; Alice 2, who was two years old and liked to suck sticky lollipops; Billy; Samuel; Shirley; Kato; and the enigmatic Eliza. There was boy I would grow particularly fond of named limbo, who was ten, but like Eliza he was still forming. There were others without names or specific behaviour traits. I didn't want to confuse the issue with this crowd of 'others' and just counted off the major players with their names, ages and personalities, which Roberta scribbled down on a pad. Then she looked slightly embarrassed. 'You know, I've met Billy on a few occasions, and Samuel once too, ' she said. 'You're joking.' I felt betrayed. 'Why didn't you tell me?' 'I wanted it to come from you, Alice, when you were ready.' For some reason I pulled up my sleeves and showed he my arms. 'That's Kato, ' I said, 'or Shirley.' She looked a bit pale as she studied the scars. I had feeling she didn't know what to say. The problem with coin] sellors is that they are trained to listen, not to give advic or diagnosis. We sat there with my arms extended over th void between us like evidence in court, then I pushed dow my sleeves again. 'I'm so sorry, Alice, ' she said finally and I shrugged. 'It's not your fault, is it?' Now she shrugged, and we were quiet once more.
I tell you that man has no more tormenting care than to find someone to whom he can hand over as quickly as possible that gift of freedom with which the miserable creature is born. But he alone can take over the freedom of men who appeases their conscience. With bread you were given an indisputable banner: give man bread and he will bow down to you, for there is nothing more indisputable than bread. But if at the same time someone else takes over his conscience - oh, then he will even throw down your bread and follow him who has seduced his conscience. In this you were right. For the mystery of man's being is not only in living, but in what one lives for. Without a firm idea of what he lives for, man will not consent to live and will sooner destroy himself than remain on earth, even if there is bread all around him. That is so, but what came of it? Instead of taking over men's freedom, you increased it still more for them! Did you forget that peace and even death are dearer to man than free choice in the knowledge of good and evil? There is nothing more seductive for man than the freedom of his conscience, but there is nothing more tormenting either. And so, instead of a firm foundation for appeasing human conscience once and for all, you chose everything that was unusual, enigmatic, and indefinite, you chose everything that was beyond men's strength, and thereby acted as if you did not love them at all - and who did this? He who came to give his life for them! Instead of taking over men's freedom, you increased it and forever burdened the kingdom of the human soul with its torments. You desired the free love of man, that he should follow you freely. seduced and captivated by you. Instead of the firm ancient law, men had henceforth to decide for himself, with a free heart, what is good and what is evil, having only your image before him as a guide - but did it not occur to you that he would eventually reject and dispute even your image and your truth if he was oppressed by so terrible a burden as freedom of choice? They will finally cry out that the truth is not in you, for it was impossible to leave them in greater confusion and torment than you did, abandoning them to so many cares and insoluble problems. Thus you yourself laid the foundation for the destruction of your own kingdom, and do not blame anyone else for it.
If you imagine the 4,500-bilion-odd years of Earth's history compressed into a normal earthly day, then life begins very early, about 4 A.M., with the rise of the first simple, single-celled organisms, but then advances no further for the next sixteen hours. Not until almost 8:30 in the evening, with the day five-sixths over, has Earth anything to show the universe but a restless skin of microbes. Then, finally, the first sea plants appear, followed twenty minutes later by the first jellyfish and the enigmatic Ediacaran fauna first seen by Reginald Sprigg in Australia. At 9:04 P.M. trilobites swim onto the scene, followed more or less immediately by the shapely creatures of the Burgess Shale. Just before 10 P.M. plants begin to pop up on the land. Soon after, with less than two hours left in the day, the first land creatures follow. Thanks to ten minutes or so of balmy weather, by 10:24 the Earth is covered in the great carboniferous forests whose residues give us all our coal, and the first winged insects are evident. Dinosaurs plod onto the scene just before 11 P.M. and hold sway for about three-quarters of an hour. At twenty-one minutes to midnight they vanish and the age of mammals begins. Humans emerge one minute and seventeen seconds before midnight. The whole of our recorded history, on this scale, would be no more than a few seconds, a single human lifetime barely an instant. Throughout this greatly speeded-up day continents slide about and bang together at a clip that seems positively reckless. Mountains rise and melt away, ocean basins come and go, ice sheets advance and withdraw. And throughout the whole, about three times every minute, somewhere on the planet there is a flash-bulb pop of light marking the impact of a Manson-sized meteor or one even larger. It's a wonder that anything at all can survive in such a pummeled and unsettled environment. In fact, not many things do for long.
If you imagine the 4, 500-bilion-odd years of Earth's history compressed into a normal earthly day, then life begins very early, about 4 A.M., with the rise of the first simple, single-celled organisms, but then advances no further for the next sixteen hours. Not until almost 8:30 in the evening, with the day five-sixths over, has Earth anything to show the universe but a restless skin of microbes. Then, finally, the first sea plants appear, followed twenty minutes later by the first jellyfish and the enigmatic Ediacaran fauna first seen by Reginald Sprigg in Australia. At 9:04 P.M. trilobites swim onto the scene, followed more or less immediately by the shapely creatures of the Burgess Shale. Just before 10 P.M. plants begin to pop up on the land. Soon after, with less than two hours left in the day, the first land creatures follow. Thanks to ten minutes or so of balmy weather, by 10:24 the Earth is covered in the great carboniferous forests whose residues give us all our coal, and the first winged insects are evident. Dinosaurs plod onto the scene just before 11 P.M. and hold sway for about three-quarters of an hour. At twenty-one minutes to midnight they vanish and the age of mammals begins. Humans emerge one minute and seventeen seconds before midnight. The whole of our recorded history, on this scale, would be no more than a few seconds, a single human lifetime barely an instant. Throughout this greatly speeded-up day continents slide about and bang together at a clip that seems positively reckless. Mountains rise and melt away, ocean basins come and go, ice sheets advance and withdraw. And throughout the whole, about three times every minute, somewhere on the planet there is a flash-bulb pop of light marking the impact of a Manson-sized meteor or one even larger. It's a wonder that anything at all can survive in such a pummeled and unsettled environment. In fact, not many things do for long.
The usual short story cannot have a complex plot, but it often has a simple one resembling a chain with two or three links. The short short, however, doesn't as a rule have even that much - you don't speak of a chain when there's only one link... Sometimes... the short short appears to rest on nothing more than a fragile anecdote which the writer has managed to drape with a quantity of suggestion. A single incident, a mere anecdote - these form the spine of the short short. Everything depends on intensity, one sweeping blow of perception. In the short short the writer gets no second chance. Either he strikes through at once or he's lost. And because it depends so heavily on this one sweeping blow, the short short often approaches the condition of a fable. When you read the two pieces by Tolstoy in this book, or I.L. Peretz's 'If Not Higher, ' or Franz Kafka's 'The Hunter Gracchus, ' you feel these writers are intent upon 'making a point' - but obliquely, not through mere statement. What they project is not the sort of impression of life we expect in most fiction, but something else: an impression of an idea of life. Or: a flicker in darkness, a slight cut of being. The shorter the piece of writing, the more abstract it may seem to us. In reading Paz's brilliant short short we feel we have brushed dangerously against the sheer arbitrariness of existence; in reading Peretz's, that we have been brought up against a moral reflection on the nature of goodness, though a reflection hard merely to state. Could we say that the short short is to other kinds of fiction somewhat as the lyric is to other kinds of poetry? The lyric does not seek meaning through extension, it accepts the enigmas of confinement. It strives for a rapid unity of impression, an experience rendered in its wink of immediacy. And so too with the short short... Writers who do short shorts need to be especially bold. They stake everything on a stroke of inventiveness. Sometimes they have to be prepared to speak out directly, not so much in order to state a theme as to provide a jarring or complicating commentary. The voice of the writer brushes, so to say, against his flash of invention. And then, almost before it begins, the fiction is brought to a stark conclusion - abrupt, bleeding, exhausting. This conclusion need not complete the action; it has only to break it off decisively. Here are a few examples of the writer speaking out directly. Paz: 'The universe is a vast system of signs.' Kafka in 'First Sorrow': The trapeze artist's 'social life was somewhat limited.' Paula Fox: 'We are starving here in our village. At last, we are at the center.' Babel's cossack cries out, 'You guys in specs have about as much pity for chaps like us as a cat for a mouse.' Such sentences serve as devices of economy, oblique cues. Cryptic and enigmatic, they sometimes replace action, dialogue and commentary, for none of which, as it happens, the short short has much room. There's often a brilliant overfocussing. ("Introduction")