Alex Dumas was a consummate warrior and a man of great conviction and moral courage. He was renowned for his strength, his swordsmanship, his bravery, and his knack for pulling victory out of the toughest situations. But he was known, too, for his profane back talk and his problems with authority.
Man is saved if he opens himself to God and to others, even if he is not clearly aware that he is doing so. This is valid for Christians and non-Christians alike - for all people... We can no longer speak properly of a profane world. A qualitative and intensive approach replaces a quantitative and extensive one.
I have always thought that clarity is a form of courtesy that the philosopher owes; moreover, this discipline of ours considers it more truly a matter of honor today than ever before to be open to all minds ... This is different from the individual sciences which increasingly [interpose] between the treasure of their discoveries and the curiosity of the profane the tremendous dragon of their closed terminology.
Jose Ortega y Gasset
There was a time when I thought dudes had friendship all figured out. The focus on eating things in front of giant screens, pretending to punch one another, competing over who can utter the grossest and most profane personal insults imaginable - this struck me as the very apex of human social exchange.
But lest I should mislead any when I have my own head and obey my whims, let me remind the reader that I am only an experimenter.Do not set the least value on what I do, or the least discredit on what I do not, as if I pretended to settle any thing as true or false. I unsettle all things. No facts are to me sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker with no Past at my back.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are dull and bright, sacred and profane, coarse and fine egotists. It is a disease that, like influenza, falls on all constitutions. In the distemper known to physicians as chorea, the patient sometimes turns round, and continues to spin slowly in one spot. Is egotism a metaphysical varioloid of this malady?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The scholar was not raised by the sacred thoughts amongst which he dwelt, but used them to selfish ends. He was a profane person,and became a showman, turning his gifts to marketable use, and not to his own sustenance and growth. It was found that the intellect could be independently developed, that is, in separation from the man, as any single organ can be invigorated, and the result was monstrous.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
What bothers most critics of my work is the goofiness. One reviewer said I need to make up my mind if want to be funny or serious. My response is that I will make up my mind when God does, because life is a commingling of the sacred and the profane, good and evil. To try and separate them is fallacy.
They [Bishops] shall also banish from churches all those kinds of music, in which, whether by the organ, or in the singing, there is mixed up any thing lascivious or impure; as also all secular actions; vain and therefore profane conversations, all walking about, noise, and clamour, that so the house of God may be seen to be, and may be called, truly a house of prayer.
Pope Pius IV
I'm extremely profane, unconsciously so, when I see something great for the first time; I don't know why, but beauty and profanity are related to me in the same way. It may be that I want to think of art in the vernacular, but I have no control over what comes out of my mouth when my eyes take in great beauty...it might just be the reason I avoid going to museums with elderly ladies.
The real voice is stiller and smaller and seems to know, without confusion, the difference between right and wrong and the subtle delineation between the beautiful and profane. It's not an agitated voice, but ever patient as though it approves a million false starts. The voice I am talking about is a deep water of calming wisdom.
I do not believe in God, but I believe God is man's greatest idea. Those incapable of religious feeling or those (like hard-core gay activists) who profane sacred ground do not have the imagination to educate the young. ... Until the left comes to its senses about the cultural power of religion, the right will continue to broaden its appeal
For my part, I would rather look toward Rutland than Jerusalem. Rutland,--modern town,--land of ruts,--trivial and worn,--not toosacred,--with no holy sepulchre, but profane green fields and dusty roads, and opportunity to live as holy a life as you can, where the sacredness, if there is any, is all in yourself and not in the place.
Henry David Thoreau
Unless your sexuality rises and reaches to love it is mundane, it has nothing sacred about it. When your sex becomes love, then it is entering into a totally different dimension - the dimension of the mysterious and the miraculous. Now it is becoming religious, sacred, it is no longer profane.
Man becomes aware of the Sacred because it manifests itself, shows itself, as something wholly different from the Profane ... In his encounters with the Sacred, man experiences a reality that does not belong to our world yet is encountered in and through objects or events that are part of the world.
For truly barren is profane education, which is always in labor but never gives birth. For what fruit worthy of such pangs does philosophy show for being so long in labor? Do not all who are full of wind and never come to term miscarry before they come to the light of the knowledge of God, although they could as well become men if they were not altogether hidden in the womb of barren wisdom?
Gregory of Nyssa
The efficacy of religion lies precisely in what is not rational, philosophic, nor eternal; its efficacy lies in the unforeseen, the miraculous, the extraordinary. Thus religion attracts more devotion according as it demands more faith - that is to say, as it becomes more incredible to the profane mind.
Henri Frederic Amiel
In the tangled hierarchy sinner and saint, divine and diabolical, sacred and profane are different faces of our collective Being. Therefore angry activism driven by rage, however justified it seems, is really not going to work. I believe that the tangled hierarchy wants us to move to the next state of evolution and very strongly desires us to take that quantum leap of creativity.
How do we allow God into our minds, bodies, relationships, and life? We stop squeezing the divine out through our preconceived notions of what is sacred and what is profane. When we assume the mind-set that everything is ultimately divine, though sometimes more disguised than others, then we can see that all of our thoughts, impulses, and desires arise from and can bring us back to awareness of the sacred.
Beauty can be consoling, disturbing, sacred, profane; it can be exhilarating, appealing, inspiring, chilling. It can affect us in an unlimited variety of ways. Yet it is never viewed with indifference: beauty demands to be noticed; it speaks to us directly like the voice of an intimate friend. If there are people who are indifferent to beauty, then it is surely because they do not perceive it.
If I am to be a thoroughfare, I prefer that it be of the mountain brooks, the Parnassian streams, and not the town sewers. There is inspiration, that gossip which comes to the ear of the attentive mind from the courts of heaven. There is the profane and stale revelation of the barroom and the police court. The same ear is fitted to receive both communications. Only the character of the hearer determines to which it shall be open, and to which closed.
Henry David Thoreau
Euripides seems to have felt that the dignified perfection of Sophocles could be challenged only by novelty and irresponsibility. The religious conditions of the Dionysian festival kept him within certain bounds... But within the imposed limits Euripides was as profane as he dared to be, making melodrama of the divine realities which his predecessors accepted religiously, using the stage merely as a convenience for popularizing his own eccentric values.
I've been described as a tough and noisy woman, a prize fighter, a man-hater, you name it. They call me Battling Bella, Mother Courage, and a Jewish mother with more complaints than Portnoy. There are those who say I'm impatient, impetuous, uppity, rude, profane, brash, and overbearing. Whether I'm any of those things, or all of them, you can decide for yourself. But whatever I am -- and this ought to be made very clear -- I am a very serious woman.
One word is too often profaned For me to profane it, One feeling too falsely disdain'd For thee to disdain it. One hope too like dispair For prudence to smother, I can give not what men call love: But wilt thou accept not The worship the heart lifts above And heaven rejects not: The desire of the moth for the star, The devotion of something afar From the sphere of our sorrow?
Percy Bysshe Shelley
All fear of 'offensive' speech is bourgeois and reactionary. Historically, profane or bawdy language was common in both the upper and the lower classes, who lived together in rural areas amid the untidy facts of nature. Notions of propriety and decorum come to the fore in urbanized periods ruled by an expanding middle class, which is obsessed with cleanliness, respectability, and conformism.
A society whose members are united by the fact that they think in the same way in regard to the sacred world and its relations with the profane world, and by the fact that they translate these common ideas into common practices, is what is called a Church. In all history, we do not find a single religion without a Church.
I paid the cabman exactly his fare. He received it with an oath; upon which I instantly gave him a tract. If I had presented a pistol at his head, this abandoned wretch could hardly have exhibited greater consternation. He jumped up on his box, and, with profane exclamations of dismay, drove off furiously. Quite useless, I am happy to say! I sowed the good seed, in spite of him, by throwing a second tract in at the window of the cab.
BeforeWe end our pilgrimage, 'tis fit that weShould leave corruption, and foul sin, behind us,But with wash'd feet and hands, the heathens dar' notEnter their profane temples; and for meTo hope my passage to eternityCan be made easy, till I have shook offThe burthen of my sins in free confession,Aided with sorrow, and repentance for them,Is against reason.
Stay out of the gutter in your conversation. Foul talk defiles the man who speaks it... Don't swear. Don't profane. Avoid so-called dirty jokes. Stay away from conversation that is sprinkled with foul and filthy words. You will be happier if you do so, and your example will give strength to others.
Gordon B. Hinckley
The fact that slang is apt and forceful makes its use irresistibly tempting. Coarse or profane slang is beside the mark, but "flivver," "taxi," the "movies," "deadly" (meaning dull), "feeling fit," "feeling blue," "grafter," a "fake," "grouch," "hunch" and "right o!" are typical of words that it would make our spoken language stilted to exclude.
How you speak and the words you use tell much about the image you choose to portray. Use language to build and uplift those around you. Profane, vulgar, or crude language and inappropriate or off-color jokes are offensive to the Lord. Never misuse the name of God or Jesus Christ. The Lord said, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain" (Ex. 20:7).
Thomas S. Monson
The possible truths, hazily perceived in the world of abstraction, like those inferred from observation and experiment in the world of matter, are forced upon the profane multitudes, too busy to think for themselves, under the form of Divine revelation and scientific authority. But the same question stands open from the days of Socrates and Pilate down to our own age of wholesale negation: is there such a thing as absolute truth in the hands of any one party or man?
H. P. Blavatsky
What a place to be in is an old library! It seems as though all the souls of all the writers that have bequeathed their labours to these Bodleians were reposing here as in some dormitory, or middle state. I do not want to handle, to profane the leaves, their winding-sheets. I could as soon dislodge a shade. I seem to inhale learning, walking amid their foliage; and the odor of their old moth-scented coverings is fragrant as the first bloom of the sciential apples which grew amid the happy orchard.
If religion is about the sacred as opposed to the profane, the spirit as opposed to matter, the Creator as opposed to the created, Confucianism plainly does not qualify. But perhaps what we are to learn from this tradition is not that Confucianism is not a religion but that not all religious people parse the sacred and the secular the way Christians do.
Stephen R. Prothero
Whether a Commonwealth suffers more by hypocritical pretenders to religion or by the openly profane? The most dangerous hypocrite in a Commonwealth is one who leaves the gospel for the sake of the law. A man compounded of law and gospel is able to cheat a whole country with his religion and then destroy them under color of law.
The General most earnestly requires, and expects, a due observance of those articles of war, established for the government of the army which forbid profane cursing, swearing and drunkenness; and in like manner requires and expects, of all officers, and soldiers, not engaged on actual duty, a punctual attendance on divine service, to implore the blessings of heaven upon the means used for our safety and defence.
I think the highest forgiveness is to accept that creation is thoroughly tangled, with every possible quality given outlet for expression. People need to accept once and for all that there is only one life and each of us is free to shape it through the choices we make. Seeking can't get anyone out of the tangle because everything is tangled up... it's much easier to keep up the fight between good and evil, holy and profane, us and them. But as awareness grows, these opposites begin to calm down in their clashes, and something else emerges- a world you feel at home in.
We note the increasing coarseness of language and understand how Lot must have felt when he was, according to Peter, "vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked." (2 Peter2:7.) We wonder why those of coarse and profane conversation, even if they refuse obedience to God's will, are so stunted mentally that they let their capacity to communicate grow more and more narrow. Language is like music; we rejoice in beauty, range, and quality in both, and we are demeaned by the repetition of a few sour notes.
Spencer W. Kimball
The phosphorous smell which is developed when electricity (to speak the profane language) is passing from the points of a conductor into air, or when lightning happens to fall upon some terrestrial object, or when water is electrolysed, has been engaging my attention the last couple of years, and induced me to make many attempts at clearing up that mysterious phenomenon. Though baffled for a long time, at last, I think, I have succeeded so far as to have got the clue which will lead to the discovery of the true cause of the smell in question.
Christian Friedrich Schonbein
You sit down at Katz's and you eat the big bowl of pickles and you're eating the pastrami sandwich, and halfway through you say to yourself, I should really wrap this up and save it for tomorrow. But the sandwich is calling you: Remember the taste you just had. So fatty. It's what you want. It's what you are! I've never gotten home from Katz's with a doggie bag in my hand. A pastrami sandwich at Katz's is what's bad and good about food. It's the sacred and the profane.
How the holy and the profane mix in the light of day and at the end of life is sometimes the most beautiful thing in this world and a compassionate entry into the next. After failure and defeat, a concentration upon certain beauties, though forever lost and unretrievable, can lift the wounded past roundedness and the dying past dying, protecting them with an image, still and bright, that will ride with them on their long ride, never to fade and never to retreat.
When it was reported to General Washington that the army was frequently indulging in swearing, he immediately sent out the following order: The general is sorry to be informed that the foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing - a vice little known heretofore in the American army - is growing into fashion. Let the men and officers reflect "that we can not hope for the blessing of heaven on our army if we insult it by our impiety and folly."
The epoch of doubt and transition during which the Greeks passed from the dim fancies of mythology to the fierce light of science was the age of Pericles, and the endeavour to substitute certain truth for the prescriptions of impaired authorities, which was then beginning to absorb the energies of the Greek intellect, is the grandest movement in the profane annals of mankind, for to it we owe, even after the immeasurable progress accomplished by Christianity, much of our philosophy and far the better part of the political knowledge we possess.
Do what he will, he [the profane man] is an inheritor. He cannot utterly abolish his past, since he himself is a product of his past. He forms himself by a series of denials and refusals, but he continues to be haunted by the realities that he has refused and denied. To acquire a world of his own, he has desacralized the world in which his ancestors lived; but to do so he has been obliged to adopt an earlier type of behavior, and that behavior is still emotionally present in him, in one form or another, ready to be reactualized in his deepest being.
To contact the cosmic giggle, to have the flow of casuistry begin to give off synchronistic ripples, whitecaps in the billows of the coincidental ether, if you will. To achieve that, a precondition is a kind of unconsciousness, a kind of drifting, a certain taking-your-eye-off-the-ball, a certain assumptions that things are simpler than they are, almost always precedes what Mircea Eliade called 'the rupture of plane' that indicates that there is an archetypal world, an archetypal power behind profane appearances.
There are countries in which public establishments are considered by the government as its own personal affair, so that it admits persons to them only according to its pleasure, just as a proprietor refuses at his pleasure admission into his house; they are a sort of administrative sanctuaries, into which no profane person can penetrate. These establishments, on the contrary, in the United States, are considered as belonging to all. The prisons are open to everyone who chooses to inspect them ad every visiter may inform himself of the order which regulates the interior.
Gustave de Beaumont
None of us like the concept of law because none of us like the restraints it puts on us. But when we understand that God has given us his law to aid us in guarding our souls, we see that the law is for our fulfillment, not for our limitation. The law reminds us that some things, some experiences, some relationships are sacred. When everything has been profaned, it is not just my freedom that has been lost- the loss is everyone's. God gave us the law to remind us of the sacredness of life, and our created legal systems only serve to remind us of the profane judgments we make.
Holiness is the strength of the soul. It comes by faith and through obedience to God's laws and ordinances. God then purifies the heart by faith, and the heart becomes purged from that which is profane and unworthy. When holiness is achieved by conforming to God's will, one knows intuitively that which is wrong and that which is right before the Lord. Holiness speaks when there is silence, encouraging that which is good or reproving that which is wrong.
James E. Faust
It is not the task of a writer to 'tell all, ' or even to decide what to leave in, but to decide what to leave out. Whatever remains, that meager sum of this profane division, that's the bastard chimera we call a 'story.' I am not building, but cutting away. And all stories, whether advertised as truth or admitted falsehoods, are fictions, cleft from the objective facts by the aforementioned action of cutting away. A pound of flesh. A pile of sawdust. Discarded chips of Carrara marble. And what's left over. "Houses Under The Sea
Caitlen R. Kiernan
DAMNATION!' No device of the printer's art, not even capital letters, can indicate the intensity of that shriek of rage. Emerson is known to his Egyptian workers by the admiring sobriquet of Father of Curses. The volume as well as the content of his remarks earned him the title; but this shout was extraordinary even by Emerson's standards, so much so that the cat Bastet, who had become more or less accustomed to him, started violently, and fell with a splash into the bathtub. The scene that followed is best not described in detail. My efforts to rescue the thrashing feline were met with hysterical resistance; water surged over the edge of the tub and onto the floor; Emerson rushed to the rescue; Bastet emerged in one mighty leap, like a whale broaching, and fled - cursing, spitting, and streaming water. She and Emerson met in the doorway of the bathroom. The ensuing silence was broken by the quavering voice of the safragi, the servant on duty outside our room, inquiring if we required his assistance. Emerson, seated on the floor in a puddle of soapy water, took a long breath. Two of the buttons popped off his shirt and splashed into the water. In a voice of exquisite calm he reassured the servant, and then transferred his bulging stare to me. I trust you are not injured, Peabody. Those scratches... ' The bleeding has almost stopped, Emerson. It was not Bastet's fault.' It was mine, I suppose, ' Emerson said mildly. Now, my dear, I did not say that. Are you going to get up from the floor?' No, ' said Emerson. He was still holding the newspaper. Slowly and deliberately he separated the soggy pages, searching for the item that had occasioned his outburst. In the silence I heard Bastet, who had retreated under the bed, carrying on a mumbling, profane monologue. (If you ask how I knew it was profane, I presume you have never owned a cat.)
A nap is not to be confused with sleeping. We sleep to recharge our bodies. We nap to care for our souls. When we nap, we are resting our eyes while our imaginations soar. Getting ready for the next round. Sorting, sifting, separating the profound from the profane, the possible from the improbable. Rehearsing our acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize, our surprise on receiving the MacArthur genius award. This requires a prone position. If we're lucky, we might drift off, but we won't drift far. Just far enough to ransom our creativity from chaos.
Sarah Ban Breathnach
The decisions we make, individually and personally, become the fabric of our lives. That fabric will be beautiful or ugly according to the threads of which it is woven. I wish to say particularly to the young men who are here that you cannot indulge in any unbecoming behavior without injury to the beauty of the fabric of your lives. Immoral acts of any kind will introduce an ugly thread. Dishonesty of any kind will create a blemish. Foul and profane language will rob the pattern of its beauty.
Gordon B. Hinckley
God warned Israel, "And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it" (Ex. 20:25). To pollute something is to make it ordinary. God insists that any approach crafted by human ingenuity will produce a worship system just like all the pagan systems in the world. In other words, it will be common or profane - just like everyone else's paganism.
The spirit only can teach. Not any profane man, not any sensual, not any liar, not any slave can teach, but only he can give, whohas; he only can create, who is. The man on whom the soul descends, through whom the soul speaks, alone can teach. Courage, piety, love, wisdom, can teach; and every man can open his door to these angels, and they shall bring him the gift of tongues. But the man who aims to speak as books enable, as synods use, as the fashion guides, and as interest commands, babbles. Let him hush.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
It's dangerous to assume that because a person is drawn to holiness in his study that he is thereby a holy man. There is irony here. I am sure that the reason I have a deep hunger to learn of the holiness of God is precisely because I am not holy. I am a profane man""a man who spends more time out of the temple than in it. But I have had just enough of a taste of the majesty of God to want more. I know what it means to be a forgiven man and what it means to be sent on a mission. My soul cries for more. My soul needs more.
R. C. Sproul
And what have you laymen made of hell? A kind of penal servitude for eternity, on the lines of your convict prisons on earth, to which you condemn in advance all the wretched felons your police have hunted from the beginning - enemies of society, as you call them. You're kind enough to include the blasphemers and the profane. What proud or reasonable man could stomach such a notion of God's justice? And when you find that notion inconvenient it's easy enough for you to put it on one side. Hell is not to love any more, Madame. Not to love any more!
Those who would take over the earth And shape it to their will Never, I notice, succeed. The earth is like a vessel so sacred That at the mere approach of the profane It is marred And when they reach out their fingers it is gone. For a time in the world some force themselves ahead And some are left behind, For a time in the world some make a great noise And some are held silent, For a time in the world some are puffed fat And some are kept hungry, For a time in the world some push aboard And some are tipped out: At no time in the world will a man who is sane Over-reach himself, Over-spend himself, Over-rate himself.
The eye of a man should be still more reverent before the rising of a young maiden than before the rising of a star. The possibility of touch should increase respect. The down of the peach, the dust of the plum, the radiated crystal of snow, the butterfly's wing powdered with feathers, are gross things beside that chastity that does not even know it is chaste. The young maiden is only the glimmer of a dream and is not yet statue. Her alcove is hidden in the shadows of the ideal. The indiscreet touch of the eye desecrates this dim penumbra. Here, to gaze, is to profane.
The English language is like London: proudly barbaric yet deeply civilised, too, common yet royal, vulgar yet processional, sacred yet profane. Each sentence we produce, whether we know it or not, is a mongrel mouthful of Chaucerian, Shakespearean, Miltonic, Johnsonian, Dickensian and American. Military, naval, legal, corporate, criminal, jazz, rap and ghetto discourses are mingled at every turn. The French language, like Paris, has attempted, through its Academy, to retain its purity, to fight the advancing tides of Franglais and international prefabrication. English, by comparison, is a shameless whore.
Leave this touching and clawing. Let him be to me a spirit. A message, a thought, a sincerity, a glance from him, I want, but not news nor pottage. I can get politics, and chat, and neighborly conveniences from cheaper companions. Should not the society of my friend be to me poetic, pure, universal, and great as nature itself? Ought I to feel that our tie is profane in comparison with yonder bar of cloud that sleeps on the horizon, or that clump of waving grass that divides the brook? Let us not vilify, bur raise it to that standard. That great, defying eye, that scornful beauty of his mien and action, do not pique yourself on reducing, but rather fortify and enhance.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
At eighteen, she already looks like a woman of sorrows and as her breaths start becoming shorter, tired of looking over her shoulder, she only wants to get away from this city where no one can fathom her love- boundless and profane and real, like her skin and her lips and the insides of her thighs. She knows she can smile, smell like the others. Her skin would bleed too if pricked and yet this reality does not belong to the ones sleeping on the platform floor; this reality is hers and her alone. Thus when she puts the mirror back, she rummages in her handbag, searching for that thing called identity: some of it lost somewhere in the railway colony she had just left behind, some in Sudhanshu's left jacket pocket, the rest of it scattered here around broken teacups on railings, totally aberrant and arbitrary.
A large class of readers ... will suffer greatly from the introduction into the pages of this work of words printed with all their letters, which it has become the custom to represent by the initial and final letter only-a blank line filling the interval. I may as well say at once that, for this circumstance, it is out of my power to apologise; deeming it, myself, a rational plan to write words at full length. The practice of hinting by single letters those expletive with which profane and violent persons are wont to garnish their discourse, strikes me as a proceeding which, however well meant, is weak and futile. I cannot tell what good it does-what feeling it spares-what horror it conceals. (in the introduction to Emily's Wuthering Heights)
The Mayflower sped across the white-tipped waves once the voyage was under way, and the passengers were quickly afflicted with seasickness. The crew took great delight in the sufferings of the landlubbers and tormented them mercilessly. "There is an insolent and very profane young man, Bradford wrote, "who was always harrassing the poor people in their sickness, and cursing them daily with greivous execrations." He even laughed that he hoped to 'throw half of them overboard before they came to their journey's end.' The Puritans believe a just God punished the young sailor for his cruelty when, halfway through the voyage, 'it pleased God... to smite the young man with a greivous disease, of which he died in a desperate manner." He was the first to be thrown overboard.
And I may not omit here a special work of God's providence. There was a proud and very profane young man [aboard the Mayflower], one of the seamen, of a lusty, able body, which made him the more haughty; he would always be contemning the poor people in their [sea]sickness, and cursing them daily with grievous execrations, and did not let to tell them, that he hoped to help cast half of them overboard before they came to their journey's end, and to make merry with what they had; and if he were by any gently reproved, he would curse and swear most bitterly. But it pleased God before they came half seas over, to smite this young man with a grievous disease, of which he died in a desperate manner, and so was himself the first that was thrown overboard. Thus his curses light on his own head; and it was an astonishment to all his fellows, for they noted it to be the just hand of God upon him.
I'M A JAZZ MAN PERPENDICULAR INDICA BLUNT LIT IT HIT IT UP SPITTING THAT ILL SHIT SITTIN IN THE CUT GIVIN PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT BOUNCE LIKE A SPEEDBUMP MEATLUMP CAMEL TOE MAKE A SWEETIE JUMP OUT HER SWEATER AND YOU CAN BET THAT I'MA WET HER BUT I'LL NEVER WET HER NEVER ENDING WAVE THAT WILL DRENCH HER YES THE MONKEY WRENCH LET GO WITH THE MEMETICS DREAM EPIC PL TEAM ITS FREE LIMITS THE KING GETS KILLED EVERY SOLSTICE THE GOOD IN THE DARKNESS SHE RULES WITH HER BOLDNESS GOLDEN AGE TOLD OF HER PROWESS TOWN KNOWS BOUT MY PAGE LIKE NORMAN BATES WHEN I'M OFF THE FADE I'M A HORTICULTURALIST HOTEL WHORE IN CHAINS GROW WITH THE GRAIN GOING AGAINST IT SOMETIMES YO I'M SO PROFANE I BE TWIZ THRIZZY, YALL KNOW I'M TALKING ABOUT TWIZ THRIZZY, FREESTYLE, GUELPH, I HOLD IT DOWN I OWN THE WHOLE ROYAL CITY I SYNCHRONIZE CALL ME THE ORACLE NEXT TIME BITCH RECOGNIZE
We have seen that a myth could never approached in a purely profane setting. It was only comprehensible in a liturgical context that set it apart from everyday life; it must be experienced as part of a process of personal transformation. None, of this surely applies to the novel, which can be read anywhere at all witout ritual trappings, and must, if it is any good, eschew the overtly didactic. Yet the experience of reading a novel has certain qualities that remind us of the mythology. It can be seen as a form of mediation. Readers have to live with a novel for days or even weeks. It prljects them into another worl, parallel to but apart from their ordinary lives. They know perfectly well that this fictional realm is not 'real' and yet while they are reading it becomes compelling. A powerful novel bcomes part of the backdrop of lives long after we have laid the book aside. It is an excercise of make-believe, that like yoga or a religious festival breaks down barriers of space and time and extends our sympathies to empathise with others lives and sorrows. It teaches compassion, the ability to 'feel with' others. And, like mythology , an important novel is transformative. If we allow it do so, can change us forever.
And once upon a time I wondered: Is writing epic fantasy not somehow a betrayal? Did I not somehow do a disservice to my own reality by paying so much attention to the power fantasies of disenchanted white men? But. Epic fantasy is not merely what Tolkien made it. This genre is rooted in the epic - and the truth is that there are plenty of epics out there which feature people like me. Sundiata's badass mother. Dihya, warrior queen of the Amazighs. The Rain Queens. The Mino Warriors. Hatshepsut's reign. Everything Harriet Tubman ever did. And more, so much more, just within the African components of my heritage. I haven't even begun to explore the non-African stuff. So given all these myths, all these examinations of the possible... how can I not imagine more? How can I not envision an epic set somewhere other than medieval England, about someone other than an awkward white boy? How can I not use every building-block of my history and heritage and imagination when I make shit up? And how dare I disrespect that history, profane all my ancestors' suffering and struggles, by giving up the freedom to imagine that they've won for me.
In asking me to contribute a mite to the memorial to Gutenberg you give me pleasure and do me honor. The world concedes without hesitation or dispute that Gutenberg's invention is incomparably the mightiest event that has ever happened in profane history. It created a new and wonderful earth, and along with it a new hell. It has added new details, new developments and new marvels to both in every year during five centuries. It found Truth walking, and gave it a pair of wings; it found Falsehood trotting, and gave it two pair. It found Science hiding in corners and hunted; it has given it the freedom of the land, the seas and the skies, and made it the world's welcome quest. It found the arts and occupations few, it multiplies them every year. It found the inventor shunned and despised, it has made him great and given him the globe for his estate. It found religion a master and an oppression, it has made it man's friend and benefactor. It found War comparatively cheap but inefficient, it has made it dear but competent. It has set peoples free, and other peoples it has enslaved; it is the father and protector of human liberty, and it has made despotisms possible where they were not possible before. Whatever the world is, today, good and bad together, that is what Gutenberg's invention has made it: for from that source it has all come. But he has our homage; for what he said to the reproaching angel in his dream has come true, and the evil wrought through his mighty invention is immeasurably outbalanced by the good it has brought to the race of men.