Finally, I'd say to anyone who wants to tell these tales, don't be afraid to be superstitious. If you have a lucky pen, use it. If you speak with more force and wit when wearing one red sock and one blue one, dress like that. When I'm at work I'm highly superstitious. My own superstition has to do with the voice in which the story comes out. I believe that every story is attended by its own sprite, whose voice we embody when we tell the tale, and that we tell it more successfully if we approach the sprite with a certain degree of respect and courtesy. These sprites are both old and young, male and female, sentimental and cynical, sceptical and credulous, and so on, and what's more, they're completely amoral: like the air-spirits who helped Strong Hans escape from the cave, the story-sprites are willing to serve whoever has the ring, whoever is telling the tale. To the accusation that this is nonsense, that all you need to tell a story is a human imagination, I reply, 'Of course, and this is the way my imagination works.
Atari always was a technology-driven company, and we were very keen on keeping the technological edge on everything. There's a whole bunch of things that we innovated. We made the first computer that did stamps or sprites, we did screen-mapping for the very first time, and a lot of stuff like that. We had some of the most sophisticated sound-creating systems, and were instrumental in MIDI.
And for Solomon the wind-its outward journey was one month, and its return journey was one month. And We made a spring of tar flow for him. And there were sprites that worked under him, by the leave of his Lord. But whoever of them swerved from Our command, We make him taste of the punishment of the Inferno.
When you once attribute effects to the will of a personal God, you have let in a lot of little gods and evils - then sprites, fairies, dryads, naiads, witches, ghosts and goblins, for your imagination is reeling, riotous, drunk, afloat on the flotsam of superstition. What you know then doesn't count. You just believe, and the more your believe the more do you plume yourself that fear and faith are superior to science and seeing.
She watched with morbid fascination as they gathered at the stumps at the ends of the man's wrists, the old scar tissue the only place on him unclaimed by Fener, but the paths the sprites took to those stumps touched not a single tattooed line. The flies dance a dance of avoidance - but for all that, they were eager to dance.
Colored lights blink on and off, racing across the green boughs. Their reflections dance across exquisite glass globes and splinter into shards against tinsel thread and garlands of metallic filaments that disappear underneath the other ornaments and finery. Shadows follow, joyful, laughing sprites. The tree is rich with potential wonder. All it needs is a glance from you to come alive.
The people of your world became so stupid and rude that my companions and I no longer enjoyed teaching them. You must surely have heard of us: we were called oracles, nymphs, spirits, fairies, household gods, lemures, larvas, lamias, sprites, water-nymphs, incubi, shades, spirits of the dead, specters and ghosts.
Cyrano de Bergerac
How fathomless the mystery of the Unseen is! We cannot plumb its depths with our feeble senses - with eyes which cannot see the infinitely small or the infinitely great, nor anything too close or too distant, such as the beings who live on a star or the creatures which live in a drop of water... with ears that deceive us by converting vibrations of the air into tones that we can hear, for they are sprites which miraculously change movement into sound, a metamorphosis which gives birth to harmonies which turn the silent agitation of nature into song... with our sense of smell, which is poorer than any dog's... with our sense of taste, which is barely capable of detecting the age of a wine! Ah! If we had other senses which would work other miracles for us, how many more things would we not discover around us!
Guy de Maupassant
On the conversion of the European tribes to Christianity the ancient pagan worship was by no means incontinently abandoned. So wholesale had been the conversion of many peoples, whose chiefs or rulers had accepted the new faith on their behalf in a summary manner, that it would be absurd to suppose that any, general acquiescence in the new gospel immediately took place. Indeed, the old beliefs lurked in many neighbourhoods, and even a renaissance of some of them occurred in more than one area. Little by little, however, the Church succeeded in rooting out the public worship of the old pagan deities, but it found it quite impossible to effect an entire reversion of pagan ways, and in the end compromised by exalting the ancient deities to the position of saints in its calendar, either officially, or by usage. In the popular mind, however, these remained as the fairies of woodland and stream, whose worship in a broken-down form still flourished at wayside wells and forest shrines. The Matres, or Mother gods, particularly those of Celtic France and Ireland, the former of which had come to be Romanized, became the bonnes dames of folklore, while the dusii and pilosi, or hairy house-sprites, were so commonly paid tribute that the Church introduced a special question concerning them into its catechism of persons suspected of pagan practice. Nevertheless, the Roman Church, at a somewhat later era, reversed its older and more catholic policy, and sternly set its face against the cultus of paganism in Europe, stigmatizing the several kinds of spirits and derelict gods who were the objects of its worship as demons and devils, whom mankind must eschew with the most pious care if it were to avoid damnation.