Swelter, as soon as he saw who it was, stopped dead, and across his face little billows of flesh ran swiftly here and there until, as though they had determined to adhere to the same impulse, they swept up into both oceans of soft cheek, leaving between them a vacuum, a gaping segment like a slice cut from a melon. It was horrible. It was as though nature had lost control. As though the smile, as a concept, as a manifestation of pleasure, had been a mistake, for here on the face of Swelter the idea had been abused.
Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
I am early in my story, but I believe I will stretch out into eternity, and in heaven I will reflect upon these early days, these days when it seemed God was down a dirt road walking toward me. Years ago He was a swinging speck in the distance; now He is close enough I can hear His singing. Soon I will see the lines on His face.
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
Rude? Yes, they were plenty of that. But, you see, a long time ago, far off in the west where I come from, I met two rude characters, one a shaman, one a god, and though each treated me disagreeably in the beginning, one gave me special courage, the other special fear, both of which I required for this journey that I am on. Those who possess wisdom cannot just ladle it out to every wantwit and jackanapes who comes along and asks for it. A person must be prepared to receive wisdom, or else it will do him more harm than good.
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
You misunderstand me. I do not fear death. I resent it. Everyone must die, apparently, and I am no exception. But I want to be consulted. You know what I mean? Death is impatient and thoughtless. It barges into your room when you were right in the middle of something, and it doesn’t bother to wipe its boots. I have a new passion, my darlings, a passion for being myself, and for being more than previously has been manifested for a single lifetime. I am determined to die at my own convenience. Therefore, I journey to the east, where, I have been told, there are men who have taught death some manners.
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
Yet with all my being I refuse to accept this amputation. I feel my soul as vast as the world, truly a soul as deep as the deepest of rivers; my chest has the power to expand to infinity. I was made to give and they prescribe for me the humility of the cripple. When I opened my eyes yesterday I saw the sky in total revulsion. I tried to get up but the eviscerated silence surged toward me with paralyzed wings. Not responsible for my acts, at the crossroads between Nothingness and Infinity, I began to weep.
Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon
And this, it seems to me, is what’s at the heart of the issue raised by Sokal’s hoax: not the mere existence of incompetence within the academy, but rather that specific form of it that arises from allowing ideological criteria to displace standards of scholarship so completely that not even considerations of intelligibility are seen as relevant to an argument’s acceptability.
“What the Sokal Hoax Ought to Teach Us” by Paul Boghossian
The expanding big bang model, in one form or another, gradually became sufficiently widely known that Pope Pius XII officially approved big bang theory in 1951. Most scientists were unimpressed. After all, Christianity had, with much greater fervor, asserted for centuries that the only acceptable cosmology was the Aristotelian/Ptolemaic model. Even Georges Lemaître, who was a Roman Catholic priest, took pains to separate his science from his religion, at least publicly. (On the other hand, Gamow, who enjoyed tweaking other scientists, once cited the papal approval in a technical paper.)
Foundations of Modern Cosmology by Hawley and Holcomb
1941! A hole in history, a year when all the visible gods had abandoned us, where god was truly dead or had gone back to his irrevelation. A man in prison continues to believe in an unrevealed future and invites us to work in the present for the most distant things of which the present is an irrefutable denial. There is something base and vulgar in an action conceived only for the immediate, that is, for nothing but our lifetime. And there is nobility in energy liberated from the embrace of the present. To act for distant things at a time when Hitlerism triumphed, in the deaf hours of that night without hours, to act independently of any evaluation of the ‘forces in presence,’ was undoubtedly the height of nobility.
“Signification and Sense” by Emmanuel Levinas
In a study of Homeric comparisons, Snell (as cited by Karl Löwith) points out that the comparison in the Iliad of resistance against attack from an enemy phalanx to the resistance of a rock against assaulting waves is not necessarily an anthropomorphic extension of human behavior to the rock but rather a petromorphic interpretation of human resistance. Resistance is not the prerogative of men or rocks, just as radiance is no more authentically a quality of a morning in May or a woman’s face. Signification precedes givens and illuminates them.
Signification and Sense by Emmanuel Lévinas