Oh, what strange wonderful clocks women are. They nest in Time. They make the flesh that holds fast and binds eternity. They live inside the gift, know power, accept, and need not mention it. Why speak of time when you are Time, and shape the universal moments, as they pass, into warmth and action?
The Martians were there-in the canal-reflected in the water.... The Martians stared back up at them for a long, long silent time from the rippling water....
So the carnival steams by, shakes ANY tree: it rains jackasses.
The rockets set the bony meadows afire, turned rock to lava, turned wood to charcoal, transmuted water to steam, made sand and silica into green glass which lay like shattered mirrors reflecting the invasion, all about. The rockets came like drums, beating in the night. The rockets came like locusts, swarming and settling in blooms of rosy smoke.
The father hesitated only a moment. He felt the vague pain in his chest. If I run, he thought, what will happen? Is Death important? No. Everything that happens before Death is what counts. And we've done fine tonight. Even Death can't spoil it.
They stood there, King of the Hill, Top of the Heap, Ruler of All They Surveyed, Unimpeachable Monarchs and Presidents, trying to understand what it meant to own a world and how big a world really was.
The train skimmed on softly, slithering, black pennants fluttering, black confetti lost on its own sick-sweet candy wind, down the hill, with the two boys pursuing, the air was so cold they ate ice cream with each breath.
We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.
They whispered to Caesar that he was mortal, then sold daggers at half-price in the grand March sale.
Too late, I found you can't wait to become perfect, you got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else.
Why love the woman who is your wife? Her nose breathes in the air of a world that I know; therefore I love that nose. Her ears hear music I might sing half the night through; therefore I love her ears. Her eyes delight in seasons of the land; and so I love those eyes. Her tongue knows quince, peach, chokeberry, mint and lime; I love to hear it speaking. Because her flesh knows heat, cold, affliction, I know fire, snow, and pain. Shared and once again shared experience.
Why the Egyptian, Arabic, Abyssinian, Choctaw? Well, what tongue does the wind talk? What nationality is a storm? What country do rains come from? What color is lightning? Where does thunder goe when it dies?
You'll be found, your nickels, dimes and Indian-heads fused by electroplating. Abe Lincolns melted into Miss Columbias, eagles plucked raw on the backs of quarters, all run to quicksilver in your jeans. More! Any boy hit by lightning, lift his lid and there on his eyeball, pretty as the Lord's Prayer on a pin, find the last scene the boy ever saw! A box-Brownie photo, by God, of that fire climbing down the sky to blow you like a penny whistle, suck your soul back up along the bright stair!
Can't you recognize the human in the inhuman?
I have something to fight for and live for; that makes me a better killer. I've got what amounts to a religion now. It's learning how to breathe all over again. And how to lie in the sun getting a tan, letting the sun work into you. And how to hear music and how to read a book. What does your civilization offer?
I'm not anyone, I'm just myself; whatever I am, I am something, and now I'm something you can't help.
Far away, in the meadow, shadows flickered in the Mirror's Maze, as if parts of someone's life, yet unborn, were trapped there, waiting to be lived.
It is good to renew one's wonder, said the philosopher. Space travel has again made children of us all.
First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys.
Perhaps I'm not their dead one back, but I'm something almost better to them; an ideal shaped by their minds.
He knew what the wind was doing to them, where it was taking them, to all the secret places that were never so secret again in life.
Science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.
She didn't watch the dead, ancient bone-chess cities slide under, or the old canals filled with emptiness and dreams. Past dry rivers and dry lakes they flew, like a shadow of the moon, like a torch burning.
I'm really alive! he thought. I never knew it before, or if I did I don't remember!
But you can't make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can't last.
I feel like I've been saving up a lot of things, and I don't know what.
Oh God, the terrible tyranny of the majority. We all have our harps to play. And it's up to you to know with which ear you'll listen.
The important thing for you to remember, Montag, is we're the Happiness Boys, the Dixie Duo, you and I and the others. We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought. We have our fingers in the dike. Hold steady. Don't let the torrent of melancholy and drear philosophy drown our world. We depend on you. I don't think you realize how important you are, we are, to our happy world as it stands now.
We're going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we're doing, you can say, We're remembering. That's where we'll win out in the long run. And someday we'll remember so much that we'll build the biggest goddamn steamshovel in history and dig the biggest grave of all time and shove war in it and cover it up.
My gosh, if you're going away, we got a million things to talk about! All the things we would've talked about next month, the month after! Praying mantises, zeppelins, acrobats, sword swallowers!
Digression is the soul of wit. Take the philosophic asides away from Dante, Milton or Hamlet's father's ghost and what stays is dry bones.
I often wonder if God recognizes His own son the way we've dressed him up, or is it dressed him down?
Only if the third necessary thing could be given us. Number one, as I said: quality of information. Number two: leisure to digest it. And number three: the right to carry out actions based on what we learn from the interaction of the first two.
The river was mild and leisurely, going away from the people who ate shadows for breakfast and steam for lunch and vapors for supper.
What a dreadful surprise. For everyone knows, is absolutely certain, that nothing will ever happen to me. Others die, I go on. There are no consequences and no responsibilities. Except that there are. But lets not talk about em eh? By the time the consequences catch up to you its too late isn't it?
No person ever died that had a family.
Do you understand now why books are hated and feared? Because they reveal the pores on the face of life. The comfortable people want only the faces of the full moon, wax, faces without pores, hairless, expressionless.
If there were no war, if there was peace in the world, I'd say fine, have fun! But, Montag, you mustn't go back to being just a fireman. All isn't well with the world.
Out of the nursery into the college and back into the nursery; there's your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more.
The sun burnt every day. It burnt time.
What is it about fire that's so lovely? No matter what age we are, what draws us to it?...The thing man wanted to invent, but never did...If you let it go on, it'd burn our lifetimes out. What is fire? It is a mystery. Scientists give us gobbledygook about friction and molecules. But they don't really know. Its real beauty is that it destroys responsibility and consequences.
Sandwich outdoors isn't a sandwich anymore. Tastes different than indoors, notice? Got more spice. Tastes like mint and pinesap. Does wonders for the appetite.
Don't ask for guarantees. And don't look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were heading for shore.
I'm seventeen and I'm crazy. My uncle says the two always go together. When people ask your age, he said, always say seventeen and insane.
Putting out the stars and extinguishing the sun.
The terrible tyranny of the majority.
What is there about fire that's so lovely? ...it's perpetual motion; the thing man wanted to invent but never did. Or almost perpetual motion. If you let it go on, it'd burn our lifetimes out. What is fire? It's a mystery...its real beauty that it destroys responsibilities and consequences.a problem gets too burdensome, then into the furnace with it.
Some people turn sad awfully young. No special reason, it seems, but they seem almost to be born that way. They bruise easier, tire faster, cry quicker, remember longer and, as I say, get sadder younger than anyone else in the world. I know, for I'm one of them.
For everyone nowadays knows, absolutely is CERTAIN, that nothing bad will ever happen to ME. Others die, I go on. There are no consequences and no responsibilities. Except that there ARE. But let's not talk about them, eh? By the time the consequences catch up to you, it's too late, isn't it, Montag?
More Ray Bradbury Quotations (Based on Topics)
Books - World - Time - Thought & Thinking - Life - Night - Mind - People - Man - Death & Dying - Idea - Education - God - Majority & Minority - Love - Sense & Perception - Tyranny & Despotism - Science - Listening - View All Ray Bradbury Quotations
More Ray Bradbury Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Dandelion Wine
- Fahrenheit 451
- Something Wicked This Way Comes
- The Martian Chronicles
Voltaire - Dale Carnegie - T. H. White - Paul Davies - Michael Cunningham - Henry Drummond - Edward Fairfax - Denis Waitley - Catherine Crowe - Antiphanes