Saturday, September 09, 2006

traces of hope in the night

From The Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card:

"It doesn't depend on whether you'll live or die. It depends on what's right. And what's right or wrong doesn't come down to your personal preference. It never does. If it comes to what you personally prefer, then there's no right or wrong at all."

Lared was ashamed and angry. Angry because he didn't think it was right that Jason should make him feel ashamed. "What's wrong with wanting to live?"

"Any dog can do that. Are you a dog? You're not a human being until you value something more than the life of your body. And the greater the thing you live and die for, the greater you are."

"Almost every nation does that to themselves, given enough time. They make their great minds so secure, they bog them down so much with being honored and famous, that they never accomplish anything in their lives. I was not a genius. I was merely clever and awake."

...she took Wix into her bed like a thirsty man takes water. Once, when Stipock came to the house and found them together, she looked at him with eyes that begged him to forgive. That surprised him – he had seen so many adulteries on Capitol that it did not strike him as a sin anymore. Yet she wanted absolution. Forgiveness without repentance. Stipock could hear his father give the sermon: the coin of sin is pleasure, but the pay that comes is death. Watch out for death, Dilna. If you keep on with this, you'll surely die. Of course, you'll die if you live a chaste life, too. The beauty of chastity is that when death comes, you'll regard it as a blessed relief.

He thought of Hoom, loving his children and tolerating the intolerable between his wife and his friend. That is civilization, to bear pain for the sake of joy. Hoom grew up before I did, Stipock realized. He found out that if you try to eliminate the pain from your life, you destroy all hope of pleasure, too. They come from the same place. Kill one, you've killed all. Someone should have mentioned that to me when I was younger. I would have acted differently when Jason put me in his world. I was the devil, when I might have been an angel if I tried.

The instructor was smart enough to know that when one hopes to make a living teaching the children of the rich, one learns when to be honest and when to lie. Thus, the words the child has talent has often passed his lips before. But this time he meant them, and it was difficult to find a way to make the lying words now express the truth.

"The boy has talent!" he declared. "The boy has talent!"

"No one supposed that he hadn't," the boy's mother said, a bit surprised at how effusive the teacher waws. The father said nothing, just wondered if the instructor thought he'd get a bonus for declaring it with such fervor.

"That boy has talent. Potential. Great potential," the teacher said (again), and Bergen's mother, finally grown weary of his effusion of praise, said, "My dear fellow, we don't mind a bit if he has talent. He may keep it. Now come again next Tuesday. Thank you."


posted by Jennifer at 9/09/2006 08:42:00 PM

Anonymous b wentysix said...

May I be the first poster to say:


9/12/2006 02:37:00 AM  

Blogger Jennifer said...

Thanks, B! You rock.

9/12/2006 07:35:00 AM  

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