29+ quotes from Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke

Quotes from Childhood's End

Arthur C. Clarke ·  224 pages

Rating: (103.8K votes)


“Science is the only religion of mankind.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“No utopia can ever give satisfaction to everyone, all the time. As their material conditions improve, men raise their sights and become discontented with power and possessions that once would have seemed beyond their wildest dreams. And even when the external world has granted all it can, there still remain the searchings of the mind and the longings of the heart.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“There were some things that only time could cure. Evil men could be destroyed, but nothing could be done with good men who were deluded.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“Now I understand,” said the last man.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“Utopia was here at last: its novelty had not yet been assailed by the supreme enemy of all Utopias—boredom.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“In this single galaxy of ours there are eighty-seven thousand million suns. [...] In challenging it, you would be like ants attempting to label and classify all the grains of sand in all the deserts of the world. [...] It is a bitter thought, but you must face it. The planets you may one day possess. But the stars are not for man.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“So this, thought Jan, with a resignation that lay beyond all sadness, was the end of man. It was an end that no prophet had foreseen – an end that repudiated optimism and pessimism alike.

Yet it was fitting: it had the sublime inevitability of a great work of art. Jan had glimpsed the universe in all its immensity, and knew now that it was no place for man. He realized at last how vain, in the ultimate analysis, had been the dream that lured him to the stars.

For the road to the stars was a road that forked in two directions, and neither led to a goal that took any account of human hopes or fears.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“They would never know how lucky they had been. For a lifetime, mankind had achieved as much happiness as any race can ever know. It had been the Golden Age. But gold was also the color of sunset, of autumn: and only Karellen’s ears could catch the first wailings of the winter storms.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“man’s beliefs were his own affair, so long as they did not interfere with the liberty of others.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“Evil men could be destroyed, but nothing could be done with good men who were deluded.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“all the world’s religions cannot be right, and they know it. Sooner or later man has to learn the truth:”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“And Stormgren hoped that when Karellen was free to walk once more on Earth, he would one day come to these northern forests, and stand beside the grave of the first man to be his friend.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“There was nothing left of Earth. They had leeched away the last atoms of its substance. It had nourished them, through the fierce moments of their inconceivable metamorphosis, as the food stored in a grain of wheat feeds the infant plant while it climbs towards the Sun.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“The world’s now placid, featureless, and culturally dead: nothing really new has been created since the Overlords came. The reason’s obvious. There’s nothing left to struggle for, and there are too many distractions and entertainments. Do you realize that every day something like five hundred hours of radio and TV pour out over the various channels? If you went without sleep and did nothing else, you could follow less than a twentieth of the entertainment that’s available at the turn of a switch! No wonder that people are becoming passive sponges—absorbing but never creating. Did you know that the average viewing time per person is now three hours a day? Soon people won’t be living their own lives any more. It will be a full-time job keeping up with the various family serials on TV!”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“As Solomon himself had remarked, 'We can be sure of talent, we can only pray for genius.' But it was a reasonable hope that in such concentrated society some interesting reactions would take place.

Few artists thrive in solitude and nothing is more stimulating than the conflict of minds with similar interests. So far, the conflict had produced worthwhile results in sculpture, music, literary criticism and film making. It was still too early to see if the group working on historical research would fulfil the hopes of its instigators, who were frankly hoping to restore mankind's pride in its own achievements.

Painting still languished which supported the views of those who considered that static, two dimensional forms of art had no further possibilities. It was noticeable, though a satisfactory explanation for this had not yet been produced that time played an essential part in the colony's achievements.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“...no on of intelligence resents the inevitable.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“Western man had relearned-what the rest of the world had never forgotten-that there was nothing sinful in leisure as long as it did not degenerate into mere sloth.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“It is a bitter thought, but you must face it. The planets you may one day possess. But the stars are not for man.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“My dear Rikki,” Karellen retorted, “it’s only by not taking the human race seriously that I retain what fragments of my once considerable mental powers I still possess!” Despite himself, Stormgren smiled.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“Science can destroy religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“Everybody on this island has one ambition, which may be summed up very simply. It is to do something, however small it may be, better than anyone else. Of course, it’s an ideal we don’t all achieve. But in this modern world the great thing is to have an ideal. Achieving it is considerably less important.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“For Jan was still suffering from the romantic illusion–the cause of so much misery and so much poetry–that every man has only one real love in his life.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“Man was, therefore, still a prisoner on his own planet. It was much fairer, but a much smaller, planet than it had been a century before. When the Overlords abolished war and hunger and disease, they had also abolished adventure.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“no one of intelligence resents the inevitable.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“There were, however, a few exceptions.
One was Norma Dodsworth, the poet, who had not unpleasantly drunk but had been sensible enough to pass out before any violent action proved necessary. He had been deposited, not very gently, on the lawn, where it was hoped that a hyena would give him a rude awakening. For all practical purposes he could, therefore, be regarded as absent.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“And in its sky was such a sun as no opium eater could ever have imagined in his wildest dreams. Too hot to be white, it was a searing ghost at the frontiers of the ultraviolet, burning its planets with radiations which would be instantly lethal to all earthly forms of life. For millions of kilometers around extended great veils of gas and dust, fluorescing in countless colors as the blasts of ultraviolet tore through them. It was a star against which Earth’s pale sun would have been as feeble as a glowworm at noon.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“It was the end of civilization, the end of all that men had striven for since the beginning of time. In the space of a few days, humanity had lost its future, for the heart of any race is destroyed, and its will to survive is utterly broken, when its children are taken from it.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“Even the few serious crimes that did occur received no particular attention in the news. For well-bred people do not, after all, care to read about the social gaffes of others.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


“No wonder that people are becoming passive sponges—absorbing but never creating. Did you know that the average viewing time per person is now three hours a day? Soon people won’t be living their own lives any more. It will be a full-time job keeping up with the various family serials on TV!”
― Arthur C. Clarke, quote from Childhood's End


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About the author

Arthur C. Clarke
Born place: in Minehead, Somerset, England, The United Kingdom
Born date December 16, 1917
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