“Children are dying."
Lull nodded. "That's a succinct summary of humankind, I'd say. Who needs tomes and volumes of history? Children are dying. The injustices of the world hide in those three words.”
“The lesson of history is that no one learns.”
“[T]he unnamed soldier is a gift. The named soldier--dead, melted wax--demands a response among the living...a response no-one can make. Names are no comfort, they're a call to answer the unanswerable. Why did she die, not him? Why do the survivors remain anonymous--as if cursed--while the dead are revered? Why do we cling to what we lose while we ignore what we still hold?
Name none of the fallen, for they stood in our place, and stand there still in each moment of our lives. Let my death hold no glory, and let me die forgotten and unknown. Let it not be said that I was one among the dead to accuse the living.”
“Such is the vastness of his genius that he can outwit even himself.”
“Ah, Fist, it’s the curse of history that those who should read them, never do.”
“What makes a Malazan soldier so dangerous? They’re allowed to think.”
“We are all lone souls. It pays to know humility, lest the delusion of control, of mastery, overwhelms. And, indeed, we seem a species prone to that delusion, again and ever again."
~Fiddler, pg. 558”
“And over it all, the butterflies swarmed, like a million yellow-pettalled flowers dancing on swirling winds.”
“Name none of the fallen, for they stand in our place, and stand there still in each moment of our lives. Let my death hold no glory, and let me die forgotten and unknown. Let it not be said that I was one among the dead to accuse the living.”
“Seven Cities was an ancient civilization, steeped in the power of antiquity, where Ascendants once walked on every trader track, every footpath, every lost road between forgotten places. It was said the sands hoarded power within their sussurating currents, that every stone had soaked up sorcery like blood, and that beneath every city lay the ruins of countless other cities, older cities, cities that went back to the First Empire itself. It was said each city rose on the backs of ghosts, the substance of spirits thick like layers of crushed bone; that each city forever wept beneath the streets, forever laughed, shouted, hawked wares and bartered and prayed and drew first breaths that brought life and the last breaths that announced death. Beneath the streets there were dreams, wisdom, foolishness, fears, rage, grief, lust and love and bitter hatred.”
“It is one thing to lead by example with half a dozen soldiers at your back. It is wholly another with ten thousand.”
“Where is the library?”
“Turn right, proceed thirty-four paces, turn right again, twelve paces, then through door on the right, thirty-five paces, through archway on right another eleven paces, turn right one last time, fifteen paces, enter the door on the right.”
Mappo stared at Iskaral Pust.
The High Priest shifted nervously.
“Or,” the Trell said, eyes narrowed, “turn left, nineteen paces.”
“Aye,” Iskaral muttered.”
“Do I see control on all sides, or the illusion of control?" List’s face twisted slightly. "Sometimes the two are one and the same. In terms of their effect, I mean. The only difference – or so Coltaine says – is that when you bloody the real thing, it absorbs the damage, while the other shatters.”
“Show me a mortal who is not pursued, and I’ll show you a corpse. Every hunter is hunted, every mind that knows itself has stalkers. We drive and are driven. The unknown pursues the ignorant, the truth assails every scholar wise enough to know his ignorance, for that is the meaning of unknowable truths.”
“He swam at my feet,
Powerful arms in broad strokes
Sweeping the sand.
So I asked this man,
What seas do you swim?
And to this he answered,
'I have seen shells and the like
On this desert floor,
So I swim this land's memory
Thus honouring its past,'
Is the journey far, queried I.
'I cannot say,' he replied,
'For I shall drown long before
I am done.'
Sayings of the Fool
Steven Erikson - Malazan Book of the Fallen 02
“We are not simple creatures. You dream that with memories will come knowledge, and from knowledge, understanding. But for every answer you find, a thousand new questions arise. All that we are has lead us to where we are, but tells us little of where we're going. Memories are a weight you can never shrug off.”
“Fiddler briefly wondered about those three dragons - where they had gone, what tasks awaited them - then he shrugged. Their appearance, their departure and, in between and most importantly, their indifference to the four mortals below was a sobering reminder that the world was far bigger than that defined by their own lives, their own desires and goals. The seemingly headlong plunge this journey had become was in truth but the smallest succession of steps, of no greater import than the struggles of a termite.
The worlds live on, beyond us, countless unravelling tales.
In his mind's eye he saw his horizons stretch out on all sides, and as they grew ever vaster he in turn saw himself as ever smaller, ever more insignificant.
We are all lone souls. It pays to know humility, lest the delusion of control, of mastery, overwhelms. And indeed, we seem a species prone to that delusion, again and ever again ...”
“Silence!” Korbolo snapped. He eyed Duiker. “You are the historian who rode with Coltaine.”
The historian faced him. “I am.”
“You are a soldier.”
“As you say.”
“I do, and so you shall die with these soldiers, in a manner no different-“
“You mean to slaughter ten thousand unarmed men and women, Korbolo Dom?”
“I mean to cripple Tavore before she even sets foot on this continent. I mean to make her too furious to think. I mean to crack that façade so she dreams of vengeance day and night, poisoning her every decision.”
“You always fashioned yourself as the Empire’s harshest Fist, didn’t you, Korbolo Dom? As if cruelty’s a virtue…”
“How does a mortal make answer to what his or her kind are capable of? Does each of us, soldier or no, reach a point when all that we’ve seen, survived, changes us inside? Irrevocably changes us. What do we become, then? Less human, or more human? Human enough, or too human?”
“A civilization can easily drown in what it knows as in what doesn't know. Consider,' he continued, Gotho's Folly. Gotho's curse was in being too aware - of everything. Every permutation, every potential. Enough to poison every scan he cast on the world. It availed him naught, and worse, he was aware of even that.”
“It’s the ignorant who find a cause and cling to it, for within that is the illusion of significance. Faith, a king, queen or Emperor, or vengeance…all the bastion of fools.”
“Why do the survivors remain anonymous—as if cursed—while the dead are revered? Why do we cling to what we lose while we ignore what we still hold?”
“Oh yes, I have learned much from Tremorlor, and so assume a like strategy. Silence, a faint mocking smile suggesting I know more than I do, an air of mystery, yes, and fell knowledge. None could guess my confusion, my host of deluded illusions and elusive delusions!”
“Land, domination, pre-emptive attacks - all just excuses, mundane justifications that do nothing but disguise the simple distinction. They are not us. We are not them.”
“History comforts the dull-witted,”” the young Malazan said.
Beneth barked a laugh as he reached the gate. “And whose words are those, Pella? Not yours.”
The guard’s brows rose, then shrugged. “I forget you’re Korelri sometimes, Beneth. Those words? Emperor Kellanved.”
“Whatever evil you let ride becomes commonplace, eventually. Problem is, it’s easier to get used to it than carve it out.”
“There’s a sweet promise to giving up, but realizing that demands a journey. One of spirit. You can’t walk to Hood’s Gate, you find it before you when the fog clears.”
“All that we were has led us to where we are, but tells us little of where we’re going. Memories are a weight you can never shrug off.”
“Children are dying.'
Lull nodded. 'That's a succinct summary of humankind, I'd say. Who needs tomes and volumes of history? Children are dying. The injustices of the world hide in those three words. Quote me, Duiker, and your work's done.'
The bastard's right. Economics, ethics, the games of the gods - all within that single, tragic statement. I'll quote you, soldier. Be assured of that.”
“Indolence takes many forms, but it comes to every civilization that has outlived its will. You know that as well as I. In this case it was an indolence characterized by a pursuit of knowledge, a frenzied search for answers to everything, no matter the value of such answers. A civilization can as easily drown in what it knows as in what it doesn’t know.”
“And as he lost that softness of nature, so he lost his fear of men. He would watch for Oldring, biding his time, and he would kill this great black-bearded rustler who had held a girl in bondage, who had used her to his infamous ends.”
“Of course I'm not going to look through the keyhole. That's something only servants do. I'm going to hide in the bay window.”
“How disorienting and isolating immortality must be, and how strong he must be to weather it.”
“This suggests Query: Does Robert, perhaps, take in what I say even when he makes no reply?”
“When Nirvana came onto the scene, they pretty much saved music.”
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