29+ quotes from La voz de los muertos by Orson Scott Card

Quotes from La voz de los muertos

Orson Scott Card ·  527 pages

Rating: (191.5K votes)


“This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“No human being, when you understand his desires, is worthless. No one's life is nothing. Even the most evil of men and women, if you understand their hearts, had some generous act that redeems them, at least a little, from their sins.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“When you really know somebody you can’t hate them. Or maybe it’s just that you can’t really know them until you stop hating them.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“As long as you keep getting born, it's all right to die sometimes”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“A Great Rabbi stands, teaching in the marketplace. It happens that a husband finds proof that morning of his wife's adultery, and a mob carries her to the marketplace to stone her to death.

There is a familiar version of this story, but a friend of mine - a Speaker for the Dead - has told me of two other Rabbis that faced the same situation. Those are the ones I'm going to tell you.

The Rabbi walks forward and stands beside the woman. Out of respect for him the mob forbears and waits with the stones heavy in their hands. 'Is there any man here,' he says to them, 'who has not desired another man's wife, another woman's husband?'
They murmur and say, 'We all know the desire, but Rabbi none of us has acted on it.'

The Rabbi says, 'Then kneel down and give thanks that God has made you strong.' He takes the woman by the hand and leads her out of the market. Just before he lets her go, he whispers to her, 'Tell the Lord Magistrate who saved his mistress, then he'll know I am his loyal servant.'

So the woman lives because the community is too corrupt to protect itself from disorder.

Another Rabbi. Another city. He goes to her and stops the mob as in the other story and says, 'Which of you is without sin? Let him cast the first stone.'

The people are abashed, and they forget their unity of purpose in the memory of their own individual sins. ‘Someday,’ they think, ‘I may be like this woman. And I’ll hope for forgiveness and another chance. I should treat her as I wish to be treated.’

As they opened their hands and let their stones fall to the ground, the Rabbi picks up one of the fallen stones, lifts it high over the woman’s head and throws it straight down with all his might it crushes her skull and dashes her brain among the cobblestones. ‘Nor am I without sins,’ he says to the people, ‘but if we allow only perfect people to enforce the law, the law will soon be dead – and our city with it.’

So the woman died because her community was too rigid to endure her deviance.

The famous version of this story is noteworthy because it is so startlingly rare in our experience. Most communities lurch between decay and rigor mortis and when they veer too far they die. Only one Rabbi dared to expect of us such a perfect balance that we could preserve the law and still forgive the deviation.

So of course, we killed him.

-San Angelo
Letters to an Incipient Heretic”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“You killed more people than anybody in history."

"Be the best at whatever you do, that's what my mother always told me.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“Every person is defined by the communities she belongs to.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“He loved her, as you can only love someone who is an echo of yourself at your time of deepest sorrow.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“But when it comes to human beings, the only type of cause that matters is final cause, the purpose. What a person had in mind. Once you understand what people really want, you can't hate them anymore. You can fear them, but you can't hate them, because you can always find the same desires in your own heart.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“Sickness and healing are in every heart; death and deliverance in every hand.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“The difference between raman and varelse is not in the creature judged, but in the creature judging. When we declare an alien species to be raman, it does not mean that they have passed a threshold of moral maturity. It means that we have.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“Twisted and perverse are the ways of the human mind," Jane intoned. "Pinocchio was such a dolt to try to become a real boy. He was much better off with a wooden head.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“It's the most charming thing about humans. You are all so sure that the lesser animals are bleeding with envy because they didn't have the good fortune to be born Homo sapiens.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“Maybe she couldn't know who she was today. Maybe it was enough to know that she was no longer who she was before.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“We've devoted our lives to learning about them!" Miro said.

Ender stopped. "Not from them.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“Order and disorder', said the speaker, 'they each have their beauty.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“Dona Crista laughed a bit. "Oh, Pip, I'd be glad for you to try. But do believe me, my dear friend, touching her heart is like bathing in ice."

I imagine. I imagine it feels like bathing in ice to the person touching her. But how does it feel to her? Cold as she is, it must surely burn like fire.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“Quim," she said, "don't ever try to teach me about good and evil. I've been there, and you've seen nothing but a map.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“I don't hate you, I love you, you're part of myself, you're my heart and when you go it's my heart torn out and carried away--”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“Ah, I am the judge of dreams, and you are the judge of love. Well, I find you guilty of dreaming good dreams, and sentence you to a lifetime of working and suffering for the sake of your dreams. I only hope that someday you won't declare me innocent of the crime of loving you.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“He is dangerous, he is beautiful, I could drown in his understanding.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“You're cultural supremacists to the core. You'll perform your Questionable Activities to help out the poor little piggies, but there isn't a chance in the world you'll notice when they have something to teach you.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“You understand that the piggies are animals, and you no more condemn them for murdering Libo and Pipo than you condemn a cabra for shewing up capim."

That's right," said Miro.

Ender smiled. "And that's why you'll never learn anything from them. Because you think of them as animals.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“A strange thing happened then. The Speaker agreed with her that she had made a mistake that night, and she knew when he said the words that it was true, that his judgment was correct. And yet she felt strangely healed, as if simply saying her mistake were enough to purge some of the pain of it. For the first time, then, she caught a glimpse of what the power of speaking might be. It wasn’t a matter of confession, penance, and absolution, like the priests offered. It was something else entirely. Telling the story of who she was, and then realizing that she was no longer the same person. That she had made a mistake, and the mistake had changed her, and now she would not make the mistake again because she had become someone else, someone less afraid, someone more compassionate.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“Darkness bound them closer than light.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“The tribe is whatever we believe it is. If we say the tribe is all the Little Ones in the forest, and all the trees, then that is what the tribe is. Even though some of the oldest trees here came from warriors of two different tribes, fallen in battle. We become one tribe because we say we're one tribe."
Ender marveled at his mind, this small raman [member of another sentient species]. How few humans were able to grasp this idea, or let it extend beyond the narrow confines of their tribe, their family, their nation.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“So you chose not to be part of the bands of children who group together for the sole purpose of excluding others, and people look at you and say, poor girl, she’s so isolated, but you know a secret, you know who you really are. You are the one human being who is capable of understanding the alien mind, because you are the alien mind; you know what it is to be unhuman because there’s never been any human group that gave you credentials as a bona fide homo sapien
# [He] wondered if it was already too late to teach her how to be a human”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“This is the Speaker for the Dead? Judging someone by appearances?"
"Maybe I've fallen in love with Grego."
"You've always been a sucker for people who pee on you.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


“Once you understand what people really want, you can't hate them anymore. You can fear them, but you can't hate them, because you can always find the same desires in your own heart.”
― Orson Scott Card, quote from La voz de los muertos


About the author

Orson Scott Card
Born place: in Richland, Washington, The United States
Born date August 24, 1951
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