Best 69 of Absurdism quotes - MyQuotes
[Alfred] Jarry’s teaching could be summarized thus: every man is capable of showing his contempt for the cruelty and stupidity of the universe by making his own life a poem of incoherence and absurdity.
All forms of dogmatic thought create certain problems to the intellect, confining it to very narrow limits. The thought that is impossible to be criticized is going sooner or later to manipulate your own thought. The critical thinking area of the brain would immediately be blocked, if a person is convinced to blindly believe in the existence of some sacred texts or fundamental canons, which are allegedly representation of God's will or some 'perfect' human mind. As soon as emerges such an inevitable belief, the brain automatically begins to set some limits to its function, trying to give the dogmatic thought some rational sense with the help of science and logic, if it is possible, or merely to adjust blind imitation of them without any rational explanation and understanding, if it is impossible. It is very obvious fact that no intelligence can develop in that condition. Whatever rational and logical meaning you can find there, it is because of the brain activity, which gives dogmatism some reasonable sense. Without the brain activity, it is just a symbolism or merely absurdism. If this is so, why should any intelligence need the existence of any dogmatism, regardless of whether it is a religion or some kind of ideological doctrine?
The very implausibility of the restoration of pared down fingernails and amputated limbs at the end of time underlines, for me, the despicableness of human beings who, in fact, torture and mutilate their fellow human beings. Yet, the implausible, even risible doctrine of the resurrection of the body asserts that—if there is such a thing as redemption—it must redeem our experience of enduring and even inflicting such acts. If there is meaning to the history we tell and the corruption (both moral and physical) we suffer, surely it is in (as well as in spite of) fragmentation. Bodily resurrection at the end of time is, in a technical sense, a comic—that is, a contrived and brave—happy ending.
No! No! I refuse to believe it. I'm sure you've often wished there was an after-life.' Of course I had, I told him. Everybody has that wish at times. But that had no more importance than wishing to be rich, or to swim very fast, or have a better-shaped mouth.
The world itself, whose single meaning I do not understand, is but a vast irrational. If one could only say just once: “This is clear,” all would be saved. But these men vie with one another in proclaiming that nothing is clear, all is chaos, that all man has is his lucidity and his definite knowledge of the walls surrounding him. All these experiences agree and confirm one another.
One can show one's contempt for the cruelty and stupidity of the world by making of one's life a poem of incoherence and absurdity.
Sure, people can make you happy, but no one can stop you from being happy.
All existence for a man turned away from the eternal is but a vast mime under the mask of the absurd. Creation is the great mime…it is itself an absurd phenomenon.
I am unable to believe in a God susceptible to prayer. I simply haven't the nerve to imagine a being, a force, a cause which keeps the planets revolving in their orbits, and then suddenly stops in order to give me a bicycle with three speeds.
now that I have self-esteem, you really can't afford me
Throughout the whole absurd life I'd lived, a dark wind had been rising toward me from somewhere deep in my future, across years that were still to come...
Cinta adalah keinginan yang menyengsarakan, tapi jangan pernah berpikir kalau cinta tidak berguna. Paling tidak, dengan mencintai kau mempunyai sedikit dalih untuk keputusasaan tanpa alasan yang diderita oleh semua manusia.
Princess Cookie’s cognitive pathways may have required a more comprehensive analysis. He knew that it was possible to employ certain progressive methods of neural interface, but he felt somewhat apprehensive about implementing them, for fear of the risks involved and of the limited returns such tactics might yield. For instance, it would be a particularly wasteful endeavor if, for the sake of exhausting every last option available, he were even to go so far as resorting to invasive Ontological Neurospelunkery, for this unorthodox process would only prove to be the cerebral equivalent of tracking a creature one was not even sure existed: surely one could happen upon some new species deep in the caverns somewhere and assume it to be the goal of one’s trek, but then there was a certain idiocy to this notion, as one would never be sure this newfound entity should prove to be what one wished it to be; taken further, this very need to find something, to begin with, would only lead one to clamber more deeply inward along rigorous paths and over unsteady terrain, the entirety of which could only be traversed with the arrogant resolve of someone who has already determined, with a misplaced sense of pride in his own assumptions, that he was undoubtedly making headway in a direction worthwhile. And assuming still that this process was the only viable option available, and further assuming that Morell could manage to find a way to track down the beast lingering ostensibly inside of Princess Cookie, what was he then to do with it? Exorcise the thing? Reason with it? Negotiate maybe? How? Could one hope to impose terms and conditions upon the behavior of something tracked and captured in the wilds of the intellect? The thought was a bizarre one and the prospect of achieving success with it unlikely. Perhaps, it would be enough to track the beast, but also to let it live according to its own inclinations inside of her. This would seem a more agreeable proposition. Unfortunately, however, the possibility still remained that there was no beast at all, but that the aberration plaguing her consciousness was merely a side effect of some divine, yet misunderstood purpose with which she had been imbued by the Almighty Lord Himself. She could very well have been functioning on a spiritual plane far beyond Morell’s ability to grasp, which, of course, seared any scrutiny leveled against her with the indelible brand of blasphemy. To say the least, the fear of Godly reprisal which this brand was sure to summon up only served to make the prospect of engaging in such measures as invasive Ontological Neurospelunkery seem both risky and wasteful. And thus, it was a nonstarter.
The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
The Coach’s head was oblong with tiny slits that served as eyes, which drifted in tides slowly inward, as though the face itself were the sea or, in fact, a soup of macromolecules through which objects might drift, leaving in their wake, ripples of nothingness. The eyes—they floated adrift like land masses before locking in symmetrically at seemingly prescribed positions off-center, while managing to be so closely drawn into the very middle of the face section that it might have seemed unnecessary for there to have been two eyes when, quite likely, one would easily have sufficed. These aimless, floating eyes were not the Coach’s only distinctive feature—for, in fact, connected to the interior of each eyelid by a web-like layer of rubbery pink tissue was a kind of snout which, unlike the eyes, remained fixed in its position among the tides of the face, arcing narrowly inward at the edges of its sharp extremities into a serrated beak-like projection that hooked downward at its tip, in a fashion similar to that of a falcon’s beak. This snout—or beak, rather—was, in fact, so long and came to such a fine point that as the eyes swirled through the soup of macromolecules that comprised the man’s face, it almost appeared—due to the seeming thinness of the pink tissue—that the eyes functioned as kinds of optical tether balls that moved synchronously across the face like mirror images of one another. 'I wore my lizard mask as I entered the tram, last evening, and people found me fearless,' the Coach remarked, enunciating each word carefully through the hollow clack-clacking sound of his beak, as its edges clapped together. 'I might have exchanged it for that of an ox and then thought better. A lizard goes best with scales, don’t you think?' Bunnu nodded as he quietly wondered how the Coach could manage to fit that phallic monstrosity of a beak into any kind of mask, unless, in fact, this disguise of which he spoke, had been specially designed for his face and divided into sections in such a way that they could be readily attached to different areas—as though one were assembling a new face—in overlapping layers, so as to veil, or perhaps even amplify certain distinguishable features. All the same, in doing so, one could only imagine this lizard mask to be enormous to the extent that it would be disproportionate with the rest of the Coach’s body. But then, there were ways to mask space, as well—to bend light, perhaps, to create the illusion that something was perceptibly larger or smaller, wider or narrower, rounder or more linear than it was in actuality. That is to say, any form of prosthesis designed for the purposes of affecting remedial space might, for example, have had the capability of creating the appearance of a gap of void in occupied space. An ornament hangs from the chin, let’s say, as an accessory meant to contour smoothly inward what might otherwise appear to be hanging jowls. This surely wouldn’t be the exact use that the Coach would have for such a device—as he had no jowls to speak of—though he could certainly see the benefit of the accessory’s ingenuity. This being said, the lizard mask might have appeared natural rather than disproportionate given the right set of circumstances. Whatever the case, there was no way of even knowing if the Coach wasn’t, in fact, already wearing a mask, at this very moment, rendering Bunnu’s initial appraisal of his character—as determined by a rudimentary physiognomic analysis of his features—a matter now subject to doubt. And thus, any conjecture that could be made with respect to the dimensions or components of a lizard mask—not to speak of the motives of its wearer—seemed not only impractical, but also irrelevant at this point in time.
So, according to you, the other God does exist after all?' 'He doesn't exist, but He is. There's no pain in a stone, but there's pain in the fear of a stone.
Fighting for freedom” is a myth. There’s only freedom in uniting. You’re not really free with an, “Us vs Them” mentality; because you are constantly defending yourself. And in fighting, there’s no time for freedom.
Men, too, secrete the inhuman. At certain moments of lucidity, the mechanical aspect of their gestures, their meaningless pantomime makes silly everything that surrounds them. A man is talking on the telephone behind a glass partition; you cannot hear him, but you see his incomprehensible dumb show: you wonder why he is alive. This discomfort in the face of man’s own inhumanity, this incalculable tumble before the image of what we are, this “nausea,” as a writer of today calls it, is also the absurd.
For the existentials negation is their God
To a man devoid of blinders, there is no finer sight than that of the intelligence at grips with a reality that transcends it.
Secret de mon univers: imaginer Dieu sans l'immortalité de l'âme.
At that subtle moment when man glances backward over his life, Sisyphus returning toward his rock, in that slight pivoting he contemplates that series of unrelated actions which becomes his fate, created by him, combined under his memory’s eye and soon sealed by his death.
Go get your gun because God won't show. He sent a poet instead. The Don Quixote of the ICU. Quite impressive for a cripple. Munchhausen by proxy of a muse. Tempt not a desperate man. This split lip is for you. I traded it for an outdated tooth.
In the silence, in the darkness of solitude, our thoughts become the monsters that torment us like little children in the night. I cannot tell myself this is a nightmare. O heaven high above me, how I wish…wish I were crazy, safe in some asylum, in a straightjacket…how I wish this were all made up like a terrible dream…all to be awoken from with the swallowing of a little red and green pill. But it is happening and no matter how hard I scratch and bite my flesh I will not wake up. Silence. Wer ist das? (The sound of breath, it takes me a minute to realize that it is mine own). Strange, but even then I do not know who that is.
Don't you think our society is designed to kill in that way? Of course, you've surely heard about those tiny fish in the rivers of Brazil which attack the swimmer by the thousands, eat him up in a few moments in quick little mouthfuls and leave only a perfectly clean skeleton behind? So, that's the way they're constituted. 'Do you want a clean life, like everyone else?' Of course the answer is yes. How could you not? 'Fine. We'll clean you up. Here's a job, here's a family, here's some organized leisure.' And the little teeth bite into the flesh, right down to the bone. But i'm being unfair. I shouldn't have said, 'the way they're constituted', because after all, it's our way, too: it's a case of who strips whom.
Here in Alpha City, we have a common saying: “What we call ‘sky’ is merely a figment of our narrative.” The most dreamy-eyed among us seem to adorn themselves and their aspirations in that proverb and you’ll see it everywhere: in advertisements on the sides of streetcars and auto-rickshaws, spelled out in studs and rhinestones on designer jackets, emblazoned in the intricate designs of facial tattoos—even painted on city walls by putrid vandals and inspiring street artists. There is something glorious about kneading out into the doughy firmament the depth and breadth of one’s own universe, in rendering the contours of a sky whose limits are predicated only upon the bounds of one’s own imagination. The fact of the matter is that we cannot see the natural sky at all here. It is something like a theoretical mathematical expression: like the square-root of ‘negative one’—certainly it could be said to have a purpose for existing, but to cast eyes upon it, in its natural quantity, would be something akin to casting one’s eyes upon the raw elements comprising our everyday sustenance. How many of us have even borne close witness to the minute chemical compounds that react to lend battery power to our portable electronics? The sky is indeed such a concealed fixture now. It is fair to say that we have purged our memories of its true face and so we can only approximate a canvas and project our desires upon it to our heart’s dearest fancy. The most cynical among us would ostensibly declare it an unavoidable tragedy, but perhaps even these hardened individuals could not remember the naked sky well enough to know if what they were missing was something worthwhile. Perhaps, it’s cynical of me to say so! In any case, we have our searchlights pointed upwards and crisscrossing that expanse of heavens as though to make some sensational and profane joke of ourselves to the surrounding universe. We beam already video images of beauty pageants and dancing contests with smiling mannequins who look like buffoons. And so, the face of space cloaks itself behind our light pollution—in this respect, our mirrored sidewalks and lustrous streets do little to help our cause—and that face remains hidden from us in its jeering ridicule, its mocking laughter at this inexorable farce of human existence.
At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face, As it is, in its distressing nudity, in its light without effulgence, it is elusive.
A existência inteira, para um homem afastado do eterno, não passa de uma imitação desmesurada sob a máscara do absurdo.
And here are trees and I know their gnarled surface, water and I feel its taste. These scents of grass and stars at night, certain evenings when the heart relaxes-how shall I negate this world whose power and strength I feel? Yet all the knowledge on earth will give me nothing to assure me that this world is mine. You describe it to me and you teach me to classify it. You enumerate its laws and in my thirst for knowledge I admit that they are true. You take apart its mechanism and my hope increases. At the final stage you teach me that this wondrous and multicolored universe can be reduced to the atom and that the atom itself can be reduced to the electron. All this is good and I wait for you to continue. But you tell me of an invisible planetary system in which electrons gravitate around a nucleus. You explain this world to me with an image. I realize then that you have been reduced to poetry: I shall never know.
We lead a difficult life, not always managing to fit our actions to the vision we have of the world. (And when I think I have caught a glimpse of the color of my fate, it flees from my gaze.) We struggle and suffer to reconquer our solitude. But a day comes when the earth has its simple and primitive smile. Then, it is as if the struggles and life within us were rubbed out. Millions of eyes have looked at this landscape, and for me it is like the first smile of the world. It takes me out of myself, in the deepest meaning of the expression. It assures me that nothing matters except my love, and that even this love has no value for me unless it remains innocent and free. It denies me a personality, and deprives my suffering of its echo. The world is beautiful, and this is everything. The great truth which it patiently teaches me is that neither the mind nor even the heart has any importance. And that the stone warmed by the stone or the cypress tree swelling against the empty sky set a boundary to the only world in which "to be right" has any meaning: nature without men. This world reduces me to nothing. It carries me to the very end. Without anger, it denies that I exist. And, agreeing to my defeat, I move toward a wisdom where everything has already been conquered -- except that tears come into my eyes, and this great sob of poetry which swells my heart makes me forget the truth of the world.
Long before the Theater of the Absurd, Woolrich discovered that an incomprehensible universe is best reflected in an incomprehensible story. ("Introduction")
Emil M. Cioran
Revolutions is a sublime of bad literature.
Turnavitu nu a fost multă vreme decât un simplu ventilator pe la diferite cafenele murdare, grecești, de pe strada Covaci și Gabroveni. Nemaiputând suporta mirosul ce era silit să aspire acolo, Turnavitu făcu mai multă vreme politică și reuși astfel să fie numit ventilator de stat, anume la bucătăria postului de pompieri "Radu-Vodă" (...) Tot spre a place bunului său prieten și protector, Turnavitu ia o dată pe an formă de bidon, iar dacă este umplut cu gaz până sus, întreprinde o călătorie îndepărtată, de obicei la insulele Majorca și Minorca: mai toate aceste călătorii se compun din dus, din spânzurarea unei șopârle de clanța ușii Căpităniei portului și apoi reîntoarcerea în patrie...
Peter De Vries
Man is inconsolable, thanks to that eternal "Why?" when there is no Why, that question mark twisted like a fishhook in the human heart. "Let there be light," we cry, and only the dawn breaks.
You’re better looking than me. You’re more intelligent than me. Your personality is more likable than mine. You make more money than me. Your family is nicer than mine. Your religion is better than mine. You’ve seen more beaches than me. You’ve been to more cities than me. Your automobile is nicer than mine. Your significant other is better looking than mine. Your candidate won. Your home team won. You’re number one. But life is a tie. We all die.
A policewoman comes up and tells us to move along. “Nothing to see here,” she says. “Not even that stuff you’re looking at.
To work and create “for nothing,” to sculpture in clay, to know that one’s creation has no future, to see one’s work destroyed in a day while being aware that fundamentally this has no more importance than building for centuries—this is the difficult wisdom that absurd thought sanctions. Performing these two tasks simultaneously, negating on the one hand and magnifying on the other, is the way open to the absurd creator. He must give the void its colors.
I spent most the day sleeping…or night…I feel a little better. I know that there should be no more walks outside. But really… I destroyed the tomb of shit. I dug the rat out and held its putrid body close to mine, and I cried, and as I cried I held tighter and tighter till the rat and me were one. And as I cried I whispered, ‘Don’t leave me Mommy! Don’t leave! Hold me please!’ And I almost thought I could hear her whispering back, from somewhere deep within my head. And as we held each other I forgot about all this crap I was buried in…I too was like this rat, we were both dead only I still awaited to be rescued from my grave of shit. But in this moment I was rescued by some long lost memory… A child’s joys. A child’s fears. Do we ever grow out of them?
...A day comes when a man notices or says that he is thirty. Thus he asserts his youth. But simultaneously he situates himself in relation to time. He takes his place in it. He admits that he stands at a certain point on a curve that he acknowledges having to travel to its end. He belongs to time, and by the horror that seizes him, he recognizes his worst enemy. Tomorrow, he was longing for tomorrow, whereas everything in him ought to reject it.
They are young and well built, they have another thirty years ahead of them. So they don't hurry, they take their time, and they are quite right. Once they have been to bed together, they will have to find something else to conceal the enormous absurdity of their existence.
We do naught but scratch the world, frail and fraught. Every vast drama of civilizations, of peoples with their certainties and gestures, means nothing, affects nothing. Life crawls on, ever on.
The rats at the door had gone away. I drank another bottle of wine. To think I was once rich. I once had money. I had everything but something. I used to think that all people desire to be cared for; some are so used to it that they take it for granted, others, who never feel it, desire it so much that they constantly need it. So much in fact, that when they don’t receive it they have outbursts, and in the end they wind up pushing away those people who in the end would have cared for them as their heart desired within its innermost depths. So they are always alone, always on the edge of society, within it, but at the same time, apart from it. They are like spectators watching with envy the dance of mankind, wishing for that one feeling that only another’s love can bring. A whisper that speaks to one and only one and says: “You truly are worth something.” They never know that feeling that shines on some. So they cease to expect and begin looking elsewhere for that…wonderful whisper of… War. Love almost seems like war. The ancient Greeks used to say, ‘Love as if you will one day hate.’ I used to think that meant something very pessimistic, that love was not real. But really, man is just an animal anyway. It’s not just about that though, the Greeks meant more. It’s like, ‘Live as if you will one day die.’ Do not take for granted life, and for the Greeks, do not take for granted your love. After all, it really is something special. Even if it doesn’t last, it’s the moment that matters. How cliché, but the problem with most men is that they learn words, rather than the concepts that the words signify. And life, death, love, are these not the most important things, those which a man should learn before all else. And the moment…what of this, even in misery it still matters. But all we learn are words and a way to be. God I love wine.
It is a matter of living in that state of the absurd I know on what it is founded, this mind and this world straining against each other without being able to embrace each other. I ask for the rule— of life of that state, and what I am offered neglects its basis, negates one of the terms of the painful opposition, demands of me a resignation. I ask what is involved in the condition I recognize as mine; I know it implies obscurity and ignorance; and I am assured that this ignorance explains everything and that this darkness is my light.
All those times back in my life when I had thought myself unhappy…how foolish I had been. Any man who experiences the worst looks back on all that was as better. So it was with me. “Call only that man happy who is dead.” The ancient Greeks once said that…but oh ye ones lost in the river of time…if only you knew, if only you knew. Man, no matter what his situation, can be happy, if only he realizes that his situation could be worse. But for me, there was no worse situation; I was like Croesus attached to the pyre, only there was no King to release me from being consumed by the flames. But here, right now, as I write this, I am happy, because I am at war. War is the refuge for those who have nothing better to do. The voice of my conscience, like an ancient Emathion head, was lost in the lust, devoured within the burning fire of my heart. I poured some Beefaronis over my foot. The dim light of the flashlight shone upon it. Then I waited. One came, quickly, running across the room. It leaped at my foot but my hand grabbed it before its teeth could clench down on my foot. The razorblade in my other hand came down hard upon its flesh. As I concentrated on murdering this poor rodent, I did not see the other rat scurrying across the room. The pain was deep. It did not just indulge in Beefaronis, but its teeth dug deeper. I screamed. I let the other rat go, throwing it across the room. I did not know if it was dead or not, but I did not care. I tried grabbing the other rat, but it had dug itself in. I kept screaming. I felt as if a pitchfork was repeatedly struck through my body while I hung chained to a wall. In a way, it almost felt good, because it was different from the deadening dullness that was normal.
To work and create 'for nothing', to sculpture in clay, to know that one's creation has no future, to see one's work destroyed in a day while being aware that fundamentally this has no more importance than building for centuries- this is the difficult wisdom that absurd thought sanctions. Performing these two tasks simultaneously, negating on one hand and magnifying on the other, is the way open to the absurd creator. He must give the void its colors.
the God who holds everything together, that God is nothing more than time itself. Not a thinking, acting entity, a physical law. With which one can negotiate as little as one can with one's own fate. God is time, and time is not merciful. We are born, and our life is already trickling away like the sand in an hourglass. Death is forever inevitably before us. Our fate is nothing but a concatenation of cause and effect. In light and in shadow.
You look at everything wrong, and so long as you do so, this life will forever remain a tragedy to you, and the best things that lie in front of you will be forgotten for something that matters but little, simply because that matters little which one cannot have, and what is the point in wanting that which we cannot have if it takes away from the things in which we can have. “And what can we have?” I asked. Life, and the greatness that comes from living it. You are unique toilet, it is possible that in all of history, and all of the future there will never be one such as yourself. You are an individual, and being an individual you are as a star that shines but once, so shine brightly.
The jury returned with a verdict of "Don't ask me, I wasn't there," and was excused.
So long as the mind keeps silent in the motionless world of its hopes, everything is reflected and arranged in the unity of its nostalgia. But with its first move this world cracks and tumbles: an infinite number of shimmering fragments is offered to the understanding. We must despair of ever reconstructing the familiar, calm surface which would give us peace of heart.
The nightsea journey may be absurd, but here we swim, will-we nill-we, against the flood, onward and upward, toward a shore that may not exist and couldn't be reached if it did.