14 abril, 2010

Citas de Kavalier & Clay

"In literature and folklore, the significance and the fascination of golems—from Rabbi Loew’s to Victor von Frankenstein’s—lay in their soullessness, in their tireless inhuman strength, in their metaphorical association with overweening human ambition, and in the frightening ease with which they passed beyond the control of their horrified and admiring creators. But it seemed to Joe that none of these—Faustian hubris, least of all—were among the true reasons that impelled men, time after time, to hazard the making of golems. The shaping of a golem, to him, was a gesture of hope, offered against hope, in a time of desperation. It was the expression of a yearning that a few magic words and an artful hand might produce something—one poor, dumb, powerful thing—exempt from the crushing strictures, from the ills, cruelties, and inevitable failures of the greater Creation. It was the voicing of a vain wish, when you got down to it, to escape. To slip, like the Escapist, free of the entangling chain of reality and the straitjacket of physical laws. Harry Houdini had roamed the Palladiums and Hippodromes of the world encumbered by an entire cargo-hold of crates and boxes, stuffed with chains, iron hardware, brightly painted flats and hokum, animated all the while only by this same desire, never fulfilled: truly to escape, if only for one instant; to poke his head through the borders of this world, with its harsh physics, into the mysterious spirit world that lay beyond. The newspaper articles that Joe had read about the upcoming Senate investigation into comic books always cited “escapism” among the litany of injurious consequences of their reading, and dwelled on the pernicious effect, on young minds, of satisfying the desire to escape. As if there could be any more noble or necessary service in life." (p.582)

"The age of the costumed superhero had long passed. The Angel, the Arrow, the Comet and the Fin, the Snowman and the Sandman and Hydroman, Captain Courageous, Captain Flag, Captain Freedom, Captain Midnight, Captain Venture and Major Victory, the Flame and the Flash and the Ray, the Monitor, the Guardian, the Shield and the Defender, the Green Lantern, the Red Bee, the Crimson Avenger, the Black Hat and the White Streak, Cat-Man and the Kitten, Bulletman and Bulletgirl, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, the Star-Spangled Rid and Stripesy, Dr. Mid-Nite, Mr. Terrific, Mr. Machine Gun, Mr. Scarlet and Miss Victory, Doll Man, the Atom and Minimidget, all had fallen beneath the whirling thresher blades of changing tastes, an aging readership, the coming of television, a glutted marketplace, and the unbeatable foe that had wiped out Hiroshima and Nagasaki." (p.589)

"He had been on and around the Atlantic Ocean plenty of times since the sinking of the Ark of Miriam; the train of association linking Thomas, in Joe’s mind, to the body of water that had swallowed him had long since worn away. But from time to time, especially if, as now, his brother was already in his thoughts, the smell of the sea could unfurl the memory of Thomas like a flag. His snoring, the half-animal snuffle of his breath coming from the other bed. His aversion to spiders, lobsters, and anything that crept like a disembodied hand. A much-thumbed mental picture of him at the age of seven or eight, in a plaid bathrobe and bedroom slippers, sitting beside the Kavaliers’ big Philips, knees to his chest, eyes shut tight, rocking back and forth while, with all his might, he listened to some Italian opera or other." (p.602)

"And now there was nothing left to regret but his own cowardice. He recalled his and Tracy’s parting at Penn Station on the morning of Pearl Harbor, in the first-class compartment of the Broadway Limited, their show of ordinary mute male farewell, the handshake, the pat on the shoulder, carefully tailoring and modulating their behavior though there was no one at all watching, so finely attuned to the danger of what they might lose that they could not permit themselves to notice what they had." (p.620)

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