Friday, June 05, 2009

his one sunglassed eye

I don't know how I missed this literary apocalypse quiz. I just hope you score higher than I did. I think my failure means I should be spending my time more apocalyptically. (via @UMinnPress)

Here are some favorite apocalyptic scenes not included in the quiz. One is Gore Vidal; one is Carolyn See; one is Nathanael West.

"It made little difference whether these mysterious blobs of light were hallucinations, intergalactic visitors or military weapons; the important thing was to explain them. To behold the inexplicable was perhaps the most unpleasant experience a human being of that age could know….And since our people were (and no doubt still are) barbarous and drenched in superstition, like the dripping ‘Saved’ at an old-time Texas baptism, it was generally felt that these odd creatures whose shining cars flashed through our poor heavens at such speed must, of necessity, be hostile and cruel and bent on world dominion, just like ourselves or at least our geographic neighbors.”

"He was very angry. The message he had brought to the city was one that an illiterate anchorite might have given decadent Rome. It was a crazy jumble of dietary rules, economics, and Biblical threats. He claimed to have seen the Tiger of Wrath stalking the walls of the citadel and the Jackal of Lust skulking in the shrubbery, and he connected these omens with ‘thirty dollars every Thursday’ and meat eating."

"Finally, it was the city that held us, the city they said had no center, that all of us had come to from all over America because this was the place to find dreams and pleasure and love. I noticed – looking at headlines – that some cities emptied and some didn’t. Ours didn’t, not completely. They said we were crazy to stay. But then someone had always said we were crazy to be here in the first place. And someone had always said Noah was crazy to build a boat in his desert, and Lot had been crazy to pack up, on an impulse, and head west."

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