Philip José Farmer quotes

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Philip José Farmer

Birthdate: 26. January 1918
Date of death: 25. February 2009

Philip José Farmer was an American author known for his science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories.Farmer is best known for his sequences of novels, especially the World of Tiers and Riverworld series. He is noted for the pioneering use of sexual and religious themes in his work, his fascination for, and reworking of, the lore of celebrated pulp heroes, and occasional tongue-in-cheek pseudonymous works written as if by fictional characters. Farmer often mixed real and classic fictional characters and worlds and real and fake authors as epitomized by his Wold Newton family group of books. These tie all classic fictional characters together as real people and blood relatives resulting from an alien conspiracy. Such works as The Other Log of Phileas Fogg and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life are early examples of literary mashup.

Literary critic Leslie Fiedler compared Farmer to Ray Bradbury as both being "provincial American eccentrics" who "strain at the classic limits of the [science fiction] form," but found Farmer distinctive in that he "manages to be at once naive and sophisticated in his odd blending of theology, pornography, and adventure."

Works

Riders of the Purple Wage
Philip José Farmer
Venus on the Half-Shell
Venus on the Half-Shell
Philip José Farmer

„The visitor said that his kind called themselves the Ethicals, though they had other names for themselves.“

—  Philip José Farmer

Source: The Riverworld series, The Magic Labyrinth (1980), Ch. 19
Context: The visitor said that his kind called themselves the Ethicals, though they had other names for themselves. They were on a higher plane of ethical development than most Earthlings. Notice that he said most. This indicates that there have been some of us who have achieved the same level as the Ethicals.

„Unfortunately, not all can be permitted to possess immortality. Too many would make immortality miserable or hellish for the rest, and they would try to control others through their control of the resurrection machinery.“

—  Philip José Farmer

The Riverworld series, Gods of Riverworld (1983)
Context: The truth is that you can be immortal, relatively so, anyway. You won't last beyond the death of the universe and probably not nearly as long as the universe does. But you have the potentiality for living a million years, two, perhaps three or more. As long as you can find a Terrestrial-type planet with a hot core and have resurrection machinery available.
Unfortunately, not all can be permitted to possess immortality. Too many would make immortality miserable or hellish for the rest, and they would try to control others through their control of the resurrection machinery. Even so, everybody, without exception, is given a hundred years after his Earthly death to prove that he or she can live peacefully and in harmony with himself and the others, within the tolerable limits of human imperfections. Those who can do this will be immortal after the two projects are completed.

„The little girl become a woman, dream-ridden Alice, had inspired the nonsense not really nonsense, and this in circuitous and spiralling fashion had inspired her to do what all others had failed to do, to save eighteen billion souls and the world.“

—  Philip José Farmer

Section 14 : "Three-Cornered Play : Caroll to Alice to Computer"
The Riverworld series, The Magic Labyrinth (1980)
Context: How strange and unforeseeable! The world had been saved, not by great rulers and statesmen, not by mystics and saints and prophets and messiahs, not by any of the holy scriptures, but by an introverted eccentric writer of mathematical texts and children's books and by the child who'd inspired him.
The little girl become a woman, dream-ridden Alice, had inspired the nonsense not really nonsense, and this in circuitous and spiralling fashion had inspired her to do what all others had failed to do, to save eighteen billion souls and the world.

„Oh, I'd reach beyond the comma of you
To the invisible phrase, the dangling Omega!“

—  Philip José Farmer

"Black Squirrel on Cottonwood Limb's Tip" in Skyhook #23 (Winter 1954-55); re-published in Pearls From Peoria (2006)
Context: Oh, I'd reach beyond the comma of you
To the invisible phrase, the dangling Omega! No use. No act
Of mine or mind denies the ante-cerebellum fact
Of furry you, poised fleetingly, bright flex,
Black reflex, too leaping for me to ink and fix
As period to end what has no period, no, no
End...

„It was like no hell or heaven of which he had ever heard or read, and he had thought that he was acquainted with every theory of the afterlife.“

—  Philip José Farmer

Source: The Riverworld series, To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1971), Chapter 1 (pp. 3-4)
Context: It was like no hell or heaven of which he had ever heard or read, and he had thought that he was acquainted with every theory of the afterlife.
He had died. Now he was alive. He had scoffed all his life at a life-after-death. For once, he could not deny that he had been wrong. But there was no one present to say, "I told you so, you damned infidel!"
Of all the millions, he alone was awake.

„Apparently, there was dissension even among those beings who we could account as gods.“

—  Philip José Farmer

Source: The Riverworld series, The Magic Labyrinth (1980), Ch. 19
Context: According to Burton, the Ethical who talked to him did not agree with his fellows. Apparently, there was dissension even among those beings who we could account as gods. Dispute or discord in Olympus, if I may draw such a parallel. Though I do not think that the so-called Ethicals are gods, angels, or demons. They are human beings like us but advanced to a higher ethical plane. What their disagreement is, I frankly do not know. Perhaps it is about the means used to achieve a goal.

„Know a man’s faith, and you knew at least half the man. Know his wife, and you knew the other half.“

—  Philip José Farmer

Source: The Riverworld series, To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1971), Chapter 23 (p. 176)
Context: Burton, though an infidel, made it his business to investigate thoroughly every religion. Know a man’s faith, and you knew at least half the man. Know his wife, and you knew the other half.

„Here and Now are needles which
Sew a pattern black as pitch,
Waiting for the rocket's light.“

—  Philip José Farmer

"Imagination" in America Sings (1949)
Context: Miles above the Earth we know,
Fancy's rocket roars. Below,
Here and Now are needles which
Sew a pattern black as pitch,
Waiting for the rocket's light.

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„Beauty in this Iron Age must turn
From fluid living rainbow shapes to torn
And sootened fragments, ashes in an urn“

—  Philip José Farmer

"Beauty in This Iron Age" in Starlanes #11 (Fall 1953); re-published in Pearls From Peoria (2006)
Context: Beauty in this Iron Age must turn
From fluid living rainbow shapes to torn
And sootened fragments, ashes in an urn
On whose gray surface runes are traced by a Norn
Who hopes to wake the Future to arise
In Phoenix-fashion, and to shine with rays
To blast the sight of modern men whose dyes
Of selfishness and lust have stained our days...

„Miles above the Earth we know,
Fancy's rocket roars.“

—  Philip José Farmer

"Imagination" in America Sings (1949)
Context: Miles above the Earth we know,
Fancy's rocket roars. Below,
Here and Now are needles which
Sew a pattern black as pitch,
Waiting for the rocket's light.

„The truth is that you can be immortal, relatively so, anyway.“

—  Philip José Farmer

The Riverworld series, Gods of Riverworld (1983)
Context: The truth is that you can be immortal, relatively so, anyway. You won't last beyond the death of the universe and probably not nearly as long as the universe does. But you have the potentiality for living a million years, two, perhaps three or more. As long as you can find a Terrestrial-type planet with a hot core and have resurrection machinery available.
Unfortunately, not all can be permitted to possess immortality. Too many would make immortality miserable or hellish for the rest, and they would try to control others through their control of the resurrection machinery. Even so, everybody, without exception, is given a hundred years after his Earthly death to prove that he or she can live peacefully and in harmony with himself and the others, within the tolerable limits of human imperfections. Those who can do this will be immortal after the two projects are completed.

„The only gold is love,
A coin that we have minted from the light
Of others who have cared for us on Earth
And who have deposited in us the power
That nerves our nerves to seize the burning stars.“

—  Philip José Farmer

Sestina of the Space Rocket (1953)
Context: The way is open, comrades, free as Space
Alone is free. The only gold is love,
A coin that we have minted from the light
Of others who have cared for us on Earth
And who have deposited in us the power
That nerves our nerves to seize the burning stars.

„Eat rich strange fish, grow long bright feathers, press
Form's flesh around thought's rib, and so derive
From the act of beauty, beauty of the act.“

—  Philip José Farmer

"The Pterodactyl" in Sky Hook #16, (Winter 1952-53); re-published in Pearls From Peoria (2006)
Context: Sawbeaked epitome of bodiless
Idea, tossed by gusts of ether, dive
Through abstract mists and raid the sea of fact
Eat rich strange fish, grow long bright feathers, press
Form's flesh around thought's rib, and so derive
From the act of beauty, beauty of the act.

„Drowned idols swirl like seeds in chaos' wine.“

—  Philip José Farmer

"Job's Leviathan" in JD Argassy #58 (1961); re-published in Pearls From Peoria (2006)
Context: Drowned idols swirl like seeds in chaos' wine.
Look, Job! Caught Beauty, held to light, now apes
A good, now evil, thing — the shifting sign
And spectrum of archaic, psychic shapes.

„We hope to breed a race of men whose power
Dwells in hearts as open as all Space
Itself, who ask for nothing but the light
That rinses the heart of hate so that the stars
Above will be below when man has Love.“

—  Philip José Farmer

Sestina of the Space Rocket (1953)
Context: Yes, we hope to seed a new, rich earth.
We hope to breed a race of men whose power
Dwells in hearts as open as all Space
Itself, who ask for nothing but the light
That rinses the heart of hate so that the stars
Above will be below when man has Love.

„We too. No wisdom to utter.
You've beauty, flux, and terror
To tell. So've I.“

—  Philip José Farmer

"Black Squirrel on Cottonwood Limb's Tip" in Skyhook #23 (Winter 1954-55); re-published in Pearls From Peoria (2006)
Context: We too. No wisdom to utter.
You've beauty, flux, and terror
To tell. So've I. And they're
Very hard to mutter
Through so much chatter and stutter.

„Eyes forward! Sing a paean to the light
That God gives us to net the distant stars
In eyes that once were blinded with black earth.“

—  Philip José Farmer

Sestina of the Space Rocket (1953)
Context: Eyes forward! Sing a paean to the light
That God gives us to net the distant stars
In eyes that once were blinded with black earth.
Man had no time for aught but toll, no space
For aught but war. Yet God, in His great love,
Has cleared our eyes and given a hint of Power.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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