"'That was what set me off hating civilization.'
'Well, cheer up,' he said; 'there isn't much of it left.'" -Elizabeth Bowen, "Mysterious Kôr"
"What is it that civilization softens in us? Civilization cultivates only a versatility of sensations in man, and…decidedly nothing else." -Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky)
"…where there was nature and earth, life and water, I saw a desert landscape that was unending, resembling some sort of crater, so devoid of reason and light and spirit that the mind could not grasp it on any sort of conscious level and if you came close the mind would reel backward, unable to take it in. It was a vision so clear and real and vital to me that in its purity it was almost abstract. This was what I could understand, this was how I lived my life, what I constructed my movement around, how I dealt with the intangible. This was the geography around which my reality revolved: it did not occur to me, ever, that people were good or that a man was capable of change or that the world could be a better place through one's taking pleasure in a feeling or a look or a gesture, of receiving another person's love and kindness. Nothing was affirmative, the term 'generosity of spirit' applied to nothing, was a cliché, was some kind of bad joke. Sex is mathematics. Individuality no long an issue. What does intelligence signify? Define reason. Desire - meaningless. Intellect is not a cure. Justice is dead. Fear, recrimination, innocence, sympathy, guilty, waste, failure, grief, were things, emotions, that no one really felt anymore. Reflection is useless, the world is senseless. Evil is its only permanence. God is not alive. Love cannot be trusted. Surface, surface, surface was all that anyone found meaning in…this was civilization as I saw it, colossal and jagged…" -Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
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