Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Quote of the Day

We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges. When soldiers take their oath they are given a coin, an asimi stamped with the profile of the Autarch. Their acceptance of that coin is their acceptance of the special duties and burdens of military life--they are soldiers from that moment, though they may know nothing of the management of arms. I did not know that then, but it is a profound mistake to believe that we must know of such things to be influenced by them, and in fact to believe so is to believe in the most debased and superstitious kind of magic. The would-be sorcerer alone has faith in the efficacy of pure knowledge; rational people know that things act of themselves or not at all. The Shadow of the Torturer, Gene Wolfe


Blogger abigail said...

Ah, Gene Wolfe. One of my favorite authors whose as-yet-unread The Knight lies nearby... (Side note--John posted the same Wolfe quote this past September 11th. When I read your post and experienced deja vu, I had to rifle through his archives to ensure myself that I wasn't going daft.)

5/18/2005 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Seth Ben-Ezra said...

I still haven't picked up The Knight or The Wizard. Shame on me. Bad Seth. No biscuit.

5/18/2005 10:58:00 PM  

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