Daniel Polansky Quotes
“I remember the lightning in the air, and the lovers bidding goodbye to each other in the streets, and I can tell you what I think. We went to war because going to war is fun, because there's something in the human breast that trills at the thought, although perhaps not the reality, of murdering its fellows in vast numbers. Fighting a war ain't fun - fighting a war is pretty miserable. But starting a war? Hell, starting a war is better than a night floating on daeva's honey.”
“Common wisdom affirms against the drinking of whiskey during daylight hours, and while I can see the merits of the argument, it is not one to which I hold. True, a few fingers of liquor, or even a wide-stretched palm, degrades your ability to cope with the world's troubles, miseries and horrors; but it also makes you less concerned about them, and since the world is certain to throw more at you than you can handle regardless, I think it a more than equitable transaction. People call me the Warden.
People call me a lot of things, but the Warden is the only one you could say inside a church.”
“The Questioner was repacking his tools with a vague air of disappointment. Deciding my legs were steady enough to carry me, I propped myself to my feet, then turned towards my would-be torturer. 'You got a cigarette?' I asked.
He shook his head, the burned red crown of his hood bobbing. 'I don't smoke,' he said without taking his eyes off his work. 'That stuff will kill you.”
“There is a corner of every man’s soul that would prefer him dead. That whispers poison in his ear in the still hours of the evening, puts spurs to his side when he stands atop a ledge. For the weak and the misbegotten, the suggestion alone proves sufficient, and the unfortunate runs himself a hot bath and adds his life-blood to it, or drinks a few pints of backyard whiskey and goes swimming in the canal. But most of us are too stubborn or cowardly to make a clean go of it, and this bit that hates us has to start thinking sly.”
“It surprised M not at all to discover that though the library had technically been closed for hours, there was a small door in the back that was still open, and that it led to a long, hushed corridor, and then into a chamber, which was more like the nave of an immense cathedral than the checkout room in a library. Libraries—like train stations, crossroads, church belfries, and attics—are places where worlds leak together, where the Management, in its ineffable wisdom, tends not to look too closely on what goes on.”
“The Captain was halfway to the door when he felt the press of metal against his throat. “I am Bonsoir,” the stoat hissed, a scant inch from the Captain’s ears. “I have cracked rattlesnake eggs while their mother slept soundly atop them, I have snatched the woodpecker mid-flight. More have met their end at my hand than from corn liquor and poisoned bait! I am Bonsoir, whose steps fall without sound, whose knives are always sharp, who comes at night and leaves widows weeping in the morning.”