Saturday, April 30, 2016

30: Roger Zelazny Quote of the Day: Where there had been darkness...

Where there had been darkness, I had hung my worlds. They were my answer. When I finally walked that Valley, they would remain after me. Whatever the Bay claimed, I had made some replacements, to thumb my nose at it. I had done something, and I knew how to do more.

Context: I think I'll leave this one vague. The quote is from the Isle of the Dead, and the valley is death.

Why I like it: I'm not a very philosophical guy, but I do that things are precious because they are imperfect and impermanent. We are born, we live for a time and then we die, and that is just the way of it, but we live on in the memories of others and the marks we leave upon them.

We live on in the worlds we hang.

I never knew Roger Zelazny, but he continues to move me twenty years after his death. I read a chapter a day of A Night In the Lonesome October with my daughter last year, and when I asked her if she wanted to read it again this year, she suggested we try a different Roger Zelazny book. I like that someone who has meant so much to me means someone else who means so much to me. She was born more than ten years after he passed, but it pleases me that he was able to reach her through his worlds and his words.

The book takes its name and its theme from Arnold Böcklin's paintings of the same name. He did several paintings by that name, and after completing them, he painted the lesser known work seen above, which he titled Die Lebensinsel ("Isle of Life").

I think that image is a fine way to end this series.


  1. I've quite enjoyed all of these quote posts. Thanks for doing them, Josh!

    1. Thank you! That means a lot coming from you. I enjoyed writing them, and I'm glad that you enjoyed reading them.

      Looks like my daughter and I will be reading The George Business in the next few days. I'll report back and let you know what she thinks.