Saturday, April 23, 2016

22: Roger Zelazny Quote of the Day: The universe did not invent justice...

"You don't know what it's like to be cut off from a whole area of stimuli! To know that a Mongoloid idiot can experience something you can never know and that he cannot appreciate it because, like you, he was condemned before birth in a court of biological happenstance, in a place where there is no justice only fortuity, pure and simple." 

"The universe did not invent justice. Man did. Unfortunately, man must reside in the universe."

"I'm not asking the universe to help me. I'm asking you."

The Context: Firstly, the story was written in the mid-1960s, and the term Mongoloid wasn't considered offensive at the time. I think this mars an otherwise excellent story, but not, I think irreparably. In this passage, the blind and brilliant Elaine Shallot. She is pleading with Render here to allow her to undergo neuroparticipant therapy, so that she may experience sight.

Why I like it:  I like the bolded part. It strikes me as so sad and profound, and reminds me of the line from William Gaddis: You get justice in the next world, in this world you have the law. Regardless of how much humanity tries to enforce our concept of how the universe should be, the universe remains a fundamentally unjust place, and there is nothing mankind can do to change that.

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