Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What Guivric Was Made Of: Favorite Quotes

"[Guivric] went onward, disquieted but unhindered. And in the gray anteroom beyond, were the progenitors of Guivric disporting themselves, each in the quaint manner of their bygone day, and talking with uneager and faded voices about old times.

"Since none of these ancestors had ever heard or thought of Guivric, they gave scant attention to him now. And to see them was upsetting, somehow. One of these strangers had Guivric's high thin nose, and another just his long thin hands, and another his prim mouth, and another his excellent broad shoulders. Guivric could recognize all these fragments of himself moving at random about the gray room. He knew that, less visibly but quite as really, his tastes and his innate aversions--his little talents and failings and out-of-date loyalties, his quickness at figures, his aptitude for drawing, his tendency to catch cold easily, and his liking for sweets and highly seasoned foods,--were all passing about this gray room.

"A compost of odds and ends had been patched together from these unheeding persons; that almost accidental patchwork was Guivric; the thought was humiliating. There was, he reflected, in this gray room another complete Guivric, only this other Guivric was not entire, but moved about in scattered fragments. That thought appeared, to a peculiarly self-centered person like Guivric, rather uncomfortable.

"So Guivric went beyond his ancestors. Without delay the proud man passed stiffly by the inconsiderate people whose casual amours had created him, and had given him life and all his qualities, without consulting his preferences or his convenience, or even thinking about him."

--from The Silver Stallion, by James Branch Cabell.

1 comment:

Babel said...

It is neat to think about...I would like to see a tree of our family like that in your pic!