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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Quotes worth saving (22): Daniel Keyes 'Flowers for Algernon'

This is a beautiful melancholy novel, which only just about counts as a genre novel, a science fiction.

FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON
by Daniel Keyes
Gateway/Gollancz
SF Masterworks
2002 this edition
1966 original publication



Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts. But all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love. This is something else I've discovered for myself very recently. I present it to you as a hypothesis: Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection leads to mental and moral breakdown, to neurosis, and possibly even psychosis. And I say that the mind absorbed in and involved in itself as a self-centered end, to the exclusion of human relationships, can only lead to violence and pain. (p.173)

Daniel Keyes (1927-2014)

This was the way we loved, until the night became a silent day. And as I lay there with her I could see how important physical love was, how necessary it was for us to be in each other's arms, giving and taking. The universe was exploding, each particle away from the next, hurtling us into dark and lonely space, eternally tearing us away from each other - child out of the womb, friend away from friend, moving from each other, each through his own pathway toward the goal-box of solitary death.
But this was the counterweight, the act of binding and holding. As when men to keep from being swept overboard in the storm clutch at each other's hands to resist being torn apart, so our bodies fused a link in the human chain that kept us from being swept into nothing. (p.205)


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