Identify the quote- Author and Book please.

Standing there, and at that time, my heart still resisted what my head was telling me.  Even yet I had the feeling that it was all something too big, too unnatural really to happen.  Yet I knew that it was by no means the first time that it had happened.  The corpses of other great cities are lying buried in deserts, an obliterated by the jungles of Asia.  Some of them fell so long ago that even their names have gone with them.  But to those who lived there their dissolution can have seemed no more probable or possible than the necrosis of a great modern city seemed to me….

It must be, I thought, one of the race’s most persistent and comforting hallucinations to trust that ‘it can’t happen here’ – that one’s own little time and place is beyond cataclysms.

If you don’t know, or you don’t know for sure  comment with what you reckon.  No shame in not knowing.

And, don’t just search for it online.  That’d be against the spirit exercise.

15 thoughts on “Identify the quote- Author and Book please.

  1. It’s been a long time since I’ve read Triffids and I wouldn’t have made the match because I don’t think of it as a TEOTWAWKI story. When I read the quote all I knew was that this was sci-fi and the style of writing was unfamiliar. The use of the word “necrosis” should have been a giveaway that it was written a while ago: we don’t use that word much anymore (except medically).

    Anyways, interesting game. Do it again.

  2. Didn’t want to let the thread die. So here’s another quote:

    There was a smell of Time in the air tonight. He smiled and turned the fancy in his mind. There was a thought. What did time smell like? Like dust and clocks and people. And if you wondered what Time sounded like it sounded like water running in a dark cave and voices crying and dirt dropping down upon hollow box lids, and rain. And, going further, what did Time look like? Time look like snow dropping silently into a black room or it looked like a silent film in an ancient theater, 100 billion faces falling like those New Year balloons, down and down into nothing. That was how Time smelled and looked and sounded. And tonight-Tomas shoved a hand into the wind outside the truck-tonight you could almost taste time.

    As before, don’t look it up online. If you don’t know, comment about what you think – and why.

  3. I know the story from where that quote came, RR. It comes from the same book that has a story based on this poem…

    There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
    And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

    And frogs in the pool singing at night,
    And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

    Robins will wear their feathery fire,
    Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

    And not one will know of the war, not one
    Will care at last when it is done.

    Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
    If mankind perished utterly;

    And Spring herself when she woke at dawn
    Would scarcely know that we were gone.

  4. That story is one of the saddest that he ever wrote. I don’t know how you can cry for machinery, but I did.

    Reminds me of WALL-E, going around, picking up the garbage, long after mankind has gone.

  5. I love John Wyndham. About fifteen years ago I collected all his novels and short story collections (except for one I read but didn’t want). Although, I wouldn’t have guessed the quote was from Wyndham, as it seemed generic to apocalyptic stories.

    Red, is your quote from A Canticle for Liebowitz?

    It looks like Matthew and I got our posts up at the same time, so be sure to see my Roundup below. There are some great links to check out.

  6. Good guess, Arabella. The story the quote comes from is double-post-semi- apocalyptic ( there’s the clue) and it predates Liebowitz by about 10 years.

  7. The quote is from Ray Bradbury. I could go look on my shelf to be sure but I think the short story is simply “There will Come Soft Rains” and the poem is by Sara Teasdale.

  8. Close enough Sandra,

    It is from a Bradbury story called Night Meeting, which is in the same collection of short stories as There will Come Soft Rains. The collection being The Martian Chronicles

    For those who are unfamiliar with Martian Chronicles, my first comment is: go out and read it. It is an amazing set of stories, chronicling the colonization of Mars by earthlings at a point in time when the Martian civilization has almost died off, and life on earth is threatened due to nuclear war. It’s about the intersection of the two civilizations.

    My second comment is if one of the greatest gifts a storyteller can bring to his job is his or her unique voice, then Bradbury is one of the most gifted storytellers I’ve ever read.

  9. Sorry to disappoint everybody, but I just couldn’t get into the Martian Chronicles. I tried to listen to it and gave up halfway through it, I couldn’t find anything to like about it.

    Bradbury is a very mixed bag for me, sometimes I get the impression he didn’t especially go for plot and characters but mostly for beautiful language. I love “A Sound of Thunder”, though, and “Something Wicked This Way Comes”.

  10. Ach, du lieber himmel!

    Not even There Will Come Soft Rains? One of the saddest short stories ever penned??

    Oh well, if you loved Something Wicked This Way Comes then you have touched the soul of Bradbury.

  11. Well, I own one short story collection by Ray Bradbury, but “There Will Come Soft Rains” isn’t included. I think I’ll have to find that one then and read it. I have one of his newer books on audio: “From the Dust Returned”. It was okay, but didn’t blow me away, and then there is “Dandelion Wine” on the shelf, which I haven’t read yet.

  12. Checking my copy of MARTIAN CHRONICLES, the Teasdale poem is indeed quoted in a story “There Will Come Soft Rains” which is also the title of the poem. “Night Meeting” is indeed a great story but it quotes no poetry.

    I originally heard some of the MARTIAN CHRONICLES on the old DIMENSION X radio show around 1950 but didn’t know about the source until years later. “The Third Expedition” made an indelible impression.

    Bradbury’s OCTOBER COUNTRY collection is whole ‘nother thing, with the creepiest of the lot as far as I’m concerned being “The Reaper.”

  13. Minerva, it’s been years since I’ve read Dandelion Wine but I remember one part which I think you will love: Chapter 39 The Magical Kitchen

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