Quote from "Dhalgren"

"[…]You know the world is round, and that the moon is a small world circling it. But you live in a world of up and down, where the land is a surface. But for me, just the visual continuity from that flat surface to a height where the edge of the earth develops a curve, to where that curve is a complete circle, to where the little soap-colored circle hanging in front of you enlarges to the size the Earth was, and then you come down. And suddenly that circle is a surface -- but up and down is already not quite the same thing. We danced when we got out on the moon. What else could we do with that lightness? You know, seeing a film backward isn't the same experience as seeing it forward in reverse. It's a new experience, still happening forward in time. What falls out is all its own. Returning from the moon was not the same as going, played backward. We Arrived at a place where no one had walked; we left a place where we had danced. The earth we left was peopled by a race that had never sent emissaries to another cosmological body. We returned to a people who had. I really feel that what we did was important--folks starving in India not withstanding; and if there's a real threat of world starvation, technology will have to be used to avoid it; and I can't think of a better way to let people know just how far technology can take us.[…]"
-- Captain Kamp in Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany (1974)

2008.02.18 at 12:00am EST