Zitate von Harlan Ellison

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Harlan Ellison

Geburtstag: 27. Mai 1934
Todesdatum: 28. Juni 2018

Harlan Jay Ellison war ein US-amerikanischer Schriftsteller, Drehbuchautor und Kritiker.

Zitate Harlan Ellison

„Love Ain't Nothing But Sex Misspelled.“

—  Harlan Ellison

Title of book (1968)

„The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.“

—  Harlan Ellison

Introduction to Blast Off : Rockets, Robots, Ray Guns, and Rarities from the Golden Age of Space Toys (2001) by S. Mark Young, Steve Duin, Mike Richardson, p. 6; the quote on hydrogen and stupidity is said to have originated with an essay of his in the 1960s, and is often misattributed to Frank Zappa, who made similar remarks in The Real Frank Zappa Book (1989): "Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe."
Kontext: NO ONE GETS OUT OF CHILDHOOD ALIVE. It's not the first time I've said that. But among the few worthy bon mots I've gotten off in sixty-seven years, that and possibly one other may be the only considerations eligible for carving on my tombstone. (The other one is the one entrepreneurs have misappropriated to emboss on buttons and bumper stickers: The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.
(I don't so much mind that they pirated it, but what does honk me off is that they never get it right. They render it dull and imbecile by phrasing it thus: "The two most common things in the universe are..."
(Not things, you insensate gobbets of ambulatory giraffe dung, elements! Elements is funny, things is imprecise and semi-guttural. Things! Geezus, when will the goyim learn they don't know how to tell a joke.

„Alfred E. van Vogt, since the appearance of his first two stories — "Black Destroyer" and "Discord in Scarlet" (Astounding Science Fiction, July and December 1939) the most memorable debut in the long history of the genre — has been a giant.“

—  Harlan Ellison

In his introduction "Van is Here, But Van is Gone" to Futures Past: The Best Short Fiction of A. E. van Vogt (July 1999) http://www.sfrevu.com/ISSUES/2000/ARTICLES/20000128-03.htm
Kontext: Alfred E. van Vogt, since the appearance of his first two stories — "Black Destroyer" and "Discord in Scarlet" (Astounding Science Fiction, July and December 1939) the most memorable debut in the long history of the genre — has been a giant. The words seminal and germinal leap to mind. Sadly, at this juncture. the words tragedy and farewell also insinuate themselves. … Van is still with us, as I write this, in June of 1999, slightly less than fifty years since I first encountered van Vogt prose in a January 1950 issue of Startling Stories, but Van is gone. He is no longer with us. … Because the great and fecund mind of A. E. van Vogt has fallen into the clutches of that pulp thriller demon, Alzheimer's. Van is gone. … Anyone's demise or vanishment is in some small way tragic but the word "tragedy" requires greater measure for its use. … Van' s great mind now gone. Tragedy.
The ultimate tragic impropriety visited on as good a man as ever lived. A gentle. soft spoken man who was filled with ideas and humor and courtesy and kindness. Not even those who were not aficionados of Van's writing could muster a harsh word about him as a human being. He was as he remains now, quietly and purposefully, a gentleman.
But make no mistake about this: the last few decades for him were marred by the perfidious and even mean spirited and sometimes criminal acts of poltroons and self-aggrandizing mountebanks and piss-ants into whose clutches he fell just before the thug Alzheimer got him. … I came late to the friendship with Van and Lydia. Perhaps only twenty-five or so years. But the friendship continues, and at least I was able to make enough noise to get Van the Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master Award, which was presented to him in full ceremony during one of the last moments when he was cogent and clearheaded enough understand that finally, as last, dragged kicking and screaming to honor him, the generation that learned from what he did and what he had created had, at last, fessed up to his importance.
Naturally, others took credit for his getting the award. They postured and spewed all the right platitudes. Some of them were the same ones who had said to me — during the five years it took to get them to act honorably — "we'd have given it to him sooner if you hadn't made such a fuss." Yeah. Sure. And pandas'll fly out of my ass.

„Were we in 1946 or even 1956, van Vogt would have already been able to hold the award aloft.“

—  Harlan Ellison

In recognition of van Vogt receiving the Grand Master designation in 1996, in The Nebula Awards Vol. 31, as quoted in SF Authors Remember A.E. van Vogt (2000) http://www.sfrevu.com/ISSUES/2000/ARTICLES/20000128-03.htm#SF%20Authors%20Remeber%20A.E.%20van%20Vogt
Kontext: Even the brightest star shines dimly when observed-from too far away. And human memory is notoriously unreliable. And we live in ugly times when all respect for that which has gone before suffers crib death beneath the weight of youthful arrogance and ignorance. But a great nobility has at last, been recognized and lauded. Someone less charitable than I might suggest the honor could have been better appreciated had it not been so tardy, naming its race with a foe that blots joy and destroys short-term memory. But I sing the Talent Electric, and like aft the dark smudges of history, everything but the honor and die achievement remains for the myth-makers.
Alfred E. van Vogt has been awarded the Grand Master trophy of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. He is not the to first person to receive this singular accolade…given only to those whose right to possess it is beyond argument or mitigation.
Were we in 1946 or even 1956, van Vogt would have already been able to hold the award aloft. Had SFWA existed then and had the greatest living sf authors been polled as to who was the most fecund, the most intriguing, the mast innovative the most influential of their number, Isaac and Arthur and Cyril and Hank Kuttner and Ron Hubbard would all have pointed to the same man, and Bob Heinlein would've given him a thumbs-up. Van Vogt was the pinnacle, the source of power and ideas; the writer to beat. Because he embodied in his astonishing novels and assorted stories what we always say is of prime importance to us in this genre-the much vaunted Sense of Wonder.
Van Vogt was the wellspring of wonder. … That's how important he was. … And then came the dark years during which the man was shamefully agented and overlooked; and even the brightest star loses its piercing light if observed through the thickening mists of time and flawed memory.
Now it is lifetimes later, and the great award has, at last, been presented. To some, less charitable than I, something could be said about a day late and a dollar short, but not I. I am here to sing the Talent Electric, and it is better now than never. He is the Grand Master, A. E. can Vogt, weaver of a thousand ideas per plot-line, creator of alien thoughts and impossible dreams that rival the best ever built by our kind.
This dear, gentlemanly writer whose stories can still kill you with a concept or warm you with a character, now joins the special pantheon.

„I want to dip up the fire, and I want to put it on paper. The closer I get to the burning core of my being, the things which are most painful to me, the better is my work.“

—  Harlan Ellison

As quoted in Contemporary Authors New Revision Series: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Current Writers in Fiction, General Non-Fiction, Poetry, Journalism, Drama, Motion Pictures, Television, & Other Fields (1982) by Ann Evory
Kontext: I talk about the things people have always talked about in stories: pain, hate, truth, courage, destiny, friendship, responsibility, growing old, growing up, falling in love, all of these things. What I try to write about are the darkest things in the soul, the mortal dreads. I try to go into those places in me that contain the cauldrous. I want to dip up the fire, and I want to put it on paper. The closer I get to the burning core of my being, the things which are most painful to me, the better is my work. … It is a love/hate relationship I have with the human race. I am an elitist, and I feel that my responsibility is to drag the human race along with me — that I will never pander to, or speak down to, or play the safe game. Because my immortal soul will be lost.

„I feel that my responsibility is to drag the human race along with me — that I will never pander to, or speak down to, or play the safe game. Because my immortal soul will be lost.“

—  Harlan Ellison

As quoted in Contemporary Authors New Revision Series: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Current Writers in Fiction, General Non-Fiction, Poetry, Journalism, Drama, Motion Pictures, Television, & Other Fields (1982) by Ann Evory
Kontext: I talk about the things people have always talked about in stories: pain, hate, truth, courage, destiny, friendship, responsibility, growing old, growing up, falling in love, all of these things. What I try to write about are the darkest things in the soul, the mortal dreads. I try to go into those places in me that contain the cauldrous. I want to dip up the fire, and I want to put it on paper. The closer I get to the burning core of my being, the things which are most painful to me, the better is my work. … It is a love/hate relationship I have with the human race. I am an elitist, and I feel that my responsibility is to drag the human race along with me — that I will never pander to, or speak down to, or play the safe game. Because my immortal soul will be lost.

„Anyone's demise or vanishment is in some small way tragic but the word "tragedy" requires greater measure for its use. … Van' s great mind now gone. Tragedy.“

—  Harlan Ellison

In his introduction "Van is Here, But Van is Gone" to Futures Past: The Best Short Fiction of A. E. van Vogt (July 1999) http://www.sfrevu.com/ISSUES/2000/ARTICLES/20000128-03.htm
Kontext: Alfred E. van Vogt, since the appearance of his first two stories — "Black Destroyer" and "Discord in Scarlet" (Astounding Science Fiction, July and December 1939) the most memorable debut in the long history of the genre — has been a giant. The words seminal and germinal leap to mind. Sadly, at this juncture. the words tragedy and farewell also insinuate themselves. … Van is still with us, as I write this, in June of 1999, slightly less than fifty years since I first encountered van Vogt prose in a January 1950 issue of Startling Stories, but Van is gone. He is no longer with us. … Because the great and fecund mind of A. E. van Vogt has fallen into the clutches of that pulp thriller demon, Alzheimer's. Van is gone. … Anyone's demise or vanishment is in some small way tragic but the word "tragedy" requires greater measure for its use. … Van' s great mind now gone. Tragedy.
The ultimate tragic impropriety visited on as good a man as ever lived. A gentle. soft spoken man who was filled with ideas and humor and courtesy and kindness. Not even those who were not aficionados of Van's writing could muster a harsh word about him as a human being. He was as he remains now, quietly and purposefully, a gentleman.
But make no mistake about this: the last few decades for him were marred by the perfidious and even mean spirited and sometimes criminal acts of poltroons and self-aggrandizing mountebanks and piss-ants into whose clutches he fell just before the thug Alzheimer got him. … I came late to the friendship with Van and Lydia. Perhaps only twenty-five or so years. But the friendship continues, and at least I was able to make enough noise to get Van the Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master Award, which was presented to him in full ceremony during one of the last moments when he was cogent and clearheaded enough understand that finally, as last, dragged kicking and screaming to honor him, the generation that learned from what he did and what he had created had, at last, fessed up to his importance.
Naturally, others took credit for his getting the award. They postured and spewed all the right platitudes. Some of them were the same ones who had said to me — during the five years it took to get them to act honorably — "we'd have given it to him sooner if you hadn't made such a fuss." Yeah. Sure. And pandas'll fly out of my ass.

„I talk about the things people have always talked about in stories: pain, hate, truth, courage, destiny, friendship, responsibility, growing old, growing up, falling in love, all of these things.“

—  Harlan Ellison

As quoted in Contemporary Authors New Revision Series: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Current Writers in Fiction, General Non-Fiction, Poetry, Journalism, Drama, Motion Pictures, Television, & Other Fields (1982) by Ann Evory
Kontext: I talk about the things people have always talked about in stories: pain, hate, truth, courage, destiny, friendship, responsibility, growing old, growing up, falling in love, all of these things. What I try to write about are the darkest things in the soul, the mortal dreads. I try to go into those places in me that contain the cauldrous. I want to dip up the fire, and I want to put it on paper. The closer I get to the burning core of my being, the things which are most painful to me, the better is my work. … It is a love/hate relationship I have with the human race. I am an elitist, and I feel that my responsibility is to drag the human race along with me — that I will never pander to, or speak down to, or play the safe game. Because my immortal soul will be lost.

„I think love and sex are separate and only vaguely similar.“

—  Harlan Ellison

Introduction of "" (1977) in Shatterday (1990)
Kontext: I think love and sex are separate and only vaguely similar. Like the word bear and the word bare. You can get in trouble mistaking one for the other.

„Empty winds howled down out of the tundras of his soul.“

—  Harlan Ellison

Delusion for a Dragon Slayer (1966)
Kontext: Empty winds howled down out of the tundras of his soul. This was the charnel house of his finest fantasies. The burial ground of his forever. The garbage dump, the slain meat, the putrefying reality of his dreams and his Heaven.
Griffin stumbled away from her, hearing the shrieks of men needlessly drowned by his vanity, hearing the voiceless accusation of the devil proclaiming cowardice, hearing the orgasm-condemnation of lust that was never love, of brute desire that was never affection, and realizing at last that these were the real substances of his nature, the true faces of his sins, the marks in the ledger of a life he had never led, yet had worshipped silently at an altar of evil.
All these thoughts, as the guardian of Heaven, the keeper at the gate, the claimer of souls, the weigher of balances, advanced on him through the night.

„I don't know how you perceive my mission as a writer, but for me it is not a responsibility to reaffirm your concretized myths and provincial prejudices.“

—  Harlan Ellison

Introduction to Shatterday (1980), p. 2
Kontext: I don't know how you perceive my mission as a writer, but for me it is not a responsibility to reaffirm your concretized myths and provincial prejudices. It is not my job to lull you with a false sense of the rightness of the universe. This wonderful and terrible occupation of recreating the world in a different way, each time fresh and strange, is an act of revolutionary guerrilla warfare. I stir the soup. I inconvenience you. I make your nose run and your eyeballs water.

„Even the brightest star shines dimly when observed-from too far away. And human memory is notoriously unreliable. And we live in ugly times when all respect for that which has gone before suffers crib death beneath the weight of youthful arrogance and ignorance. But a great nobility has at last, been recognized and lauded.“

—  Harlan Ellison

In recognition of van Vogt receiving the Grand Master designation in 1996, in The Nebula Awards Vol. 31, as quoted in SF Authors Remember A.E. van Vogt (2000) http://www.sfrevu.com/ISSUES/2000/ARTICLES/20000128-03.htm#SF%20Authors%20Remeber%20A.E.%20van%20Vogt
Kontext: Even the brightest star shines dimly when observed-from too far away. And human memory is notoriously unreliable. And we live in ugly times when all respect for that which has gone before suffers crib death beneath the weight of youthful arrogance and ignorance. But a great nobility has at last, been recognized and lauded. Someone less charitable than I might suggest the honor could have been better appreciated had it not been so tardy, naming its race with a foe that blots joy and destroys short-term memory. But I sing the Talent Electric, and like aft the dark smudges of history, everything but the honor and die achievement remains for the myth-makers.
Alfred E. van Vogt has been awarded the Grand Master trophy of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. He is not the to first person to receive this singular accolade…given only to those whose right to possess it is beyond argument or mitigation.
Were we in 1946 or even 1956, van Vogt would have already been able to hold the award aloft. Had SFWA existed then and had the greatest living sf authors been polled as to who was the most fecund, the most intriguing, the mast innovative the most influential of their number, Isaac and Arthur and Cyril and Hank Kuttner and Ron Hubbard would all have pointed to the same man, and Bob Heinlein would've given him a thumbs-up. Van Vogt was the pinnacle, the source of power and ideas; the writer to beat. Because he embodied in his astonishing novels and assorted stories what we always say is of prime importance to us in this genre-the much vaunted Sense of Wonder.
Van Vogt was the wellspring of wonder. … That's how important he was. … And then came the dark years during which the man was shamefully agented and overlooked; and even the brightest star loses its piercing light if observed through the thickening mists of time and flawed memory.
Now it is lifetimes later, and the great award has, at last, been presented. To some, less charitable than I, something could be said about a day late and a dollar short, but not I. I am here to sing the Talent Electric, and it is better now than never. He is the Grand Master, A. E. can Vogt, weaver of a thousand ideas per plot-line, creator of alien thoughts and impossible dreams that rival the best ever built by our kind.
This dear, gentlemanly writer whose stories can still kill you with a concept or warm you with a character, now joins the special pantheon.

„From time to time some denigrator or critic with umbrage will say of my work, "He only wrote that to shock." I smile and nod. Precisely.“

—  Harlan Ellison

Quoted by Stephen King in his book Danse Macabre (1981)
Kontext: I am anti-entropy. My work is foursquare for chaos. I spend my life personally, and my work professionally, keeping the soup boiling. Gadfly is what they call you when you are no longer dangerous; I much prefer troublemaker, malcontent, desperado. I see myself as a combination of Zorro and Jiminy Cricket. My stories go out from here and raise hell. From time to time some denigrator or critic with umbrage will say of my work, "He only wrote that to shock." I smile and nod. Precisely.

„Provisos of equal time are not served by one viewpoint having media access to two hundred million people in prime time while opposing viewpoints are provided with a soapbox on the corner.“

—  Harlan Ellison, buch The Deathbird

"The Deathbird" (1974) First lines.
Kontext: This is a test. Take notes. This will count as 3/4 of your final grade. Hints: remember, in chess, kings cancel each other out and cannot occupy adjacent squares, are therefore all-powerful and totally powerless, cannot affect each other, produce stalemate. Hinduism is a polytheistic religion; the sect of Atman worships the divine spark of life within Man; in effect saying, "Thou art God." Provisos of equal time are not served by one viewpoint having media access to two hundred million people in prime time while opposing viewpoints are provided with a soapbox on the corner. Not everyone tells the truth. Operational note: these sections may be taken out of numerical sequence: rearrange to suit yourself for optimum clarity. Turn over your test papers and begin.

„You can get in trouble mistaking one for the other.“

—  Harlan Ellison

Introduction of "" (1977) in Shatterday (1990)
Kontext: I think love and sex are separate and only vaguely similar. Like the word bear and the word bare. You can get in trouble mistaking one for the other.

„This wonderful and terrible occupation of recreating the world in a different way, each time fresh and strange, is an act of revolutionary guerrilla warfare. I stir the soup. I inconvenience you.“

—  Harlan Ellison

Introduction to Shatterday (1980), p. 2
Kontext: I don't know how you perceive my mission as a writer, but for me it is not a responsibility to reaffirm your concretized myths and provincial prejudices. It is not my job to lull you with a false sense of the rightness of the universe. This wonderful and terrible occupation of recreating the world in a different way, each time fresh and strange, is an act of revolutionary guerrilla warfare. I stir the soup. I inconvenience you. I make your nose run and your eyeballs water.

„Now he had form and substance.
He had become a personality, something they had filtered out of the system many decades ago.“

—  Harlan Ellison

"'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman" (1965)
Kontext: Now he had form and substance.
He had become a personality, something they had filtered out of the system many decades ago. But there it was, and there he was, a very definitely imposing personality. In certain circles — middle-class circles — it was thought disgusting. Vulgar ostentation. Anarchistic. Shameful.

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