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James Branch Cabell

Geburtstag: 14. April 1879
Todesdatum: 5. Mai 1958

James Branch Cabell war ein amerikanischer Autor phantastischer Romane. Eine zentrale Stellung nimmt dabei der in dem fiktiven, im Süden Frankreichs lokalisierten Land von Poictesme angesiedelte Romanzyklus Biography of the Life of Manuel ein . Wikipedia

Zitate James Branch Cabell

„The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true. So I elect for neither label.“

—  James Branch Cabell

Coth, in Book Four : Coth at Porutsa, Ch. XXVI : The Realist in Defeat
Quelle: The Silver Stallion (1926)
Kontext: Yet creeds mean very little... The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true. So I elect for neither label.

„It is necessary that I climb very high because of my love for you, and upon the heights there is silence.“

—  James Branch Cabell

"Auctorial Induction"
The Certain Hour (1916)
Kontext: It spurred me to such action as I took, — but it has robbed me of sugared eloquence, it has left me chary of speech. It is necessary that I climb very high because of my love for you, and upon the heights there is silence.

„The little silver effigies which his postulants fashion and adore are well enough: but Kalki is a horse of another color.“

—  James Branch Cabell

Horvendille, in Book Six : In the Sylan's House, Ch. XXXIX : One Warden Left Uncircumvented
The Silver Stallion (1926)
Kontext: Is it not a pity, Guivric, that this Kalki will not come in our day, and that we shall never behold his complete glory? I cry a lament for that Kalki who will someday bring back to their appointed places high faith and very ardent loves and hatreds; and who will see to it that human passions are in never so poor a way to find expressions in adequate speech and action. Ohé, I cry a loud lament for Kalki! The little silver effigies which his postulants fashion and adore are well enough: but Kalki is a horse of another color.

„If we assiduously cultivate our powers of exaggeration, perhaps we, too, shall obtain the Paradise of Liars.“

—  James Branch Cabell

"On Telling the Truth" in William and Mary College Monthly (November 1897), VII, p. 53-55
Kontext: If we assiduously cultivate our powers of exaggeration, perhaps we, too, shall obtain the Paradise of Liars. And there Raphael shall paint for us scores and scores of his manifestly impossible pictures … and Shakespeare will lie to us of fabulous islands far past 'the still-vex'd Bermoothes,' and bring us fresh tales from the coast of Bohemia. For no one will speak the truth there, and we shall all be perfectly happy.

„You must permit that I begin it in my own way, with what may to you at first seem dream-stuff.“

—  James Branch Cabell, buch The Cream of the Jest

"Richard Fentnor Harroby" in Ch. 1 : Pallation of the Gambit
The Cream of the Jest (1917)
Kontext: You must permit that I begin it in my own way, with what may to you at first seem dream-stuff. For I commence at Storisende, in the world's youth, when the fourth Count Emmerick reigned in Poictesme, having not yet blundered into the disfavor of his papal cousin Adrian VII.... With such roundabout gambits alone can some of us approach — as one fancy begets another, if you will — to proud assurance that life is not blind and aimless business; not all a hopeless waste and confusion; and that we ourselves may (by and by) be strong and excellent and wise.

„The Dream, as I now know, is not best served by making parodies of it“

—  James Branch Cabell

"Auctorial Induction"
The Certain Hour (1916)
Kontext: The Dream, as I now know, is not best served by making parodies of it, and it does not greatly matter after all whether a book be an epic or a directory. What really matters is that there is so much faith and love and kindliness which we can share with and provoke in others, and that by cleanly, simple, generous living we approach perfection in the highest and most lovely of all arts.... But you, I think, have always comprehended this.

„I do not seek to copy nature. I, on the contrary, create to divert me such faith and dreams as living among men would tend to destroy.“

—  James Branch Cabell

The Gander, in Book Seven : What Saraïde Wanted, Ch. XLV : The Gander Also Generalizes
The Silver Stallion (1926)
Kontext: I do not seek to copy nature. I, on the contrary, create to divert me such faith and dreams as living among men would tend to destroy. But as it is, my worshipers depart from me heartedly, in this grey corridor, and they are devoid of fear and parvanimity; for the effect of my singing, like that of all great singing, is to fill my hearers with a sentiment of their importance as moral beings and the greatness of their destinies.

„People progressed from the kindergarten to the cemetery assuming that their emotion at every crisis was what books taught them was the appropriate emotion, and without noticing that it was in reality something quite different.“

—  James Branch Cabell, buch The Cream of the Jest

Quelle: The Cream of the Jest (1917), Ch. 27 : Evolution of a Vestryman
Kontext: The purblind majority quite honestly believed that literature was meant to mimic human life, and that it did so. And in consequence, their love-affairs, their maxims, their so-called natural ties and instincts, and above all, their wickedness, became just so many bungling plagiarisms from something they had read, in a novel or a Bible or a poem or a newspaper. People progressed from the kindergarten to the cemetery assuming that their emotion at every crisis was what books taught them was the appropriate emotion, and without noticing that it was in reality something quite different. Human life was a distorting tarnished mirror held up to literature: this much at least of Wilde's old paradox — that life mimicked art — was indisputable. Human life, very clumsily, tried to reproduce the printed word.

„I agree with Freydis that, for various reasons, nobody ever, quite, knew Manuel well.
The hero of "The Silver Stallion" is, thus, no person, but an idea“

—  James Branch Cabell

Author's Note
The Silver Stallion (1926)
Kontext: I agree with Freydis that, for various reasons, nobody ever, quite, knew Manuel well.
The hero of "The Silver Stallion" is, thus, no person, but an idea, — an idea presented at the moment of its conception... I mean, of course, the idea that Manuel, who was yesterday the physical Redeemer of Poictesme, will by and by return as his people's spiritual Redeemer.

„I have modeled and remodeled, and cannot get exactly to my liking. So it is necessary that I keep laboring at it, until the figure is to my thinking and my desire.“

—  James Branch Cabell, buch Figures of Earth

Quelle: Figures of Earth (1921), Ch. XL : Colophon: Da Capo
Kontext: The stranger pointed at the unfinished, unsatisfying image which stood beside the pool of Haranton, wherein, they say, strange dreams engender....
"What is that thing?" the stranger was asking, yet again...
"It is the figure of a man," said Manuel, "which I have modeled and remodeled, and cannot get exactly to my liking. So it is necessary that I keep laboring at it, until the figure is to my thinking and my desire."

„I seem to see only the strivings of an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who has reeled blunderingly from mystery to mystery“

—  James Branch Cabell, buch Figures of Earth

Manuel, in Ch. XXXIX : The Passing of Manuel
Figures of Earth (1921)
Kontext: I seem to see only the strivings of an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who has reeled blunderingly from mystery to mystery, with pathetic makeshifts, not understanding anything, greedy in all desires, and always honeycombed with poltroonery. So in a secret place his youth was put away in exchange for a prize that was hardly worth the having; and the fine geas which his mother laid upon him was exchanged for the common geas of what seems expected.

„I am not so wonderful but that in the hour of my triumph I am frightened by my own littleness.“

—  James Branch Cabell, buch Figures of Earth

Miramon, in Ch. IV : In the Doubtful Palace
Figures of Earth (1921)
Kontext: I am not so wonderful but that in the hour of my triumph I am frightened by my own littleness. Look you, Niafer, I had thought I would be changed when I had become a famous champion, but for all that I stand posturing here with this long sword, and am master of the hour and of the future, I remain the boy that last Thursday was tending pigs.

„Love that is God-born, bides as God eternal,
And changes not; —“

—  James Branch Cabell

"To Robert Gamble Cabell II: In Dedication of The Certain Hour"
The Certain Hour (1916)
Kontext: Sad hours and glad hours, and all hours, pass over;
One thing unshaken stays:
Life, that hath Death for spouse, hath Chance for lover;
Whereby decays
Each thing save one thing: — mid this strife diurnal
Of hourly change begot,
Love that is God-born, bides as God eternal,
And changes not; — Nor means a tinseled dream pursuing lovers
Find altered by-and-bye,
When, with possession, time anon discovers
Trapped dreams must die, —
For he that visions God, of mankind gathers
One manlike trait alone,
And reverently imputes to Him a father's
Love for his son.

„I had thought the transformation surprising enough when King Ferdinand was turned into a saint, but this tops all!“

—  James Branch Cabell, buch Figures of Earth

Quelle: Figures of Earth (1921), Ch. XXXII : The Redemption of Poictesme
Kontext: The magician looked at the tall warrior for a while, and in the dark soft eyes of Miramon Lluagor was a queer sort of compassion. Miramon said, "Yes, Manuel, these portents have marked your living thus far, just as they formerly distinguished the beginnings of Mithras and of Huitzilopochtli and of Tammouz and of Heracles—"
"Yes, but what does it matter if these accidents did happen to me, Miramon?"
"— As they happened to Gautama and to Dionysos and to Krishna and to all other reputable Redeemers," Miramon continued.
"Well, well, all this is granted. But what, pray, am I to deduce from all this?"
Miramon told him.
Dom Manuel, at the end of Miramon's speaking, looked peculiarly solemn, and Manuel said: "I had thought the transformation surprising enough when King Ferdinand was turned into a saint, but this tops all! Either way, Miramon, you point out an obligation so tremendous that the less said about it, the wiser; and the sooner this obligation is discharged and the ritual fulfilled, the more comfortable it will be for everybody."

„He is swift to deride all the world outside, and blind to the world within:
So that man may make sport and amuse Us, in battling for phrases or pelf,
Now that each may know what forebodeth woe to his neighbor, and not to himself.“

—  James Branch Cabell

"Ballad of the Double-Soul"
The Certain Hour (1916)
Kontext: In the beginning the Gods made man, and fashioned the sky and the sea,
And the earth's fair face for man's dwelling-place, and this was the Gods' decree: — "Lo, We have given to man five wits: he discerneth folly and sin;
He is swift to deride all the world outside, and blind to the world within:
So that man may make sport and amuse Us, in battling for phrases or pelf,
Now that each may know what forebodeth woe to his neighbor, and not to himself."

„I am Manuel. I have lived in the loneliness which is common to all men, but the difference is that I have known it.“

—  James Branch Cabell, buch Figures of Earth

Manuel, in Ch. XXXIX : The Passing of Manuel
Figures of Earth (1921)
Kontext: I am Manuel. I have lived in the loneliness which is common to all men, but the difference is that I have known it. Now it is necessary for me, as it is necessary for all men, to die in this same loneliness, and I know that there is no help for it.

„If you have been yourself you cannot reasonably be punished, but if you have been somebody else you will find that this is not permitted.“

—  James Branch Cabell, buch Figures of Earth

Quelle: Figures of Earth (1921), Ch. XL : Colophon: Da Capo
Kontext: "Now we must ford these shadowy waters," said Grandfather Death, "in part because your destiny is on the other side, and in part because by the contact of these waters all your memories will be washed away from you. And that is requisite to your destiny."
"But what is my destiny?"
"It is that of all loving creatures, Count Manuel. If you have been yourself you cannot reasonably be punished, but if you have been somebody else you will find that this is not permitted."
"That is a dark saying, only too well suited to this doubtful place, and I do not understand you."
"No," replied Grandfather Death, "but that does not matter."

„So Florimel extinguished the candle, with a good-will that delighted Jurgen.“

—  James Branch Cabell

Quelle: Jurgen (1919), Ch. 37 : Invention of the Lovely Vampire
Kontext: Let us extinguish this candle says Jurgen, "for I have seen so many flames to-day that my eyes are tired."
So Florimel extinguished the candle, with a good-will that delighted Jurgen. And now they were in utter darkness, and in the dark nobody can see what is happening. But that Florimel now trusted Jurgen and his Noumarian claims was evinced by her very first remark.
"I was in the beginning suspicious of your majesty," said Florimel, "because I had always heard that every emperor carried a magnificent sceptre, and you then displayed nothing of the sort. But now, somehow, I do not doubt you any longer. And of what is your majesty thinking?"
"Why, I was reflecting, my dear," says Jurgen, "that my father imagines things very satisfactorily."

„Powerless Atoms of Eternity
Why should we hope to know of Something higher?“

—  James Branch Cabell

Quotes from "The Blind Desire", using the pseudonym "Charles A. Ballance" in William and Mary College Monthly (September 1897), V, p. 51
Kontext: Nay, 'tis not fitting that we should require
Within this World but Raiment, Food and Fire;
Powerless Atoms of Eternity
Why should we hope to know of Something higher? This Knowledge could but add, not lessen. Woe;
The Magian who To-day forms fire with snow
Shares with the Sudra in Infinity.
We come from Nothing and to Nothing go. So best consent, although with forced grace,
Upon this dingy Ball to run our race
Untrammeled with the thoughts of higher things,
Until we reach the shadowy Stopping place.

„He had a quiet way with the girls, and with the men a way of solemn, blinking simplicity which caused the more hasty in judgment to consider him a fool.“

—  James Branch Cabell, buch Figures of Earth

Quelle: Figures of Earth (1921), Ch. I : How Manuel Left the Mire
Kontext: He had a quiet way with the girls, and with the men a way of solemn, blinking simplicity which caused the more hasty in judgment to consider him a fool. Then, too, young Manuel was very often detected smiling sleepily over nothing, and his gravest care in life appeared to be that figure which Manuel had made out of marsh clay from the pool of Haranton.
This figure he was continually reshaping and realtering. The figure stood upon the margin of the pool; and near by were two stones overgrown with moss, and supporting a cross of old worm-eaten wood, which commemorated what had been done there.

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