Everything is becoming science fiction. From the margins of an almost invisible literature has sprung the intact reality of the 20th century.
(J.G. (James Graham) Ballard (b. 1930), British author. originally published in Books and Bookmen (London, Feb. 1971). Fictions of Every Kind, Re/Search (San Francisco) no. 8/9 (1984).
Ballard continued: "Even the worst science fiction is better ... than the best conventional fiction. The future is a better key to the present than the past.")
I believe my ardour for invention springs from his loins. I can't say that the brassiere will ever take as great a place in history as the steamboat, but I did invent it.
(Caresse Crosby (1892-1970), U.S. literary editor and inventor. As quoted in Feminine Ingenuity, ch. 12, by Anne L. MacDonald (1992).
Said in the early 1900s. The inventor of the backless brassiere (under her earlier name, Mary Phelps Peabody) was citing her descendence from Robert Fulton (1765-1815), inventor of the steamboat, as a possible explanation for her ingenuity.)
The attraction of horror is a mental, or even an intellectual, excitement, but the fascination of the repulsive, so noticeable in contemporary writing, can spring openly from some rotted substance within our civilization ...
(Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945), U.S. novelist. The Woman Within, ch. 21 (1954).
Written in 1937.)
What is a farm but a mute gospel? The chaff and the wheat, weeds and plants, blight, rain, insects, sunit is a sacred emblem from the first furrow of spring to the last stack which the snow of winter overtakes in the fields.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 5 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).)
The Xanthus or Scamander is not a mere dry channel and bed of a mountain torrent, but fed by the ever-flowing springs of fame ... and I trust that I may be allowed to associate our muddy but much abused Concord River with the most famous in history.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 10, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)