'How could the Outsider have chosen such a bungler? ...When had he ever offered a single sacrifice, however small, to the Outsider? Never! Not one in his entire life. Yet the Outsider had extended infinite credit to him... Certainly he would never be able to repay the Outsider for the knowledge and the honor, no matter how hard or how long he tried.' (Gene Wolfe, Nightside The Long Sun)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Poverty Was Ended, Having Vanished From Sight

'It had been the function of the Hotel Consort to end poverty, and it did it very well. A cynic might have said that was the only thing it did well. An old Italian neighborhood had been demolished. The shops that had sold salami and crucifixes were gone. The cleaners who had offered invisible reweaving had disappeared. An ugly Walgreen drugstore had gathered its narrow aisles like skirts, wrapped itself in the perfume of its fine smells, and hastened off to oblivion. The funeral parlor, once almost smothered in carnations to the honor of a numbers baron, had withered in death. The people who had so often been janitors, nurses, and cops were gone too. No one could say where.

'Certainly they were not at the Consort. Its guests were businessmen, almost to the last. Its maids were black when they were not Puerto Rican, its assistant managers college-bred hoteliers who had skimmed Melville and Mark Twain in the course of learning to bully cooks and pad bills, its manager a computer no guest ever saw. Poverty was ended, having vanished from sight.'

(Gene Wolfe, Free Live Free)

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