Postapocalyptic quotes

post apocalyptic quotes
source: Vladimir Manyuhin

One of the least stressful tasks in the creation of The Knowledge, once the first draft had finally been completed, was an indulgent weekend spent choosing the illustrations for the book as well as the postapocalyptic quotes to be used as epigraphs for the beginning of each chapter. I think the selected epigraphs work perfectly for the theme of each section, but inevitably a lot of very apposite and entertaining quotes had to be left out. Here is my selection of the best of the rest…

“I know not with what weapons WW3 will be fought, but WW4 will be fought with sticks and stones.”
Albert Einstein

“It is impossible to show why certain things should not utterly destroy and end the human race and story: why night should not presently come down and make all our dreams and efforts vain. … something from space, or pestilence, or some great disease of the atmosphere, some trailing cometary poison, some great emanation of vapour from the interior of the earth, or new animals to prey on us, or some drug or wrecking madness in the mind of man.”
H.G. Wells (who lived long enough to learn about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, before dying in 1946)

“It must be, I thought, one of the race’s most persistent and comforting hallucinations to trust that ‘it can’t happen here’ – that one’s own time and place is beyond cataclysm.”
The Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham

“I know not what to call this … overruling decree that hurries us on to be the instruments of our own destruction, even though it be before us, and that we rush upon it with our eyes open.”
Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe

“This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”
The Hollow Men, T.S. Eliot

I hear the ruin of all space, shattered glass and toppling masonry, and time one livid final flame. What’s left us then?
Ulysses, James Joyce

“Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: Too late.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

“As once, when the armies of the empire were shattered and the strong barbarians poured in upon the soft provincials, so now the fierce weeds pressed in to destroy the pampered nurslings of man.”
Earth Abides, George R. Stewart

We wonder, – and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro’ the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.
Horace Smith

“And starward drifts the stricken world, Lone in unalterable gloom Dead, with a universe for tomb, Dark, and to vaster darkness whirled.”
The Testimony of the Suns, George Sterling

“And we danced, on the brink of an unknown future, to an echo from a vanished past.”
The Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham

“Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive”
William Wordsworth

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there”
The Go-Between, L.P. Hartley

“What if the Romans had prepared and distributed broadly across their empire volumes containing all their knowledge and that of the Greeks and Egyptians and all previous civilisations? Would the Dark Ages has lasted for a thousand years”
James Gunn

“Remember the wisdom out of the old days”
The Wind Among the Reeds, W.B. Yeats

“The important thing is not to stop questioning… Never lose a holy curiosity.”
Albert Einstein

“You have to carry the fire.
I don’t know how to.
Yes, you do.
Is the fire real? The fire?
Yes it is.
Where is it? I don’t know where it is.
Yes you do. It’s inside you. It always was there. I can see it.”
The Road, Cormac McCarthy

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