,

Brian Jacques — Redwall (1986)

“No doubt your sword is indeed a beautiful thing. It is a tribute to whoever forged it in bygone ages. There are very few such swords as this one left in the world, but remember, it is only a sword, Matthias!

“It contains no secret spell, nor holds within its blade any magical power. This sword is made for only one purpose, to kill. It will only be as good or as evil as the one who wields it.”

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Blake Crouch — Recursion (2019)

This is too intense. Worse than the torture of asphyxiating and equally out of his control, because this is not a memory he is retrieving of his own volition. It’s somehow being projected for him, against his will, and he thinks perhaps there’s a reason our memories are kept hazy and out of focus. Maybe their abstraction serves as an anesthetic, a buffer protecting us from the agony of time and all that it steals and erases.

,

Blake Crouch — Recursion (2019)

How does one define a “simple” memory anyway? Is there even such a thing when it comes to the human condition? Consider the albatross that landed on the platform during her run this morning. It’s a mere flicker of thought in her mind that will one day be cast out into that wasteland of oblivion where forgotten memories die. And yet it contains the smell of the sea. The white, wet feathers of the bird glistening in the early sun. The pounding of her heart from the exertion of the run. The cold slide of sweat down her sides and the burn of it in her eyes. Her wondering in that moment where the bird considered home in the unending sameness of the sea.

When every memory contains a universe, what does simple even mean?

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Robert Jordan — A Crown of Swords (1996)

He was between the wolf and the bear with nowhere to run. “Oh, sheep swallop! Sheep swallop and bloody buttered onions!” He nearly wished she would call him down for his language the way Nynaeve would, just to change the subject.

Her lips moved silently, and for an instant he had the strange impression that she was repeating what he had just said. Of course not. He was seeing things; that was all.