Quotations about:
    horror


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Terror,
Terror and silence were all I found.

[Horror ubique animo, simul ipsa silentia terrent.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 2, l. 755 (2.755) (29-19 BC) [tr. Humphries (1951)]
    (Source)

Aeneas recounting searching fallen Troy for his lost wife. (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

All things were full of horror and affright,
And dreadful even the silence of the night.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

Horror on all sides, and at the same time the very silence affrights my soul.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

A shuddering on my spirit falls,
And e'en the silence' self appals.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

Everywhere horror fills my soul, and even
The silence terrifies.
[tr. Cranch (1872)]

Everywhere my spirit shudders, dismayed at the very silence.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

While on the heart lies weight of fear, and e'en the hush brings dread.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Horror waits
Around; the very silence breeds affright.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 102, ll. 912-13]

On all sides round
horror spread wide; the very silence breathed
a terror on my soul.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

Everywhere dread fills my heart; the very silence, too, dismays.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

Everywhere
Dread and the sheer silence reduced my courage to nothing.
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

My spirit is held by horror everywhere;
even the very silence terrifies.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), ll. 1017-18]

And everywhere my heart misgave me: even
Stillness had its terror.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), ll. 983-84]

Horror was everywhere and the very silence chilled the blood.
[tr. West (1990)]

Everywhere there was fear. The very silence
Was terrifying.
[tr. Lombardo (2005), ll. 890-91]

With terror at every turn, the very silence makes me cringe.
[tr. Fagles (2006), l. 937]

Horror filled me everywhere, the very silence scared me.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

 
Added on 20-Apr-22 | Last updated 1-Jun-22
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More quotes by Virgil

It seems war stories aren’t very well received at this point. I’m told they’re outdated, untimely and as might be expected — make some unpleasant reading. And, as you have no doubt already perceived, human beings don’t like to remember unpleasant things. They gird themselves with the armor of wishful thinking, protect themselves with a shield of impenetrable optimism, and, with a few exceptions, seem to accomplish their “forgetting” quite admirably. But you, my children, I don’t want you to be among those who choose to forget. I want you to read my stories and a lot of others like them. I want you to fill your heads with Remarque and Tolstoy and Ernie Pyle. I want you to know what shrapnel, and “88’s” and mortar shells and mustard gas mean. I want you to feel, no matter how vicariously, a semblance of the feeling of a torn limb, a burnt patch of flesh, the crippling, numbing sensation of fear, the hopeless emptiness of fatigue. All these things are complementary to the province of War and they should be taught and demonstrated in classrooms along with the more heroic aspects of uniforms, and flags, and honor and patriotism.

Rod Serling (1924-1975) American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, narrator
“First Squad, First Platoon,” Dedication (c. 1947)
    (Source)

Dedication to his unborn children, in one of his first (unpublished) works of fiction, while at Antioch College under the GI Bill. In Anne Serling, As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling (2013)
 
Added on 27-Dec-21 | Last updated 27-Dec-21
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The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) American fabulist [Howard Phillips Lovecraft]
“The Call of Cthulhu,” ch. 1, opening words (1928)
    (Source)
 
Added on 3-Apr-20 | Last updated 3-Apr-20
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He said the wicked know that if the ill they do be of sufficient horror men will not speak against it. That men have just enough stomach for small evils and only these will they oppose.

Cormac McCarthy (b. 1933) American novelist, playwright, screenwriter
The Crossing (2010)
    (Source)
 
Added on 9-Mar-20 | Last updated 10-Mar-20
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It’s probably wrong to believe there can be any limit to the horror which the human mind can experience. On the contrary, it seems that some exponential effect begins to obtain as deeper and deeper darkness falls — as little as one may like to support the idea that when the nightmare grows black enough, horror spawns horror, one coincidental evil begets other, often more deliberate evils, until finally blackness seems to cover everything.

And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sanity. That such events have their own Rube Goldberg absurdity goes almost without saying. At some point, it all starts to become rather funny. That may be the point at which sanity begins either to save itself or to buckle and break down; that point at which one’s sense of humor begins to reassert itself.

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
Pet Sematary (1983)
 
Added on 10-Aug-16 | Last updated 10-Aug-16
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     More to the point, nameless hideous monsters are freaking terrifying. You always fear what you don’t know, what you don’t understand, and the first step to having understanding of something is to know what to call it. It’s a habit of mine to give names to anything I wind up interacting with if it doesn’t have one readily available. Names have power — magically, sure, but far more important, they have psychological power. Something horrible with a name holds less power over you, less terror, than something horrible without one.
     “Octokongs,” I pronounced grimly. “Why did it have to be octokongs?”

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
Skin Game (2014)
 
Added on 16-Nov-15 | Last updated 16-Nov-15
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I think there’s a lot of people out there who say we must not have horror in any form, we must not say scary things to children because it will make them evil and disturbed. … That offends me deeply, because the world is a scary and horrifying place, and everyone’s going to get old and die, if they’re that lucky. To set children up to think that everything is sunshine and roses is doing them a great disservice. Children need horror because there are things they don’t understand. It helps them to codify it if it is mythologized, if it’s put into the context of a story, whether the story has a happy ending or not. If it scares them and shows them a little bit of the dark side of the world that is there and always will be, it’s helping them out when they have to face it as adults.

Joss Whedon (b. 1964) American screenwriter, author, producer [Joseph Hill Whedon]
Interview with Michael Silverberg (NPR)
    (Source)
 
Added on 8-Jan-15 | Last updated 8-Jan-15
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“What,” asked Mr. Croup, “do you want?”
“What,” asked the marquis de Carabas, a little more rhetorically, “does anyone want?”
“Dead things,” suggested Mr. Vandemar. “Extra teeth.”

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
Neverwhere (1996)
 
Added on 24-Jul-14 | Last updated 24-Jul-14
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I shudder as I recall.

[Horresco réferens]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 2, l. 204ff (2.204) (29-19 BC) [tr. Mackail (1885)]
    (Source)

Referring to the death of the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons. (Source (Latin)).
 
Added on 11-Mar-13 | Last updated 16-Mar-22
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A Degree of Fear sharpeneth, the Excess of it stupifieth.

George Savile, Marquis of Halifax (1633-1695) English politician and essayist
“Fear,” Political, Moral and Miscellaneous Reflections (1750)
    (Source)
 
Added on 18-May-10 | Last updated 30-Jan-20
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No catalogue of horrors ever kept men from war. Before the war you always think that it’s not you that dies. But you will die, brother, if you go to it long enough.

Hemingway - horrors of war - wist_info quote

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) American writer
“Notes on the Next War: A Serious Topical Letter,” Esquire (Sep 1935)
 
Added on 2-Sep-09 | Last updated 21-Jan-16
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