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A Scanner Darkly Quotes

20 of the best book quotes from A Scanner Darkly
01
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“IF I HAD KNOWN IT WAS HARMLESS I WOULD HAVE KILLED IT MYSELF.”
Philip K. Dick
author
A Scanner Darkly
book
actions
killing
harmless
concepts
02
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“Life ... is only heavy and none else; there is only the one trip, all heavy. Heavy that leads to the grave. For everyone and everything.”
03
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“The most dangerous kind of person ... is one who is afraid of his own shadow.”
Robert Arctor
character
04
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“It’s easy to win. Anybody can win.”
05
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“He spent several days deciding on the artifacts. Much longer than he had spent deciding to kill himself, and approximately the same time required to get that many reds. He would be found lying on his back, on his bed, with a copy of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead (which would prove he had been a misunderstood superman rejected by the masses and so, in a sense, murdered by their scorn) and an unfinished letter to Exxon protesting the cancellation of his gas credit card. That way he would indict the system and achieve something by his death, over and above what the death itself achieved. Actually, he was not as sure in his mind what the death achieved as what the two artifacts achieved; but anyhow it all added up...”
06
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“THE ONLY REAL FAILURE IS TO FAIL OTHERS.”
07
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“This change in him as Fred was an economy of the passions. Firemen and doctors and morticians did the same trip in their work.”
08
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“In wretched little lives like that, someone must intervene. Or at least mark their sad comings and goings. Mark and if possible permanently record, so they’ll be remembered. For a better day, later on, when people will understand.”
09
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“Any given man sees only a tiny portion of the total truth, and very often, in fact almost ... perpetually, he deliberately deceives himself about that little precious fragment as well.”
10
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“Make it?” Fred echoed. “Make what? The team? The chick? Make good? Make out? Make sense? Make money? Make time? Define your turns.”
11
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“Once a month an undercover narcotics agent of the county was assigned at random to speak before bubblehead gatherings such as this. Today was his turn. Looking at his audience, he realized how much he detested straights.”
12
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“Sometimes what looks out at you from a person’s eyes maybe died back in childhood. What’s dead in there still looks out. It’s not just the body looking at you with nothing in it; there’s still something in there but it died and just keeps on looking and looking; it can’t stop looking.”
13
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“The drive of unliving things is stronger than the drive of living things.”
14
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“Activity does not necessarily mean life.”
15
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“Most of all he felt sorry for his dog, because he could see the bugs landing on and settling all over him, and probably getting into the dog’s lungs, as they were in his own.”
16
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“The tragedy in his life already existed. To love an atmospheric spirit. That was the real sorrow. Hopelessness itself. Nowhere on the printed page, nowhere in the annals of man, would her name appear: no local habitation, no name. There are girls like that, he thought, and those you love most, the ones where there is no hope because it has eluded you at the very moment you close your hands around it.”
17
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“God’s M.O. ... is to transmute evil into good. If He is active here, He is doing that now, although our eyes can’t perceive it; the process lies hidden beneath the surface of reality, and emerges only later. To, perhaps, our waiting heirs. Paltry people who will not know the dreadful war we’ve gone through, and the losses we took, unless in some footnote in a minor history book they catch a notion. Some brief mention. With no list of the fallen.”
18
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“Life in Anaheim, California, was a commercial for itself, endlessly replayed. Nothing changed; it just spread out farther and farther in the form of neon ooze.”
19
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“Because, he thought, if the scanner sees only darkly, the way I myself do, then we are cursed, cursed again and like we have been continually, and we’ll wind up dead this way, knowing very little and getting that little fragment wrong too.”
20
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“D is for Substance D. ‘D’ is dumbness, and despair, desertion-desertion of you from your friends, your friends from you, everyone from everyone. Isolation and loneliness... and hating and suspecting each other, ‘D’ is finally death. Slow death from the head down. Well... that’s it.”

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