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Pathos, piety, courage,—they exist, but are identical, and so is filth. Everything exists, nothing has value. Options
Daemon
Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 12:00:00 AM
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Pathos, piety, courage,—they exist, but are identical, and so is filth. Everything exists, nothing has value.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)
pedro
Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 4:17:50 AM

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A late quote one suspects.

All good ideas arrive by chance- Max Ernst
JMV
Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 4:51:52 AM

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This man is in serious need of a stiff drink or a good colon cleanser. d'oh!
Bully_rus
Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 5:32:04 AM
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Everything has value, nothing has established value...
Miriam...
Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 10:32:39 AM

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I'm a little perplexed by Forster's quote.
I think it would help to read it in its context.
However, as it is, I think he might be possibly saying that in and of its self, all things exist, but have no value of their own. It is only what we as human beings place on something or someone that gives something value, and which separates something from something else - in terms of value: such as the difference in value of filth in contrast to what is pure. I think this this 'value' that one places on something ultimately reflects the inner 'psyche' of
of the individual. And as a collective whole, we as human beings, or as individual societies, the quality of human existence depends upon the inner workings of human beings.
monamagda
Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 11:29:21 AM

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Context from:

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

Part 2- Chapter 14 Page 98


If they reached the big pocket of caves, they would be away nearly an hour. She took out her writing-pad, and began, "Dear Stella, Dear Ralph," then stopped, and looked at the queer valley and their feeble invasion of it. Even the elephant had become a nobody. Her eye rose from it to the entrance tunnel. No, she did not wish to repeat that experience. The more she thought over it, the more disagreeable and frightening it became. She minded it much more now than at the time. The crush and the smells she could forget, but the echo began in some indescribable way to undermine her hold on life. Coming at a moment when she chanced to be fatigued, it had managed to murmur, "Pathos, piety, courage—they exist, but are identical, and so is filth. Everything exists, nothing has value." If one had spoken vileness in that place, or quoted lofty poetry, the comment would have been the same--" ou-bourn." If one had spoken with the tongues of angels and pleaded for all the unhappiness and misunderstanding in the world, past, present, and to come, for all the misery men must undergo whatever their opinion and position, and however much they dodge or bluff—it would amount to the same, the serpent would descend and return to the ceiling. Devils are of the North, and poems can be written about them, but no one could romanticize the Marabar because it robbed infinity and eternity of their vastness, the only quality that accommodates them to mankind.

She tried to go on with her letter, reminding herself that she was only an elderly woman who had got up too early in the morning and journeyed too far, that the despair creeping over her was merely her despair, her personal weakness, and that even if she got a sunstroke and went mad the rest of the world would go on. But suddenly, at the edge of her mind, Religion appeared, poor little talkative Christianity, and she knew that all its divine words from "Let there be Light" to "It is finished" only amounted to "bourn." Then she was terrified over an area larger than usual; the universe, never comprehensible to her intellect, offered no repose to her soul, the mood of the last two months took definite form at last, and she realized that she didn't want to write to her children, didn't want to communicate with anyone, not even with God. She sat motionless with horror, and, when old Mohammed Latif came up to her, thought he would notice a difference. For a time she thought, "I am going to be ill," to comfort herself, then she surrendered to the vision. She lost all interest, even in Aziz, and the affectionate and sincere
words that she had spoken to him seemed no longer hers but the air's.


https://archive.org/stream/ost-english-apassagetoindia/APassageToIndia_djvu.txt
monamagda
Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 11:39:03 AM

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Comments:

The horror Mrs. Moore experiences in the Marabar Caves is the most intense manifestation of the sense of emptiness that is at the core of A Passage to India. The strange nothingness of Mrs. Moore’s experience is heightened by the fact that the episode is narrated not as it transpires, but in a more distant past tense than the immediate past tense that Forster uses in the rest of the novel. The effect is one of narrative absence, as if the narrator—and we as readers—must wait outside the cave, separated from the action until we learn of it through Mrs. Moore’s recall.

The echo is, in effect, a black hole in which difference and value are rendered nil and returned as a single repetitive syllable—“everything exists, nothing has value.” The echo completely destroys the power of language and meaning, reducing everything from the smallest utterance to the loftiest ideas and pronouncements of the Bible—“from ‘Let there be Light’ to ‘It is finished’ ”—to the same meaningless syllable. In short, the echo “rob[s] infinity and eternity of their vastness.” This vision, in which good and evil are indistinguishable, is terrifying to Mrs. Moore. Thus far in the novel we have seen that Mrs. Moore embraces a rather mystical, holistic view of humankind as a single, unified whole. Here, however, she sees that unity—in the sense of sameness and indistinctness—can also be a terrifying thing, as destruction of difference in many ways entails destruction of meaning. For Mrs. Moore, this sudden realization renders her entire belief system meaningless, leaving her feeling stunned, flabbergasted, and powerless.

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/passage/section5/page/3/
Verbatim
Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 3:12:05 PM
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Daemon wrote:
Pathos, piety, courage,—they exist, but are identical, and so is filth. Everything exists, nothing has value.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)


Some rocks are best left unturned for fear of what might worm out from beneath.
Virginia Lathan
Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 6:17:23 PM

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Years ago, one of my aunts had a three-room house out in the country. It was situated on about two acres of land. She raised chickens and ducks and had manmade lake that was full of catfish, which she allowed some of the locals to fish in for a small fee. She also had a huge pig that she called Red. Red loved to wallow in a mud pit that had been set up for her in her pen. In fact, that’s probably how Red got her name, because after wallowing, she would be caked in the red clay mud that characterized the dirt on Aunt Emma’s farm. And when Red wasn’t wallowing, she was usually eating. Her meals mostly consisted of whatever scraps of food that were left over from the family meals. They made a great slop. I can still remember Red’s happy grunting and snorting as she wallowed in filthy mud and ate filthy scraps of food.
Virginia Lathan
Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 6:18:19 PM

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Bully_rus wrote:
Everything has value, nothing has established value...


Angel
loycer
Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 6:26:18 PM

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And this "quote" was chosen for what reason???!!!Eh?
Miriam...
Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 9:38:23 PM

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I didn't read Passage to India, but I did see the movie, and I do remember that quality of 'disconnectedness' that Monamagda's post speaks about, which was reflected in the landscapes and in the relationships the characters had with each others.

There was also a feeling of repressed and depressed, constricted and desultory, mindless conversations that are spoken because this is 'what you say', but without any real thought or feeling. that reflected this same

How can one live or be alive without life affecting one's self in a way that illicits a response that comes from some inner part of one's being that quivers with awakening, or a spark that flares up with mutual recognition; let alone live a genuinely 'moral' life, if nothing springs from one's inner being with any kind of authenticity?

Life is not what we think it is -- or what we want it be -- or what we are told it is to be - or should be, or something we train it to be, but something wild and tangled and 'Godless' in a mysterious fecundity that is forever moving and squirming, mingled together in a kind of beauty that is without religion or morality or even rational thought.

The echo of a cave that at first seems empty which one is fearful to step into, reveals what lives in the darkness of ourselves.
In the cave one 'sees' into the depths of one's hidden 'reality' that 'good society' covers with a veil.

Following the link that Monamagda provided, there is reference to women being wrapped up in cocoons; I liked that description.:) The main characters may have been women, but in general, I think it is a good description of people in general.

I think most people live 'generic lives'. One's perception of the world is a surface reflection of an illusion we create in order to live a life of conformity; doing everything that one is suppose to do, in the proper sequence, with all the 'right' people, never straying from the path of a 'good, wholesome, Christian life'. The vacuum that exists because of this, is not the same as a cave; but of a life through which one moves with no 'realness', fluttering upon a desolate terrain like spirits of the dead wear masks of the living.


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