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Tag: Creatures of Light and Darkness

Roger Zelazny, Creatures of Light and Darkness

I first read this 99-page work by Zelazny in my youth. It was my introduction to Egyptian theogony, and it set me on a lifelong path. Rereading it decades later, I realize that it is a poor introduction to the mythology of ancient Egypt, but we all must start somewhere. It kindled a profound curiosity in me.

I am struck by Zelazny’s poetic style, it rarely bores, and it often enchants. This book was first published in 1969 by Doubleday. I do not think that they realized what a classic it would become. I suspect that it took awhile to find its audience.

Casting about for a thesis, I come up empty. So I will just quote my favorite excerpts.

“Can life be counted upon to limit itself? No. It is the mindless striving of two to become infinity. Can death be counted upon to limit itself? Never. It is the equally mindless effort of zero to encompass infinity.” (P. 10). 

Here is another.

“It is life and it is death. It is the greatest blessing and the greatest curse in the universe.” (P. 11).

Relief of Lady Isis at the foot of the sarcophagus of Ramses III (Louvre) Public Domain Wiki.jpg

Winged Isis, flanked by jackals of Anubis, with her throne icon on her head. This relief is from the foot of the sarcophagus of Ramses III. (Public Domain, Wiki).

I love that Lady Isis is a protagonist, but Zelazny fails to accord her her proper place. I sense that Zelazny wrote this as revelation, the words were delivered to him by an unfathomable agency. He does not understand who and what The Queen of Heaven is. Read the rest of this entry »

Zelazny on Infinity

“Can life be counted upon to limit itself? No. It is the mindless striving of two to become infinity.

Can death be counted upon to limit itself? Never. It is the equally mindless effort of zero to encompass infinity.”

–Anubis, God of Death, in Roger Zelazny, Creatures of Light and Darkness. Pg. 10.

The Leap into Infinity

“Each step that it takes, however, crossing from nothing to nothing, carries it twice the distance of the previous step.

Each stride also takes the same amount of time as the prior one.

Suns flash by, fall behind, wink out. It runs through solid matter, passes through infernos, pierces nebulae, faster and faster moving through the starfall blizzard in the forest of the night.

Given a sufficient warm-up run, it is said that it could circumnavigate the universe in a single stride.

What would happen if it kept running after that, no one knows.”

–Roger Zelazny, Creatures of Light and Darkness. Pg. 20.

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