2. "Just what did happen to a corpse under water for four, five years, even three? the tarpaulin or canvas would rot, perhaps more than half of it would disappear; the stones would likely have fallen out, therefore, enabling the corpse to drift more easily, even rise a little, provided any flesh was left. But wasn't rising due to bloating? Tom thought of the word maceration, the flaking off in layers of the outer skin. Then what? The nibbling of fish? Or wouldn't the current have removed pieces of flesh until nothing but bones were left? The bloated period must be long past..."
- Patricia Highsmith, Ripley Under Water
3. "Este vorba mai degrabă de credinţa lui Pascal, care se aseamănă teribil cu o sinucidere lentă a raţiunii, - a unei raţiuni îndărătnice, longevive, asemenea unui vierme ce nu poate fi ucis dintr-o dată, cu o singură lovitură. De la bun început, credinţa creştină înseamnă jertfire: jertfirea întregii libertăţi, a întregului orgoliu, a întregii conştiinţe de sine a spiritului; în plus, ea este o subjugare, autobatjocorire şi automutilare. Există şi o doză de cruzime şi de fenicianism religios în această credinţă pretinsă din partea unei conştiinţe macerate, complicate şi prea alintate: ea porneşte de la premisa că supunerea spiritului trebuie să fie indescriptibil de dureroasă, că întregul trecut şi toate deprinderile unui astfel de spirit se opun acestui absurdissimum care îl înfruntă în chip de „credinţă."
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
4. "Try as we will to take the cure of ineffectuality; to meditate on the Taoist fathers’ doctrine of submission, of withdrawal, of a sovereign absence; to follow, like them, the course of consciousness once it ceases to be at grips with the world and weds the form of things as water does, their favorite element—we shall never succeed. They scorn both our curiosity and our thirst for suffering; in which they differ from the mystics, and especially from the medieval ones, so apt to recommend the virtues of the hair shirt, the scourge, insomnia, inanition, and lament. A life of intensity is contrary to the Tao, teaches Lao Tse, a normal man if ever there was one. But the Christian virus torments us: heirs of the flagellants, it is by refining our excruciations that we become conscious of ourselves. Is religion declining? We perpetuate its extravagances, as we perpetuate the macerations and the cell-shrieks of old, our will to suffer equaling that of the monasteries in their heyday. If the Church no longer enjoys a monopoly on hell, it has nonetheless riveted us to a chain of sighs, to the cult of the ordeal, of blasted joys and jubilant despair. The mind, as well as the body, pays for a life of intensity. Masters in the art of thinking against oneself, Nietzsche, Baudelaire, and Dostoevsky have taught us to side with our dangers, to broaden the sphere of our diseases, to acquire existence by division from our being. And what for the great Chinaman was a symbol of failure, a proof of imperfection, constitutes for us the sole mode of possessing, of making contact with ourselves."
- Emil Cioran, The Temptation to Exist