(parágrafo de p. 52-53)
"Those who suffered the plague and survived: they suggested to Joseph Skizzen the unpleasant likelihood that Man might squeak through even a loss at Armageddon, one death per second not fast enough, and outlive the zapping of the planet, duck a fleet of meteors, hunkerbunker through a real world war with cannons going grump to salute our last breath as if horror were a ceremony, emerge to sing of bombs bursting, endure the triggers of a trillion guns amorously squeezed until every nation's ammo was quite spent, and all the private stock was fired off at the life and livestock of a neighbor, so that in battle's final silence one could hear only the crash after crash of financial houses, countless vacuum cleaners, under their own orders, sucking up official lies, contracts screaming like lettuce shredded for a salad, outcries from the crucifixion of caring borne on the wind as if in an ode, the screech of every wheel as it becomes uninvented, brief protests from dimming tubes, destimulated wires; though the slowing of most functions would go on in silence, shit merded up in the streets to be refried by aberrant microwaves, diseases coursing about and competing for victims, slowdowns coming to standstills without a sigh, until the heavy quiet of war's cease is broken by... by what? might we imagine boils bursting out of each surviving eye... the accumulated pus of perception? a burst like what? like trumpets blowing twenty centuries of pointless noise at an already deaf-eared world... with what sort of sound exactly? with a roar that rattles nails already driven in their boards, so... so that as the sound comes through their windows, houses will heave and sag into themselves, as unfastened as flesh from a corset; yet out of every heap of rubble, smoking ruin, ditch of consaguineous corpses, could creep a survivor - he was such a survivor, Joseph Skizzen, faux doctor and musician - someone born of ruin as flies are from offal; that from a cave or collection of shattered trees there might emerge a creature who could thrive on a prolonged diet of phlegm soup and his one entrails even, and in spite of every imaginable catastrophe salvage at least a remnant of his race with strength, the interest, the spunk, to fuck on, fuck on like Christinan soldiers, stiff-pricked still, with some sperm left with the ability to engender, to fuck on, so what if with one leg or a limp, fuck on, or a severed tongue, fuck on, or a blind eye, fuck on, in order to multiply, first to spread and then to gather, to confer, to wonder why, to invent, to philosophize, to accumulate, connive: to wonder, why this punishment? to wonder, why this pain? why did we - among the we's that were - survive? what was accomplished that couldn't have been realized otherwise? why were babies born to be so cruelly belabored back into the grave? who of our race betrayed our trust? what whas the cause of our bad luck? what divine plan did this disaster further? why were grandfathers tortured by the deaths they were about to sigh for? why?... but weren't we special? we few, we leftovers, without a tree to climb, we must have been set aside, saved for a moment of magnificence! to be handed the trophy, awarded the prize; because the Good Book, we would - dumb and blind - still believe in, said a remnant would be saved; because the good, the great, the wellborn and internetted, the rich, the incandescent stars, will win through that... that... that we believed, we knew, God will see to our good outcome, he will see, see to it, if he hasn't a belly full, if the liar's, the liar's beard is not on fire like Santa Claus stuck in a chimney"