“When modern devices fail, it is our nature to reach back among the cures of our fathers. If those fail, there were fathers before them. We can reach back for centuries. Gwyon appreciated the extended hands of his people less and less as the months passed. The doctors refused him information of any direct nature, guarding the frail secrets of their failing magic as carefully as Zuñi priests planting prayer sticks. And then there was that hallowed tribal agreement among them never to admit one another’s mistakes, which they called Ethics.
“On the other, the spiritual, hand, the congregation breath out stale prayers for the boy’s recovery. But in the end they always gave their God full leave to do as He wished, to remove the lad if such were His sacred whim, loading the fever-stricken boy with the guilt it had taken them generations to accumulate. They called this Humility.”


“A girl lying in a bed said, — We only know about one per cent of what’s happening to us. We don’t know how little heaven is paying for how much hell.”

William Gaddis, em The Recognitions.