The Book of the Damned

Charles Hoy Fort
The Book of the Damned, by
Charles Fort

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Title: The Book of the Damned
Author: Charles Fort
Release Date: August 31, 2007 [EBook #22472]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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A procession of the damned.
By the damned, I mean the excluded.
We shall have a procession of data that Science has excluded.
Battalions of the accursed, captained by pallid data that I have exhumed,
will march. You'll read them--or they'll march. Some of them livid and
some of them fiery and some of them rotten.
Some of them are corpses, skeletons, mummies, twitching, tottering,
animated by companions that have been damned alive. There are giants
that will walk by, though sound asleep. There are things that are
theorems and things that are rags: they'll go by like Euclid arm in arm
with the spirit of anarchy. Here and there will flit little harlots. Many
are clowns. But many are of the highest respectability. Some are
assassins. There are pale stenches and gaunt superstitions and mere
shadows and lively malices: whims and amiabilities. The naïve and the
pedantic and the bizarre and the grotesque and the sincere and the
insincere, the profound and the puerile.
A stab and a laugh and the patiently folded hands of hopeless propriety.
The ultra-respectable, but the condemned, anyway.
The aggregate appearance is of dignity and dissoluteness: the aggregate
voice is a defiant prayer: but the spirit of the whole is processional.
The power that has said to all these things that they are damned, is
Dogmatic Science.
But they'll march.
The little harlots will caper, and freaks will distract attention, and the
clowns will break the rhythm of the whole with their buffooneries--but
the solidity of the procession as a whole: the impressiveness of things
that pass and pass and pass, and keep on and keep on and keep on

The irresistibleness of things that neither threaten nor jeer nor defy, but
arrange themselves in mass-formations that pass and pass and keep on
* * * * *
So, by the damned, I mean the excluded.
But by the excluded I mean that which will some day be the excluding.
Or everything that is, won't be.
And everything that isn't, will be--
But, of course, will be that which won't be--
It is our expression that the flux between that which isn't and that which
won't be, or the state that is commonly and absurdly called "existence,"
is a rhythm of heavens and hells: that the damned won't stay damned;
that salvation only precedes perdition. The inference is that some day
our accursed tatterdemalions will be sleek angels. Then the
sub-inference is that some later day, back they'll go whence they came.
* * * * *
It is our expression that nothing can attempt to be, except by attempting
to exclude something else: that that which is commonly called "being"
is a state that is wrought more or less definitely proportionately to the
appearance of positive difference between that which is included and
that which is excluded.
But it is our expression that there are no positive differences: that all
things are like a mouse and a bug in the heart of a cheese. Mouse and a
bug: no two things could seem more unlike. They're there a week, or
they stay there a month: both are then only transmutations of cheese. I
think we're all bugs and mice, and are only different expressions of an
all-inclusive cheese.

Or that red is not positively different from yellow: is only another
degree of whatever vibrancy yellow is a degree of: that red and yellow
are continuous, or that they merge in orange.
So then that, if, upon the basis of yellowness and redness, Science
should attempt to classify all phenomena, including all red things as
veritable, and excluding all yellow things as false or illusory, the
demarcation would have to be false and arbitrary, because things
colored orange, constituting continuity, would belong on both sides of
the attempted borderline.
As we go along, we shall be impressed with this:
That no basis for classification, or inclusion and exclusion, more
reasonable than that of redness and yellowness has ever been conceived
Science has, by appeal to various bases, included a multitude of
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