Citaten uit The Hitch Hiker’s Guide

Ik snuffel rond op deze pagina, als ik wil nagenieten van The Hitch Hiker’s Guide. Als je het boek nog niet gelezen hebt, krijg je op deze pagina enigszins een impressie.

The Guide heeft voor mij wel wat weg van de bijbel, maar hij buigt het hoofd als het gaat om de vindbaarheid van teksten. Ik heb getracht dit op te lossen, door zowel de bladzijde als het totaal aantal bladzijden te noemen. Met wat wiskundig inzicht kun je zo in meerdere drukken het citaat globaal traceren.

Een korte introductie van de belangrijkste personages:

Arthur: afkomstig van Aarde;

Ford: vriend van Arthur, komt uit de buurt van Betelgeuze en zat geruime tijd vast op Aarde;

Zaphod: jeugdvriend van Ford;

Marvin: superintelligente, depressieve robot;

Trillian/Tricia: afkomstig van Aarde.

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Deel 1: The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (159 p)

p 19 He [Prosser] felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.

p 35 Only six people in the Galaxy knew that the job of the Galaxy President was not to wield power but to attract attention away from it.

p 35 Zaphod loved effect: it was what he was best at.

p 42 One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was ther habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious […]. At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behaviour. If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months’ consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favour of a new one. If they don’t keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working. After a while he abandoned this one as well as being obstructively cynical an decided he quite liked human beings after all […].

p 42 ‘If I asked where the hell we were,’ said Arthur weakly, ‘would I regret it?’

p 44 ‘I like the cover,’ he [Arthur] said, ‘Don’t Panic. It’s the first helpful or intelligibel thing anybody’s said to me all day.’

p 50 Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.

p 69 It startled him [the inventor of the Infinite Impropability Drive] even more when just after he was awarded the Galactic Institute’s Price for Extreme Cleverness he got lynched by a rampaging mob of respectable physicists who had finally realized that the one thing they really couldn’t stand was a smartass.

p 95/96 “Greeting to you. This is a recorded announcement. As I’m afraid we’re all out at the moment. The commercial council of Margrathea thanks you for your esteemed visit but regrets that the entire planet is temporarily closed for business. Thank you. If you would care to leave your name and the address of a planet where you can be contacted, kindly speak when you here the tone.” […]

“We would like to assure you that as soon as our business is resumed announcements will be made in all fashionable magazines and colour supplements, when our clients will once again be able to select from all that’s best in contemporary geography. Meanwhile we thank our clients for their kind interest and would ask them to leave. Now.” […]

“It is most gratifying that your enthusiasm for our planet continues unabated, and so we would like to assure you that the guided missiles currently converging with your ship are part of a special service we extend to all of our most enthusiastic clients, and the fully armed nuclear warheads are of course merely a courtesy detail. We look forward to your custom in future lives … Thank you.”

p 130 “That’s right,” shouted Vroomfondel [Philosopher], “we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!”

p 136 “So once you do know what the question [Life, the Universe and Everything] actually is, you’ll know what the answer [42] means.”

p 138 Ford: “Hey come on, wake up.” Zaphod: “Just let me stick to what I’m good at, yeah?”

p 143 Slartibartfast: “Science has achieved some wonderful things of course, but I’d rather be happy than right any day.” Arthur: “And are you?” S: “No. That’s where it all falls down of course.”

p 155 “Right,” said Ford, “I’m going to have a look.” He glanced round at the others. ‘Is no one going to say, No you can’t possibly, let me go instead?” They all shook their heads.

p 156 It [aircar] had a note from him [Slartibartfast] pinned to part of its sparse instrument panel. The note had an arrow drawn on it, pointing at one of the controls. It said, This is probably the best button to press.

p 157 R is a velocity measure, defined as a reasonable speed of travel that is consistent with health, mental wellbeing and not being more than say five minutes late. […] R17 is not a fixed velocity, but it is clearly far too fast.

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Deel 2: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (187 p)

p 7 There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre an inexplicable.

p 8 There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

p 74/75 The major problem [encountered in time travel] is quite simply one of grammar, and the main work to consult in this matter is Dr Dan Streetmentioner’s Time traveller’s Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations. It will tell you for instance how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you avoided it by time- jumping forward two days in order to avoid it. The event will be described differently according to whether you are talking about it from the standpoint of your own natural time, from the time in the further future, or a time in the further past and is further complicated by the possibility of conducting conversations whilst you are actually travelling from one time to another with the intention of becoming your mother of father. […]

The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy skips lightly over this tangle of acadamic abstraction, pausing only to note that the term ‘Future Perfect’ has been abandoned since it was discovered not to be.

p 88 Their songs [from the loudest rock band in the Galaxy: Disaster Area] are on the whole very simple and mostly follow the familiar theme of boy-being meets girl-being beneath a silvery moon, which then explodes for no adequately explored reason.

p 93 ‘Are you going to tell me,’ said Arthur, ’that I shouldn’t have green salad?’ ‘Well,’ said the animal, ‘I know many vegetables that are very clear on that point. Which is why it was eventually decided to cut through the whole tangled problem and breed an animal that actually wanted to be eaten and was capable of saying so clearly and distinctly. And here I am.’ (Voorgelezen door Douglas Adams op YouTube, vanaf 2.00)

p 106 Flare-riding is one of the most exotic and exhilarating sports in existence, and those who can dare and afford to do it are amongst the most lionized men in the Galaxy. It is also of course stupefyingly dangerous – those who don’t die riding invariably die of sexual exhaustion at one of the Daedalus Club’s Après-Flare parties.

p 119 [Zaphod:] ‘look, property is theft, right? Therefore theft is property. Therefore this [stolen] ship is mine, OK?’ ‘Tell the ship that,’ said Arthur.

p 122 [Trillian:] ‘What does sundive mean?’ ‘It means,’ said Marvin, ’that the ship is going to dive into the sun. Sun … Dive. It’s very simple to understand. What do you expect if you steal Hotblack Desiato’s stunt ship?’ […] [Marvin:] ‘You [Zaphod] said you wanted excitement and adventure and really wild things.’

p 128 Any form of transport which involved tearing you apart atom by atom, flinging those atoms through the sub-ether, and jamming them back together again just when they were getting their first taste of freedom for years had to be bad news.

p 152 To summarize: it is a well known fact, that those people who want to rule people, are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.

p 156 ‘Hey, er …,’ said Zaphod, ‘what’s your name?’ The man [ruler of the Universe] looked at them doubtfully. ‘I don’t know. Why, do you think I should have one? It seems very odd to give a bundle of vague sensory perceptions a name.’

p 158 ‘You’re very sure of your facts,’ he [ruler of the Universe] said at last, ‘I couldn’t trust the thinking of a man who takes the Universe – if there is one – for granted.’ Zarniwoop still quivered, but was silent. ‘I only decide about my Universe,’ continued the man quietly. ‘My Universe is my eyes and ears. Anything else is hearsay.’

p 163 ‘It’s there for us to eat. Either it’s good or it’s bad, either they want to feed us or to poison us. If it’s poisonous and we don’t eat it they’ll just attack us some other way. If we don’t eat, we lose out either way.’

p 176 ‘So in order to obviate this problem [leaf as legal tender, but a small inflation problem on account of the high level of leaf availability],’ he [a management consultant] continued, ‘and effectively revalue the leaf, we are about to embark on a massive defoliation campaign, and … er, burn down all the forests. I think you’ll all agree that’s a sensible move under the circumstances.’

p 186 ‘Even it’s only a dream, it’s a pretty horrible idea,’ said Mella, ‘destroying a world just to make a bypass.’ ‘Oh, I’ve heard of worse,’ said Ford, ‘I read of one planet off in the seventh dimension that got used as a ball in a game of intergalactic bar billiards. Got potted straight into a black hole. Killed ten billion people.’

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Deel 3: Life, the Universe and Everything (162 p)

p 7 Time is the worst place, so to speak, to get lost in, as Arthur Dent could testify, having been lost in both time and space a good deal. At least being lost in space kept you busy.

p 18 Arthur felt happy. He was terribly pleased that the day was for once working out so much according to plan. Only twenty minutes ago he had decided he would go mad, and now here he was already chasing a Chesterfield sofa across the fields of prehistoric Earth.

p 26/27 ‘An SEP,’ he [Ford] said, ‘is something that we can’t see, or don’t see, or our brain doesn’t let us see, because we think that it’s somebody else’s problem. That’s what SEP means. Somebody Else’s Problem.’

p 40 Numbers written on restaurant bills within the confines of restaurants do not follow the same mathematical laws as numbers written on any other pieces of paper in any other parts of the Universe. This single fact took the scientific world by storm. It completely revolutionized it. So many mathematical conferences got held in such good restaurants that many of the finest minds of a generation died of obesity and heart failure and the science of maths was put back by years.

p 43 Very few things actually get manufactured these days, because in an infinitely large Universe such as, for instance, the one in which we live, most things one could imagine, and a lot of things one would rather not, grow somewhere.

p 73/74 ‘The idea of a Universe didn’t fit into their world picture, so to speak. They [people of Krikkit] simply couldn’t cope with it. And so, charmingly, delightfully, intelligently, whimsically if you like, they decided to destroy it.’

p 82 ‘And that’s the deciding factor. We can’t win against obsession. They care, we don’t. They win.’

p 84 Then, shortly after the invention of time travel, some major correcting fluid manufacturers wondered whether his poems might have been better still if he had had the access to some high-quality correcting fluid, and whether he might be persuaded to say a few words to that effect.

p 85 ‘The past,’ they [Campaign for Real Timers] say, ‘is now truly like a foreign country. They do things exactly the same there.’

p 92 The names of some of those commemorated were underlined and had asterisks against them. So, for instance, the name of a cow which had been slaughtered and of which Arthur had happened to eat a fillet steak would have the plainest engraving, whereas the name of a fish which Arthur had himself caught and then decided he didn’t like and left on the side of the plate had a double underlining, three sets of asterisks and a bleeding dagger added as decoration, just to make the point.

p 138 ‘That young girl,’ he [Marvin] added unexpectedly, ‘is one of the least benightedly unintelligent organic life forms it has been my profound lack of pleasure not to be able to avoid meeting.’ Zaphod took a moment or two to find his way through this labyrinthine string of negatives […].

p 140 ‘That [the supernova bomb] would destroy the Universe in toto,’ added Marvin. ‘Good idea, if you ask me. They won’t get it to work, though.’ ‘Why not, if it’s so brilliant?’ ‘It’s brilliant,’ said Marvin, ’they’re not. […]’

p 144 ‘All right,’ said Trillian firmly. She stood up off the sofa. She felt that she was being asked to feel too comfortable and to accept too many illusions.

p 144 ‘All I [the pulverized computer Hactar] can do in my … particle state, you see, is encourage and suggest. Encourage and suggest. And suggest …’

p 151 There was a time when Arthur Dent would not [travel]. He said that the Bistromathic Drive had revealed to him that time and distance were one, that mind and Universe were one, that perception and reality were one, and that the more one travelled the more one stayed in one place, and that what with one thing and another he would rather just stay put for a while and sort it all out in his mind, which was now at one with the Universe so it shouldn’t take too long […].

p 158 ‘I’m afraid,’ he [Prak] said at last, ’that the Question and the Answer are mutually exclusive. Knowledge of one logically precludes knowledge of the other. It is impossible that both can ever be known about in the same Universe.’

p 159 And the terrible thing was, it [the Reason] was a very good one. It was very clear, very rational, and tough. The messenger [of the Forest Dwellers] would hang his head and feel sad and foolish that he had not realized what a tough and complex place the real world was, and what difficulties and paradoxes had to be embraced if one was to live in it.

‘Now do you understand?’ the leader would say. The messenger would nod dumbly. ‘And you see these battles have to take place?’ Another dumb nod. ‘And why they have to take place in the Forest, and why it is in everybody’s best interest, the Forest Dwellers included, that they should?’ ‘Er …’ ‘In the long run.’ ‘Er, yes.’

And the messenger did understand the Reason, and he returned to his people in the Forest. But as he approached them, as he walked through the Forest and amongst the trees, he found that all he could remember of the Reason was how terribly clear the argument  had seemed. What it actually was he couldn’t remember at all.

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Deel 4: So long, and Thanks for All the Fish (191 p)

p 29/30 ‘Surviving [in New York]: Get a job as a cab driver immediately. A cab drivers’ job is to drive people anywhere they want to go in big yellow machines called taxis. Don’t worry if you don’t know how the machine works and you can’t speak the language, don’t understand the geography or indeed the basic physics of the area, and have large green antennea growing out of your head. Believe me, this is the best way of staying inconspicuous.

p 125 It’ wasn’t his favourite type of dream because it didn’t have Eccentrica Gallumbits, the Triple-Breasted Whore of Eroticon VI in it, whom many of his dreams did feature.

p 128 ‘It’s quite easy [flying],’ urged Arthur, ‘if you don’t know how. That’s the important bit. Be not at all sure how you’re doing it.’

p 167 ‘And this guy,’ ranted Ford, ‘was on a drive to sell more of them! His five-year mission to seek out and explore strange new worlds, and sell Advanced Music Substitute Systems to their restaurants, elevators and wine bars! Or if they didn’t have restaurants, elevators and wine bars yet, to artificially accelerate their civilisation growth untill they bloody well did have! Where’s that coffee!’

p 185 ‘So much time,’ it [Marvin] groaned, ‘oh so much time. And pain as well, so much of that, and so much time to suffer it in too. One or the other on its own I could probably manage. It’s the two together that really get me down. Oh hello, you again.’

p 186 ‘Ha!’ snapped Marvin, ‘Ha!’ he repeated. ‘What do you know of always? You say “always” to me, who, because of the silly little errands your organic lifeforms keep sending me through time on, am now thirty-seven times older than the Universe itself? Pick your words with a little more care,’ he coughed, ‘and tact.’

p 189 God’s Final Message

We apologise for the inconvenience

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Deel 5: Mostly Harmless (191 p)

p 1 Nothing travels faster then the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.

p 9 She [Tricia] had what it took: great hair, a profound understanding of strategic lip gloss, the intelligence to understand the world and a tiny secret interior deadness which meant she didn’t care.

p 24 she reflected that if there was one thing life had thaught her it was that there are times when you do not go back for your bag and other times when you do. It had yet to teach her to distinguish between the two types of occasions.

p 43 All that robots needed was the capacity to be either bored or happy, and a few conditions that needed to be satisfied in order to bring those states about. They would then work the rest out for themselves.

p 52 ‘Listen,’ said Ford, ‘can you keep the rest of the security system happy for a few minutes?’ ‘One of the joys of true happiness,’ trilled the robot, ‘is sharing. I brim, I froth, I overflow with …’

p 56 One minute she [Fenchurch] had been sitting there next to him [Arthur] in the SlumpJet; the next minute the ship had done a perfectly normal hyperspace hop and when he had next looked she was not there. The seat wasn’t even warm. Her name wasn’t even on the passenger list. The spaceline had been wary of him when he had complained. A lot of awkward things happen in space travel, and a lot of them make a lot of money for lawyers. But when they had asked him what Galactic Sector he and Fenchurch had been from and he had said ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha they had relaxed completely in a way that Arthur wasn’t at all sure he liked. They even laughed a little, though sympathetically, of course. They pointed to the clause in the ticket contract which said that the entites whose lifespans had originated in any of the Plural zones were advised not to travel in hyperspace and did so at their own risk. Everybody, they said, knew that. They tittered slightly and shook their heads.

p 59 Ford had his own code of ethics. It wasn’t much of one, but it was his and he stuck by it, more or less. One rule he made was never to buy his own drinks. He wasn’t sure if that counted as an ethic, but you have to go with what you’ve got. He was also firmly and utterly opposed to all and any forms of cruelty to any animals whatsoever except geese. And furthermore he would never steal from his employers. Well, not exactly steal.

p 66 Being virtually killed by a virtual laser in virtual space is just as effective as the real thing, because you are as dead as you think you are.

p 79 ‘[…] You see, the quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead. Now, as you look through this document you’ll see that I’ve underlined all the major decisions I ever made to make them stand out. They’re all indexed and cross-referenced. See? All I can suggest is that if you take decisions that are exactly opposite to the sort of decisions that I’ve taken, then maybe you won’t finish up at the end of your life . . .’ she [old lady] paused, and filled her lungs for a good shout, ‘. . . in a smelly old cave like this!’

p 81+82 ‘Get a beach house.’ ‘Where land meets water. Where earth meets air. Where body meets mind. Where space meets time. We like to be on one side, and look at the other.’

p 83 ‘Please stop!’ Arthur said, suddenly. ‘Can’t take it, huh? said the man. […] ‘You come to me for advice, but you can’t cope with anything you don’t recognise. Hmmm. So we’ll have to tell you something you already know but make it sound like news, eh? Well, business as usual I suppose.’

p 84 ‘Here’s a prayer for you.’ “Protect me from knowing what I don’t need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don’t know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about things that I decided not to know about. Amen.”

p 93 Fire engulfed the forest, boiled into the night, then neatly put itself out, as all unscheduled fires over a certain size are now required to do by law.

p 104 As a result of this [The Great Ventilation and Telephone Riots of SrDt 3454], all telephone operators were granted a constitutional right to say ‘Use BS&S and die!’ at least once a hour when answering the phone

p 130 It was her [Random] normal expectation that she was supposed to be somewhere else. It was normal for her to feel that she was in the wrong place. Then, constant time travel had only compounded this problem, and had led to the feeling that she was not only always in the wrong place, but she was also almost always there at the wrong time. […] It can be very dangerous to see things from somebody else’s point of view without the proper training.

p 149 ‘No, the answer is an orange and two lemons.’ ‘Lemons?’ ‘If I have three lemons and three oranges and I lose two oranges and a lemon what do I have left?’ ‘Huh?’ ‘OK, so you think that time flows that way, do you? Interesting.’

p 206 ‘OK,’ said Ford, ‘I want to order up some margaritas please. Couple of pitchers. Couple of Chef’s Salads. And as much foie gras as you’ve got. And also London Zoo.’ […] ‘Are you having difficulty understanding the English language?’ continued Ford. ‘It’s the zoo just up the road from here. I don’t care if it’s closed this evening. I don’t want to buy a ticket, I just want to buy the zoo. I don’t care if you’re busy. This is room service. Got a piece of paper? OK. Here’s what I want you to do. All the animals that can be safely returned to the wild, return them. Set up some good teams of people to monitor their progress in the wild, see that they’re doing OK.’ […] Look, I don’t see why you’re seeing this as a problem. Learn to delegate. Hire whoever you want. Get on to it. I think you’ll find my credit is good. And blue cheese dressing on the salad. Thank you.’ […]

‘Oh,’ said Arthur, vaguely. ‘Um, I allways feel a bit bad about foie gras. Bit cruel to the geese, isn’t it?

‘Fuck ‘em,’ said Ford, slumping on the bed. ‘You can’t care about every damn thing’.

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