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William Styron

Datum narození: 11. červen 1925
Datum úmrtí: 1. listopad 2006

William Clark Styron, Jr. [stajrn] byl významný americký prozaik, představitel tzv. jižanské prózy. Proslul především románem Sophiina volba.

Ve druhé světové válce vstoupil do americké armády, kde se zúčastnil bojů v Tichomoří. Po válce vystudoval Dukeovu universitu. Poté krátce působil pro několik nakladatelství jako nakladatelský redaktor. Tato činnost ho neuspokojovala, proto se začal věnovat vlastní tvorbě.

Za svou knihu Doznání Nata Turnera obdržel v roce 1968 Pulitzerovu cenu.


„Všichni muži i ženy, kteří se z téhle choroby dostali - a je jich bezpočet -, mohou dosvědčit patrně jedinou spásonosnou přednost deprese: je přemožitelná.“ Viditelná temnota

„A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.“ Conversations with William Styron


„We're all in this game together.“

„A phenomenon that a number of people have noted while in deep depression is the sense of being accompanied by a second self — a wraithlike observer who, not sharing the dementia of his double, is able to watch with dispassionate curiosity as his companion struggles against the oncoming disaster, or decides to embrace it. There is a theatrical quality about all this, and during the next several days, as I went about stolidly preparing for extinction, I couldn't shake off a sense of melodrama — a melodrama in which I, the victim-to-be of self-murder, was both the solitary actor and lone member of the audience.“ Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

„A good book should leave you.... slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it.“

„In depression this faith in deliverance, in ultimate restoration, is absent. The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come- not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute. If there is mild relief, one knows that it is only temporary; more pain will follow. It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul. So the decision-making of daily life involves not, as in normal affairs, shifting from one annoying situation to another less annoying- or from discomfort to relative comfort, or from boredom to activity- but moving from pain to pain. One does not abandon, even briefly, one’s bed of nails, but is attached to it wherever one goes. And this results in a striking experience- one which I have called, borrowing military terminology, the situation of the walking wounded. For in virtually any other serious sickness, a patient who felt similar devistation would by lying flat in bed, possibly sedated and hooked up to the tubes and wires of life-support systems, but at the very least in a posture of repose and in an isolated setting. His invalidism would be necessary, unquestioned and honorably attained. However, the sufferer from depression has no such option and therefore finds himself, like a walking casualty of war, thrust into the most intolerable social and family situations. There he must, despite the anguish devouring his brain, present a face approximating the one that is associated with ordinary events and companionship. He must try to utter small talk, and be responsive to questions, and knowingly nod and frown and, God help him, even smile. But it is a fierce trial attempting to speak a few simple words.“ Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

„This was a brave statement but innocently absurd. No one will ever understand Auschwitz. What I might have set down with more accuracy would have been:Auschwitz itself remains inexplicable. The most profound statement yet made about Auschwitz was not a statement at all, but a response.

The query: "At Auschwitz, tell me, where was God?"

And the answer: "Where was man?“
Sophie's Choice

„The pain of severe depression is quite unimaginable to those who have not suffered it, and it kills in many instances because its anguish can no longer be borne. The prevention of many suicides will continue to be hindered until there is a general awareness of the nature of this pain.“ Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness


„Depression is a disorder of mood, so mysteriously painful and elusive in the way it becomes known to the self -- to the mediating intellect-- as to verge close to being beyond description. It thus remains nearly incomprehensible to those who have not experienced it in its extreme mode.“ Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

„The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone's neurosis, and we'd have a mighty dull literature if all the writers that came along were a bunch of happy chuckleheads.“

„The madness of depression is, generally speaking, the antithesis of violence. It is a storm indeed, but a storm of murk. Soon evident are the slowed-down responses, near paralysis, psychic energy throttled back close to zero. Ultimately, the body is affected and feels sapped, drained.“ Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

„my brain had begun to endure its familiar siege: panic and dislocation, and a sense that my thought processes were being engulfed by a toxic and unnameable tide that obliterated any enjoyable response to the living world.“ Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness


„When I was first aware that I had been laid low by the disease, I felt a need, among other things, to register a strong protest against the word "depression." Depression, most people know, used to be termed "melancholia," a word which appears in English as the year 1303 and crops up more than once in Chaucer, who in his usage seemed to be aware of its pathological nuances. "Melancholia" would still appear to be a far more apt and evocative word for the blacker forms of the disorder, but it was usurped by a noun with a blank tonality and lacking any magisterial presence, used indifferently to describe an economic decline or a rut in the ground, a true wimp of a word for such a major illness.

It may be that the scientist generally held responsible for its currency in modern times, a Johns Hopkins Medical School faculty member justly venerated -- the Swiss-born psychiatrist Adolf Meyer -- had a tin ear for the finer rhythms of English and therefore was unaware of the semantic damage he had inflicted for such a dreadful and raging disease. Nonetheless, for over seventy-five years the word has slithered innocuously through the language like a slug, leaving little trace of its intrinsic malevolence and preventing, by its insipidity, a general awareness of the horrible intensity of the disease when out of control.“
Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

„The pain of severe depression is quite unimaginable to those who have not suffered it, and it kills in many instances because its anguish can no longer be borne.“

„It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul.“ Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

„This was not judgment day - only morning. Morning: excellent and fair.“ Sophie's Choice

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