‘Several of them were like pigs in clover all that Monday. Oh, how they did pack it in! They were gluttons for all the facts and pseudofacts that could be found in the catacombs and libraries and the storied countryside of the Parisi villa near Sora in the middle mountains of Italy. They wined and dined, and they exuberated in the wonderful air that was itself like wine, specifically the wonderful red Pramnian wine.
‘But they did receive several warnings during the day that all was not right.
‘“Atrox is sulky, Atrox is furious,” said an old lady of the neighbourhood, Gioia di Sotto La Montagna, “and when Atrox is both sulky and furious, somebody always dies in a bloody scandal.”
-R. A. Lafferty, East of Laughter (1988), p. 54
‘But the extended Group of Twelve did begin to get a grasp on reality that afternoon and night. They learned, from sources not completely suspect, that the world is indeed built on a substratum of reality, that there is a genuine and ringing reality beneath all things, that there are favored places and circumstances where everything is endowed with detailed reality, even the interiors of atoms. They also learned that they themselves were outside of reality, that they had never touched it at even one point, but that sometimes they came close. They were imbrued, all through their happy suppertime and into the night hours, with an almost-happy philosophy. They hadn’t yet come to the centrality of the philosophy, but they found themselves more and more on the near fringes of it as they discussed and reveled and studied. They learned that a quest for reality is possible.’
-East of Laughter, pp. 55-56
“You know so much mother, do you know what quest we are on?”
“Yes. All of you are marooned East of Reality, and you are questing to find your way back to Reality. So you have come to the Castle originally named East of Laughter though now the name has generated simply to Gaire or Laughter. And yet we are still somewhat to the East of the thing itself. I myself love to play Quests.”
-East of Laughter, p. 63