Monday, May 6, 2013

Gut-Level Books

'Certainly present circumstances and coming events can be read from animal or bird entrails, if one has enough shrewdness of vision to bring to them.  Entrails are gut-level books with everything in them literally.  Horoscopes aren't in it with entrails at all.  Crystal balls aren't, and fortune-telling cards aren't.  The entrails of hot-blooded animals give the deepest readings.  The entrails of fish and squid give the most elegant interpretations.  But bird entrails are the easiest, and they are the most commonly used.  The beginner is urged to stay with bird entrails till he is completely proficient, and really there is nothing wrong with staying with them forever.'

-R. A. Lafferty, opening paragraph to his short story 'Haruspex' (1974), collected in Drumm Booklet #12 Heart of Stone, Dear and other stories (1983)

'It was all strong talk with the horns and hooves still on it.'
(R. A. Lafferty, The Devil is Dead)