R.A. Lafferty Devotional Forum

Lafferty quote?
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Author:  Alloy Addict [ Sat Jul 30, 2005 5:10 am ]
Post subject:  Lafferty quote?

Every man on horseback is an arrogant man, however gentle he may be on foot. The man in the automobile is one thousand times as dangerous. I tell you, it will engender absolute selfishness in mankind if the driving of automobiles becomes common. It will breed violence on a scale never seen before. It will mark the end of the family as we know it, the three or four generations living happily in one home. It will destroy the sense of neighborhood and the true sense of Nation. It will create giantized cankers of cities, false opulence of suburbs, ruinized countryside, and unhealthy conglomerations of specialized farming and manufacturing. It will make every man a tyrant.
—R.A. Lafferty, late 1800s

This has been showing up in alternative transportation blogs, forums, and sites for a while now. I can't say I know much about Lafferty's work, but I don't think this is from the 1800s.

Can somebody tell me if this is by the R.A. Lafferty that this site is dedicated to? If so, can you tell me what it is a quote from? I found one reference to Okla Hannali but I can't find proof on the internet.

Thanks for you help.


Author:  peter sijbenga [ Sun Jul 31, 2005 12:31 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hello Paul,

it is a quote from the R A Lafferty short story "Interurban queen"(1970) from the compilation "Days of grass, days of straw". It's a story about "what if..." the Automobile (symbol of selfishness) had WON the battle against Interurban Electric Tramway companies :wink:


Peter Sijbenga

Author:  Alloy Addict [ Mon Aug 01, 2005 3:17 pm ]
Post subject: 


Thank you very much. That makes much more sense than Okla Hannali. I will have to find that story now.

That quote is being dated to the 1800s all across the net on cycling/alternative transportation sites. Modern folklore on the net is quite powerful. It just didn't make sense to me that it would be that old. I knew the name R.A. Lafferty seemed familiar but I couldn't recall from where. Once I saw that he was a scifi author I realized why it was familiar.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.


Author:  martinheavisides [ Thu May 17, 2007 3:27 am ]
Post subject: 

Great story. The world without automobiles is profoundly and lovingly evoked, countrysides full of farmland and orchards and bee-loud glades, a social system with unusual and spontaneous supports (the Rich/Poor box is everywhere--drop money in when you're flush, take it out the bottom if you're in need). The point is to explore, by reverse logic, the society implicit in the development of the automobile.

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