dr. schreber

I call them the Strangers. They abducted us and brought us here. This city, everyone in it… is their experiment. They mix and match our memories as they see fit, trying to divine what makes us unique. One day, a man might be an inspector. The next, someone entirely different. When they want to study a murderer, for instance, they simply imprint one of their citizens with a new personality. Arrange a family for him, friends, an entire history… even a lost wallet. Then they observe the results. Will a man, given the history of a killer, continue in that vein? Or are we, in fact, more than the sum of our memories?
—  Dr. Schreber - Dark City

Dark City (1998)

These do bring back memories. This one is still warm. What is it? The recollections of a great lover? A catalog of conquests? We will soon find out. You wouldn’t appreciate that, would you, Mr. Whatever-your-name is? Not the sort of conquest you would ever understand. Let’s see, a touch of unhappy childhood, a dash of teenage rebellion, and last but not least, a tragic death in the family.

Ere true peace can embrace you-
God’s still and silent peace-
The peace life never giveth
Nor worldly joys beneath,
It needs God’s arm must strike
A blow and wound you deep,
So that you cry: Have mercy,
God, have mercy on my days;
It needs a cry must ring,
Ring from your soul
And darkness be within you
As ‘fore the world’s first day.
It needs that crushing pain
Must wholly vanquish you,
And not a lonely tear be left
In your poor wretched soul.
And when you’ve done with weeping
And weary art, so weary
Then comes to you a faithful guest
God’s still and silent peace.
—  A poem read to Dr. Daniel Paul Schreber by his wife during his stay at Sonnenstein Asylum recounted in his memoirs.