Fatal Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 347 quotes )
There is a fatality about all physical and intellectual distinction, the sort of fatality that seems to dog through history the faltering steps of kings. It is better not to be different from one's fellows. The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world. They can sit at their ease and gape at the play. If they know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat. They live as we all should live, undisturbed, indifferent, and without disquiet.
From long experience in places like Afghanisatan and Chechnya, Sokolov recognised, in the black jihadist’s movements, a sort of cultural or attitudinal advantage that such people always enjoyed in situations like this: they were complete fatalists who believed that God was on their side. Russians, on the other hand, were fatalists of a somewhat different kind, believing, or at least strongly suspecting, that they were fucked no matter what, and that they had better just make the best of it anyway, but not seeing in this the hand of God at work or the hope of some future glory in a martyr’s heavens.
No one is accountable for existing at all, or for being constituted as he is, or for living in the circumstances and surroundings in which he lives. The fatality of his nature cannot be disentangled from the fatality of all that which has been and will be. He is not the result of a special design, a will, a purpose; he is not the subject of an attempt to attain an 'ideal of man' or an 'ideal of happiness' or an 'ideal of morality'--it is absurd to want to hand over his nature to some purpose or other. We invented the concept 'purpose': in reality purpose is lacking...One is necessary, one is a piece of fate, one belongs to the whole, one is in the whole--there exists nothing which could judge, measure, compare, condemn our being, for that would be to judge, measure, condemn the whole...
Shower upon him every earthly blessing, drown him in bliss so that nothing but bubbles would dance on the surface of his bliss, as on a sea...and even then every man, out of sheer ingratitude, sheer libel, would play you some loathsome trick. He would even risk his cakes and would deliberately desire the most fatal rubbish, the most uneconomical absurdity, simply to introduce into all this positive rationality his fatal fantastic element...simply in order to prove to himself that men still are men and not piano keys.
Horror grows impatient, rhetorically, with the Stoic fatalism of Ecclesiastes. That we are all going to die, that death mocks and cancels every one of our acts and attainments and every moment of our life histories, this knowledge is to storytelling what rust is to oxidation; the writer of horror holds with those who favor fire. The horror writer is not content to report on death as the universal system of human weather; he or she chases tornadoes. Horror is Stoicism with a taste for spectacle.
I am no longer a divine biped. I am no longer the freest German after Goethe, as Ruge named me in healthier days. I am no longer the great hero No. 2, who was compared with the grape-crowned Dionysius, whilst my colleague No. 1 enjoyed the title of a Grand Ducal Weimarian Jupiter. I am no longer a joyous, somewhat corpulent Hellenist, laughing cheerfully down upon the melancholy Nazarenes. I am now a poor fatally-ill Jew, an emaciated picture of woe, an unhappy man.
But there is a fatality, a feeling so irresistible and inevitable that it has the force of doom, which almost invariably compels human beings to linger around and haunt, ghost-like, the spot where some great and marked event has given the colour to their lifetime; and, still the more irresistibly, the darker the tinge that saddens it.
Modern Orientalism embodies a systematic discipline of accumulation. Far from this being exclusively an intellectual or theoretical feature, it made Orientalism tend fatally towards the systematic accumulation of human beings and territories. To reconstruct a dead or lost Oriental language meant ultimately to reconstruct a dead or neglected Orient; it also meant that reconstructive precision, science, even imagination could prepare the way for what armies, administrators, and bureaucracies would later do on the ground.
Yet he looks--and doesn't he know it--better than nearly all of his age-mates at this gym. Not because they're in such bad shape--they are healthy enough specimens. What's wrong with them is their fatalistic acceptance of middle age, their ignoble resignation to grandfatherhood, impending retirement and golf. George is different from them because, in some sense which can't quite be defined but which is immediately apparent when you see him naked, he hasn't given up. He is still a contender, and they aren't. Maybe it's nothing more mysterious than vanity which gives him this air of a withered boy? Yes, despite his wrinkles, his slipped flesh, his graying hair, his grim-lipped, strutting spryness, you catch occasional glimpses of a ghostly someone else, soft-faced, boyish, pretty. The combination is bizarre, it is older than middle age itself, but it is there.
[Australia] is the home of the largest living thing on earth, the Great Barrier Reef, and of the largest monolith, Ayers Rock (or Uluru to use its now-official, more respectful Aboriginal name). It has more things that will kill you than anywhere else. Of the world's ten most poisonous snakes, all are Australian. Five of its creatures - the funnel web spider, box jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus, paralysis tick, and stonefish - are the most lethal of their type in the world. This is a country where even the fluffiest of caterpillars can lay you out with a toxic nip, where seashells will not just sting you but actually sometimes go for you. ... If you are not stung or pronged to death in some unexpected manner, you may be fatally chomped by sharks or crocodiles, or carried helplessly out to sea by irresistible currents, or left to stagger to an unhappy death in the baking outback. It's a tough place.
[M]an is condemned to be free. Condemned, because he did not create himself, in other respect is free; because, once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. The Existentialist does not believe in the power of passion. He will never agree that a sweeping passion is a ravaging torrent which fatally leads a man to certain acts and is therefore an excuse. He thinks that man is responsible for his passion.
America stands before the world as an impetuous void, a fatality without substance. Nothing prepared her for hegemony; yet she tends toward it, not without a certain hesitation. Unlike the other nations which have had to pass through a whole series of humiliations and defeats, she has known till now only the sterility of an uninterrupted good fortune. If, in the future, everything should continue to go as well, her appearance on the scene will have been an accident without influence. Those who preside over her destiny, those who take her interests to heart, should prepare her for bad times; in order to cease being a superficial monster, she requires an ordeal of major scope. Perhaps she is not far from one now. Having lived, hitherto, outside hell, she is preparing to descend into it. If she seeks a destiny for herself, she will find it only on the ruins of all that was her raison d'tre.
Bipedalism is a demanding and risky strategy. It means refashioning the pelvis into a full load-bearing instrument. To preserve the required strength, the birth canal in the female must be comparatively narrow. This has two very significant immediate consequences and one longer-term one. First, it means a lot of pain for any birthing mother and greatly increased danger of fatality to mother and baby both. Moreover, to get the baby's head through such a tight space it must be born while it's brain is still small - and while the baby, therefore, is still helpless. This means long-term infant care, which in turn implies solid male-female bonding.
No mistake about it. Ice is cold; roses are red; I'm in love. And this love is about to carry me off somewhere. The current's too overpowering; I don't have any choice. It may very well be a special place, some place I've never seen before. Danger may be lurking there, something that may end up wounding me deeply, fatally. I might end up losing everything. But there's no turning back. I can only go with the flow. Even if it means I'll be burned up, gone forever.
He talked about luck and fate and numbers coming up, yet he never ventured a nickel at the casinos because he knew the house had all the percentages. And beneath his pessimism, his bleak conviction that all the machinery was rigged against him, at the bottom of his soul was a faith that he was going to outwit it, that by carefully watching the signs he was going to know when to dodge and be spared. It was fatalism with a loophole, and all you had to do to make it work was never miss a sign. Survival by coordination, as it were. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but to those who can see it coming and jump aside. Like a frog evading a shillelagh in a midnight marsh.
Technology tends toward avoidance of risks by investors. Uncertainty is ruled out if possible. People generally prefer the predictable. Few recognize how destructive this can be, how it imposes severe limits on variability and thus makes whole populations fatally vulnerable to the shocking ways our universe can throw the dice.
I simply want to tell you that there are some men in this world who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father’s one of them.” “Oh,” said Jem. “Well.” “Don’t you oh well me, sir,” Miss Maudie replied, recognizing Jem’s fatalistic noises, “you are not old enough to appreciate what I said.” Jem was staring at his half-eaten cake. “It’s like bein’ a caterpillar in a cocoon, that’s what it is,” he said. “Like somethin’ asleep wrapped up in a warm place. I always thought Maycomb folks were the best folks in the world, least that’s what they seemed like.” “We’re the safest folks in the world,” said Miss Maudie. “We’re so rarely called on to be Christians, but when we are, we’ve got men like Atticus to go for us.
Work, then, institutionalizes homicide as a way of life. People think the Cambodians were crazy for exterminating themselves, but are we any different? The Pol Pot regime at least had a vision, however blurred, of an egalitarian society. We kill people in the six-figure range (at least) in order to sell Big Macs and Cadillacs to the survivors. Our forty or fifty thousand annual highway fatalities are victims, not martyrs. They died for nothing? or rather, they died for work. But work is nothing to die for.
The Party denied the free will of the individual - and at the sametime it exacted his willing self-sacrifice. It denied his capacity tochoose between two alternatives - and at the same time it demanded that heshould constantly choose the right one. It denied his power to distinguishgood and evil - and at the same time spoke pathetically of guilt andtreachery. The individual stood under the sign of economic fatality, awheel in a clockwork which had been wound up for all eternity and couldnot be stopped or influenced - and the Party demanded that the wheelshould revolt against the clockwork and change its course. There wassomewhere an error in the calculation; the equation did not work out.
New York City is the most fatally fascinating thing in America. She sits like a great witch at the gate of the country, showing her alluring white face, and hiding her crooked hands and feet under the folds of her wide garments,--constantly enticing thousands from far within, and tempting those who come from across the seas to go no farther. And all these become the victims of her caprice. Some she at once crushes beneath her cruel feet; others she condemns to a fate like that of galley slaves; a few she favors and fondles, riding them high on the bubbles of fortune; then with a sudden breath she blows the bubbles out and laughs mockingly as she watches them fall.