Every Age has its own peculiar faith. Any attempt to translate into facts the mission of one Age with the machinery of another, can only end in an indefinite series of abortive efforts. Defeated by the utter want of proportion between the means and the end, such attempts might produce martyrs, but never lead to victory.
Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction - Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn... No - Gatsby turned out all right in the end; it was what prayed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and the short-winded elations of men.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
A jargon form'd from the lost language, wit, Confounded in that Babel of the pit; Form'd by diseased conceptions, weak and wild, Sick lust of souls, and an abortive child; Born between whores and fops, by lewd compacts, Before the play, or else between the acts; Nor wonder, if from such polluted minds Should spring such short and transitory kinds.
One current of continuity runs underneath all the abortive phases of my life. From childhood on I have been obliged to drop anything I was doing to run after any man who seemed to know a little more than I did about God . . . I most want to write about: how a modern woman has sought the face of God-not the name nor the fame but the face [ital] of God-and what adventures came to meet her on this ancient human path.
The early twenties when we drank wood alcohol and every day in every way grew better and better, and there was a first abortive shortening of the skirts, and girls all looked alike in sweater dresses, and people you didn't want to know said "Yes, we have no bananas," and it seemed only a question of a few years before the older people would step aside and let the world be run by those who saw things as they were--and it all seems rosy and romantic to us who were young then, because we will never feel quite so intensely about our surroundings any more.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Not only does the State do the work badly on a domain not its own, bunglingly, at greater cost, and with less fruit than spontaneous organizations, but, again, through the legal monopoly which it deems its prerogative, or through the overwhelming competition which it exercises, it kills or paralyzes these natural organizations or prevents their birth; and hence so many precious organs, which, absorbed, atropic or abortive, are lost to the great social body.
Our whole life can go on in observation of the laws of nature, if we gain dominion over our desires from the beginning and if we do not kill, by various means of a perverse art, the human offspring, born according to the designs of divine providence; for these women who, if order to hide their immorality, use abortive drugs which expel the child completely dead, abort at the same time their own human feelings.
Clement of Alexandria
What really happens is that the story-maker proves a successful 'sub-creator'. He makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter. Inside it, what he relates is 'true': it accords with the laws of that world. You therefore believe it, while you are, as it were, inside. The moment disbelief arises, the spell is broken; the magic, or rather art, has failed. You are then out in the Primary World again, looking at the little abortive Secondary World from outside.
J. R. R. Tolkien
The greatest successes grow out of great failures. In numerous instances the result is better that comes after a series of abortive experiences than it would have been if it had come at once; for all these successive failures induce a skill which is so much additional power working into the final achievement.... The hand that evokes such perfect music from the instrument has often failed in its touch, and bungled among the keys.... Every disappointed effort fences in and indicates the only possible path of success, and makes it easier to find.
Edwin Hubbel Chapin
Look round this universe. What an immense profusion of beings, animated and organized, sensible and active! You admire this prodigious variety and fecundity. But inspect a little more narrowly these living existences, the only beings worth regarding. How hostile and destructive to each other! How insufficient all of them for their own happiness! How contemptible or odious to the spectator! The whole presents nothing but the idea of a blind Nature, inpregnated by a great vivifying principle, and pouring forth from her lap, without discernment or parental care, her maimed and abortive children.
If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away. This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the "creative temperament"-it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again. No-Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.
F. Scott Fitzgerald