I have been definitely influenced more by Latin American writers than by any other type of writer. They are very close in terms of voice - their humor, their fatalism, their... well, that over-used term 'magical realism.' It's a wonderful term that's just been used so much, we don't know what it means anymore.
I felt shame - I see this clearly, now - at the instinctive recognition in myself of an awful enfeebling fatalism, a sense that the great outcomes were but randomly connected to our endeavors, that life was beyond mending, that love was loss, that nothing worth saying was sayable, that dullness was general, that disintegration was irresistible.
The African Americans' story is one that seems to be a repeated commitment to a scenario for success and failure. With each failure, the blow is that much more traumatizing until finally one reaches a point where there is to some degree an internalization, skepticism, fatalism, and expectation that it isn't going to work.
David Levering Lewis
To talk about the need for perfection in man is to talk about the need for another species. The essence of man is imperfection. Imperfection and blazing contradictions-between mixed good and evil, altruism and selfishness, cooperativeness and combativeness, optimism and fatalism, affirmation and negation.
Fatalism, whose solving word in all crises of behavior is All striving is vain, will never reign supreme, for the impulse to take life strivingly is indestructible in the race. Moral creeds which speak to that impulse will be widely successful in spite of inconsistency, vagueness, and shadowy determination of expectancy. Man needs a rule for his will, and will invent one if one be not given him.
, I found the whole modern world talking scientific fatalism; saying that everything is as it must always have been, being unfolded without fault from the beginning. The leaf on the tree is green because it could never have been anything else. Now, the fairy-tale philosopher is glad that the leaf is green precisely because it might have been scarlet. He feels as if it had turned green an instant before he looked at it.
Submission does not mean being weak or passive. It leads to neither fatalism nor capitulation. Just the opposite. True power resides in submission. A power that comes from within. Those who submit to the divine essence of life will live in unperturbed tranquility and peace even when the whole wide world goes through turbulence after turbulence.
But I do like Scotland. I like the miserable weather. I like the miserable people, the fatalism, the negativity, the violence that's always just below the surface. And I like the way you deal with religion. One century you're up to your lugs in it, the next you're trading the whole apparatus in for Sunday superstores. Praise the Lord and thrash the bairns. Ask and ye shall have the door shut in your face. Blessed are they that shop on the Sabbath, for they shall get the best bargains. Oh yes, this is a very fine country.
James W. Robertson
The past doesn't change no matter how much time you spend thinking about it. Good and bad all add up to the whole. Take away one piece, no matter how small, and the whole changes. Whether it's optimism, pessimism or fatalism, I don't spend my time wishing for the past to be different so present would be different, too. I control my future with what I choose now.
Christianity teaches that, contra fatalism, suffering is overwhelming; contra Buddhism, suffering is real; contra karma, suffering is often unfair; but contra secularism, suffering is meaningful. There is a purpose to it, and if faced rightly, it can drive us like a nail deep into the love of God and into more stability and spiritual power than you can imagine.
The fatalism of the limits-to-growth alternative is reasonable only if one ignores all the resources beyond our atmosphere, resources thousands of times greater than we could ever obtain from our beleaguered Earth. As expressed very beautifully in the language of House Concurrent Resolution 451, 'This tiny Earth is not humanity's prison, is not a closed and dwindling resource, but is in fact only part of a vast system rich in opportunities...'
Gerard K. O'Neill
Realism; fatalism; phlegm. To live in the Fens is to receive strong doses of reality. The great flat monotony of reality; the wide empty space of reality. Melancholia and self-murder are not unknown in the Fens. Heavy drinking, madness and sudden acts of violence are not uncommon. How do you surmount reality, children? How do you acquire, in a flat country, the tonic of elevated feelings?
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.
they have no business administering government policies in a country that favors freedom and equality. ... Can you imagine having the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as defense minister, or Mahatma Gandhi as minister of health, education, and welfare The Hindu and Buddhist idea of karma and the Muslim idea of kismet, or fate condemn the poor and the disabled to their suffering. ... It's the will of Allah. These beliefs are nothing but abject fatalism, and they would devastate the social gains this nation has made if they were ever put into practice.
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.
Hunter S. Thompson
Submission, when it is submission to the truth - and when the truth is known to be both beautiful and merciful - has nothing in common with fatalism or stoicism as these terms are understood in the Western tradition, because its motivation is different. According to Fakhr ad-Din ar-RazT, one of the great commentators upon the Quran: The worship of the eyes is weeping, the worship of the ears is listening, the worship of the tongue is praise, the worship of the hands is giving, the worship of the body is effort, the worship of the heart is fear and hope, and the worship of the spirit is surrender and satisfaction in Allah.
Fakhr Al-Din Al-Razi
Those whose eyes twenty-five and more years before had seen "the glory of the coming of the Lord, " saw in every present hindrance or help a dark fatalism bound to bring all things right in His own good time. The mass of those to whom slavery was a dim recollection of childhood found the world a puzzling thing: it asked little of them, and they answered with little, and yet it ridiculed their offering. Such a paradox they could not understand, and therefore sank into listless indifference, or shiftlessness, or reckless bravado. There were, however, some-such as Josie, Jim, and Ben-to whom War, Hell, and Slavery were but childhood tales, whose young appetites had been whetted to an edge by school and story and half-awakened thought. Ill could they be content, born without and beyond the World. And their weak wings beat against their barriers, -barriers of caste, of youth, of life; at last, in dangerous moments, against everything that opposed even a whim.
W.E.B. Du Bois
Quinn seemed to have become one of a jaded philosophical society, a group of arcane deviates. Their raison d'etre was a kind of mystical masochism, forcing initiates toward feats of occult daredevilry - "glimpsing the inferno with eyes of ice", to take from the notebook a phrase that was repeated often and seemed a sort of chant of power. As I suspected, hallucinogenic drugs were used by the sect, and there was no doubt that they believed themselves communing with strange metaphysical venues. Their chief aim, in true mystical fashion, was to transcend common reality in the search for higher states of being, but their stratagem was highly unorthodox, a strange detour along the usual path toward positive illumination. Instead, they maintained a kind of blasphemous fatalism, a doomed determinism which brought them face to face with realms of obscure horror. Perhaps it was this very obscurity that allowed them the excitement of their central purpose, which seemed to be a precarious flirting with personal apocalypse, the striving for horrific dominion over horror itself. ("The Dreaming In Nortown")
A love of neighbor manifests itself in the tolerance not only of opinions of others but, what is more important, of the essence and uniqueness of others, when we subscribe to that religious philosophy of life that insists that God has made each man and woman an individual sacred personality endowed with a specific temperament, created with differing needs, hungers, dreams. This is a variegated, pluralistic world where no two stars are the same and every snowflake has its own distinctive pattern. God apparently did not want a regimented world of sameness. That is why creation is so manifold. So it is with us human beings. Some are born dynamic and restless; others placid and contemplative... One man's temperament is full throated with laughter; another's tinkles with the sad chimes of gentle melancholy. Our physiques are different, and that simple difference oftentimes drives us into conflicting fulfillment of our natures, to action or to thought, to passion or to denial, to conquest or to submission. There is here no fatalism of endowment. We can change and prune and shape the hedges of our being, but we must rebel against the sharp shears being wielded by other hands, cutting off the living branches of our spirits in order to make our personalities adornments for their dwellings.
Joshua Loth Liebman