It was in Spain that [my generation] learned that one can be right and yet be beaten, that force can vanquish spirit, that there are times when courage is not its own recompense. It is this, doubtless, which explains why so many, the world over, feel the Spanish drama as a personal tragedy.
Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me. Insisting on this story was a form of mind control, but for the most part, it worked.
The simple act of an ordinary courageous man is not to take part, not to support lies! Let that come into the world and even reign over it, but not through me. Writers and artists can do more: they can vanquish lies! ... Lies can stand up against much in the world, but not against art.
It is a mighty error to suppose that none but violent and strong passions, such as love and ambition, are able to vanquish the rest. Even idleness, as feeble and languishing as it is, sometimes reigns over them; it usurps the throne and sits paramount over all the designs and actions of our lives, and imperceptibly wastes and destroys all our passions and all our virtues.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld
Hatred as an element of the struggle; a relentless hatred of the enemy, impelling us over and beyond the natural limitations that man is heir to and transforming him into an effective, violent, selective and cold killing machine. Our soldiers must be thus; a people without hatred cannot vanquish a brutal enemy.
Today there remain but a few small areas on the world's map unmarked by explorers' trails. Human courage and endurance have conquered the Poles; the secrets of the tropical jungles have been revealed. The highest mountains of the earth have heard the voice of man. But this does not mean that the youth of the future has no new worlds to vanquish. It means only that the explorer must change his methods.
Roy Chapman Andrews
War! When I but think of this word, I feel bewildered, as though they were speaking to me of sorcery, of the Inquisition, of a distant, finished, abominable, monstrous, unnatural thing. When they speak to us of cannibals, we smile proudly, as we proclaim our superiority to these savages. Who are the real savages? Those who struggle in order to eat those whom they vanquish, or those who struggle merely to kill?
Guy de Maupassant
Question the images. Take them by the hand and don't let the sweet distancing they offer you vanquish you; do away with the distance's comfort or the soft indifference you derive from concentrating on the quality of the framing, the use of light and shadows, the successful composition. Force these images to bring you to the Mexican Southeast, to history, to the struggle, to this taking sides, to choose a faction.
How do you plan to keep me here during the day? An unblooded Forbearer shouldn't be sohard to vanquish."Vanquished by her? Amusing. "I'll send you back to the cell. You want to be my pet? I'll takeyou out and put you back in your cage at my pleasure."She blinked at him. "You don't want to send me back. Who will entertain you? I can deal pokerand make shadow animals.
I shall possess this woman; I shall steal her from the husband who profanes her: I will even dare ravish her from the God whom she adores. What delight, to be in turns the object and the victor of her remorse! Far be it from me to destroy the prejudices which sway her mind! They will add to my happiness and my triumph. Let her believe in virtue, and sacrifice it to me; let the idea of falling terrify her, without preventing her fall; and may she, shaken by a thousand terrors, forget them, vanquish them only in my arms.
Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
Positive self-esteem operates as, in effect, the immune system of the consciousness, providing resistance, strength, and a capacity for regeneration. When self-esteem is low, our resilience in the face of life's adversities is diminished. We crumble before vicissitudes that a healthier sense of self could vanquish. We tend to be more influenced by the desire to avoid pain than to experience joy. Negatives have more power over us than positives.
The real Art of Peace is not to sacrifice a single one of your warriors to defeat an enemy. Vanquish your foes by always keeping yourself in a safe and unassailable position; then no one will suffer any losses. The Way of a Warrior, the Art of Politics, is to stop trouble before it starts. It consists in defeating your adversaries spiritually by making them realize the folly of their actions. The Way of a Warrior is to establish harmony.
The problems with willpower are many, but they may hardly be noticed by the person focused narrowly on success. First, there is little economy of means; in systems thinking terms, we act without leverage. We attain our goals, but the effort is enormous and we may find ourselves exhausted and wondering if it was worth it when we have succeeded. Ironically, people hooked on willpower may actually look for obstacles to overcome, dragons to slay, and enemies to vanquish--to remind themselves and others of their own prowess.
It is written that the last enemy to be vanquished is death. We should begin early in life to vanquish this enemy by obliterating every trace of the fear of death from our minds. Then can we turn to life and fill the whole horizon of our souls with it, turn with added zest toall the serious tasks which it imposes and to the pure delights which here and there it affords.
Lenin refused to recognise moral norms established by slave-owners for their slaves and never observed by the slave-owners themselves; he called upon the Proletariat to extend the class struggle into the moral sphere too. Who fawns before the precepts established by the enemy will never vanquish that enemy!
I wish more fantasy, especially the dominant fantasy that draws heavily on British and Christian lore, would wrestle with its own ethnospecific nature and what that means when the story is set somewhere where more than one belief system is in operation. If all you do is pay lip service to it, you can get the kind of thing where the writer has thrown one Hindu god into a Christianist fantasy (rendering said god by default a demon or otherwise inferior to the dominant religious system of the story, which is such an insult), and the hero is able to vanquish it by chanting a spell in church Latin.
Some curses fade and leave nothing but the faintest mark, a tea stain on watered silk. There are those that are so malevolent that, upon defeat, explode in a fiery burst of sulfurous flames, burning everything they touch as they die. Others dissolve like morning mist in the brightness of the midday sun. Some cannot be defeated at all, but feed upon the energy spent trying to vanquish it, growing more and more potent with each failed attempt. And then there are those ancient curses with deceptively simple antidotes that shatter like jagged shards of a vast mirror. These curses may be broken, but never completely destroyed, sharp slivers of light distorted.
The life of the hero of the tale is, at the outset, overshadowed by bitter and hopeless struggles; one doubts that the little swineherd will ever be able to vanquish the awful Dragon with the twelve heads. And yet, ... truth and courage prevail and the youngest and most neglected son of the family, of the nation, of mankind, chops off all twelve heads of the Dragon, to the delight of our anxious hearts. This exultant victory, towards which the hero of the tale always strives, is the hope and trust of the peasantry and of all oppressed peoples. This hope helps them bear the burden of their destiny.
We are redeemed one man at a time. There is no family pass ticket or park hopping pass to life. One ticket - one at a time. Man doesn't vanquish hatred or bigotry. The target keeps moving. From the blacks to the Irish; atheists to Christians. But as always there are a few leaders: Ben Franklin, John Quincy Adams, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham Lincoln, Fredrick Douglas, Booker T Washington, Ghandi and Martin Luther King. They know that the march toward freedom never ends, man must be ever vigilant and pray less with his lips and more with his legs.
I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me. Insisting on this story was a form of mind control, but for the most part, it worked. Every time I heard a sound of unknown origin or felt something horrible cohering in my imagination, I pushed it away. I simply did not let myself become afraid. Fear begets fear. Power begets Power. I willed myself to beget power. And it wasn't long before I actually wasn't afraid.
The odor of burning sulphur shifted on the night air, acrid, a little foul. Somewhere, the Canaan dwellers had learned of a supplier of castor - an extract from the beaver's perineal glands. Little packets containing the brown-orange mass of dried animal matter arrived from Detroit at the Post Office's "general delivery." At home, by the kerosene light, the recipients unwrapped the packets. A poor relative sometimes would be given some of the fibrous gland, bitter and smelling slightly like strong human sweat, and the rest would go into a Mason jar. Each night, as prescribed by old Burrifous through his oracle, Ronnie, a litt1e would be mixed with clear spring water. And as it gave the water a creamy, rusty look, the owner would sigh with awe and fear. The creature, wolf or man, became more real through the very specific which was to vanquish him.
Leslie H. Whitten Jr.
And then also, again, still, what are those boundaries, if they're not baselines, that contain and direct its infinite expansion inward, that make tennis like chess on the run, beautiful and infinitely dense? The true opponent, the enfolding boundary, is the player himself. Always and only the self out there, on court, to be met, fought, brought to the table to hammer out terms. The competing boy on the net's other side: he is not the foe: he is more the partner in the dance. He is the what is the word excuse or occasion for meeting the self. As you are his occasion. Tennis's beauty's infinite roots are self-competitive. You compete with your own limits to transcend the self in imagination and execution. Disappear inside the game: break through limits: transcend: improve: win. Which is why tennis is an essentially tragic enterprise... You seek to vanquish and transcend the limited self whose limits make the game possible in the first place. It is tragic and sad and chaotic and lovely. All life is the same, as citizens of the human State: the animating limits are within, to be killed and mourned, over and over again... Mario thinks hard again. He's trying to think of how to articulate something like: But then is battling and vanquishing the self the same as destroying yourself? Is that like saying life is pro-death? ... And then but so what's the difference between tennis and suicide, life and death, the game and its own end?
David Foster Wallace
The Fool in the Tarot deck frequently depicted a boy with a dog at his heels, staring at the sky while he walked blithely off a cliff, burdened only by a bundle on a stick. The diabolist had admitted a relationship to the card. No single detail was quite right, but much as something might appear similar if one were to unfocus their vision... The young diabolist walked with the sparrow at his shoulder, eyes on the windows without looking through the windows, walking forward as if he were afraid to stop. His burden here was the gas containers. No, he was burdened not just by the gas containers, but by some notion of responsibility. A man, when facing death, aspires to finish what he started. What had the custodian of the Thorburn estate started? What drove him? She knew he sought to do good and to vanquish evil, and she could surmise that both good acts and the existence of evil had touched him deeply. The Fool card was akin to the ace. Depending on the game being played, it was often the lowest card or the highest. Valueless or highly valued. Powerless or powerful. It all depended on context. He sought to kill the demon, and he would either catastrophically fail or succeed. This Fool sought to slay the metaphorical dragon. He felt his own mortality, which was quite possibly her fault, in part, and now he rushed to finish the task he'd set for himself. To better the world. The Fool was wrought with air - the clouds he gazed at, the void beyond the cliff, the feather in his cap, even the dog could often be found mid-step, bounding, just above the ground. He was a Fool wrought with a different element. The familiar didn't quite fit for the departure from the air, but the traditional dog didn't conjure ideas of air right off the bat either. What was he wrought with? That was another question that begged an answer.
The fact is,' said Van Gogh, 'the fact is that we are painters in real life, and the important thing is to breathe as hard as ever we can breathe.' So I breathe. I breathe at the open window above my desk, and a moist fragrance assails me from the gnawed leaves of the growing mock orange. This air is as intricate as the light that filters through forested mountain ridges and into my kitchen window; this sweet air is the breath of leafy lungs more rotted than mine; it has sifted through the serrations of many teeth. I have to love these tatters. And I must confess that the thought of this old yard breathing alone in the dark turns my mind to something else. I cannot in all honesty call the world old when I've seen it new. On the other hand, neither will honesty permit me suddenly to invoke certain experiences of newness and beauty as binding, sweeping away all knowledge. But I am thinking now of the tree with the lights in it, the cedar in the yard by the creek I saw transfigured. That the world is old and frayed is no surprise; that the world could ever become new and whole beyond uncertainty was, and is, such a surprise that I find myself referring all subsequent kinds of knowledge to it. And it suddenly occurs to me to wonder: were the twigs of the cedar I saw really bloated with galls? They probably were; they almost surely were. I have seen these 'cedar apples' swell from that cedar's green before and since: reddish gray, rank, malignant. All right then. But knowledge does not vanquish mystery, or obscure its distant lights. I still now and will tomorrow steer by what happened that day, when some undeniably new spirit roared down the air, bowled me over, and turned on the lights. I stood on grass like air, air like lightning coursed in my blood, floated my bones, swam in my teeth. I've been there, seen it, been done by it. I know what happened to the cedar tree, I saw the cells in the cedar tree pulse charged like wings beating praise. Now, it would be too facile to pull everything out of the hat and say that mystery vanquishes knowledge. Although my vision of the world of the spirit would not be altered a jot if the cedar had been purulent with galls, those galls actually do matter to my understanding of this world. Can I say then that corruption is one of beauty's deep-blue speckles, that the frayed and nibbled fringe of the world is a tallith, a prayer shawl, the intricate garment of beauty? It is very tempting, but I cannot. But I can, however, affirm that corruption is not beauty's very heart and I can I think call the vision of the cedar and the knowledge of these wormy quarryings twin fjords cutting into the granite cliffs of mystery and say the new is always present simultaneously with the old, however hidden. The tree with the lights in it does not go out; that light still shines on an old world, now feebly, now bright. I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wandering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty beats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them, under the wind-rent clouds, upstream and down.