Friday, May 14, 2021

Quote of the Week: Achievements

The horse had to succeed. It would mean so much. It would mean everything.

We live in a miserable world, where the best we can honestly hope for is that one empty, meaningless day will follow another without things getting actively worse. A great man once said that the beating of the heart and the action of the lungs are a useful prevarication, keeping all options open. It's a good line (though it doesn't scan properly, in the original), but it presupposed that at least some of the options are good. I'm not convinced. Maybe it's because I've spent so much of my life around immortals (creatures, by definition, of pure evil); the way I see it, when you've got only seventy-odd years maximum, and half of those are going to be spent gradually sliding downhill into arthritis and senility, how the hell can you expect to achieve anything worthwhile?

Unless you happen to be a genius, like Master Prosper.

 - K.J. Parker, Prosper's Demon, pp.91-92

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