Tag Archives: greatness

Pedro Vidal on Envy

“Envy is the religion of the mediocre. It comforts them, it soothes their worries, and finally it rots their souls, allowing them to justify their meanness and greed until they believe these to be virtues. Such people are convinced that the doors of heaven will be opened only to poor wretches like themselves who go through life without leaving any trace but their threadbare attempts to belittle others and to exclude–and destroy if possible–those who, by the simple fact of their existence, show up their own poorness of spirit, mind, and guts. Blessed be the one at whom the fools bark, because his soul will never belong to them.”

— Pedro Vidal in Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Angel’s Game, Act One: “City of the Damned”, Chapter 2

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Robert Stadler on Greatness

“…do you know the hallmark of the second-rater? It’s resentment of another man’s achievement. Those touchy mediocrities who sit trembling lest someone’s work prove greater than their own — they have no inkling of the loneliness that comes when you reach the top. The loneliness of an equal — for a mind to respect and an achievement to admire. They bare their teeth at you from out of their rat holes, thinking that you take pleasure in letting your brilliance dim them — while you’d give a year of your life to see a flicker of talent anywhere among them. They envy achievement, and their dream of greatness is a world where all men have become their acknowledged inferiors. They don’t know that that dream is the infallible proof of mediocrity, because that sort of world is what the man of achievement would not be able to bear. They have no way of knowing what he feels when surrounded by inferiors — hatred? no, not hatred, but boredom — the terrible, hopeless, draining, paralyzing boredom. Of what account are praise and adulation from men whom you don’t respect? Have you ever felt the longing for someone you could admire? For something not to look down at, but up to?”

— Dr. Robert Stadler in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, Part II, Chapter I

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July 10, 2009 · 11:39 am

Tom Riddle on Greatness

“Greatness inspires envy, envy engenders spite, spite spawns lies.”

— Tom Riddle in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, chapter 20

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July 19, 2007 · 3:37 pm