Quotations about   disappointment

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Most of us stand poised at the edge of brilliance, haunted by the knowledge of our proximity, yet still demonstrably on the wrong side of the line, our dealings with reality undermined by a range of minor yet critical psychological flaws (a little too much optimism, an unprocessed rebelliousness, a fatal impatience or sentimentality). We are like an exquisite high-speed aircraft which for lack of a tiny part is left stranded beside the runway, rendered slower than a tractor or bicycle.

Alain de Botton (b. 1969) Swiss-British author
The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, ch. 4 (2009)
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Added on 4-Oct-18 | Last updated 4-Oct-18
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Though the terrain of frustration may be vast — from a stubbed toe to an untimely death — at the heart of every frustration lies a basic structure: the collision of a wish with an unyielding reality.

Alain de Botton (b. 1969) Swiss-British author
The Consolations of Philosophy, ch. 3 “Consolation For Frustration” (2000)
Added on 2-Nov-17 | Last updated 2-Nov-17
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To me, bitterness is the under-arm odor of wishful weakness. It is the graceless acknowledgment of defeat.

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) American writer, folklorist, anthropologist
Dust Tracks on a Road, ch. 16 (1942)
Added on 1-Nov-17 | Last updated 1-Nov-17
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The greatest evil which fortune can inflict on men is to endow them with small talents and great ambition.

Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues (1715-1747) French moralist, essayist, soldier
Reflections and Maxims [Réflexions et maximes], #562 [tr. Stevens] (1746)
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Added on 14-Jun-17 | Last updated 14-Jun-17
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The world is not always a kind place. That’s something all children learn for themselves, whether we want them to or not, but it’s something they really need our help to understand.

Fred Rogers (1928-2003) American educator, minister, songwriter, television host ["Mister Rogers"]
You Are Special (1994)
Added on 24-Jan-17 | Last updated 24-Jan-17
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Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.

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Emily Brontë (1818-1848) British novelist, poet [pseud. Ellis Bell]
Wuthering Heights, ch. 7 (1847) [Nelly Dean]
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Added on 8-Dec-16 | Last updated 8-Dec-16
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We so want heroes, and we want to think that someone who is good and inspirational in some ways is good and inspirational in all ways — a dubious proposition even in modern times, let along fifty, a hundred, two hundred years ago or more. Which then lets us exercise that other instinctive desire: we so want villains ….

Graham Ericsson (b. 1947) American writer, aphorist
What Have You Done To Me Lately?, ch. 1 (2014)
Added on 6-Jul-15 | Last updated 6-Jul-15
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The worst things:
To try to sleep and sleep not.
To wait for one who comes not.
To try to please and please not.

Other Authors and Sources
Arab proverb
Added on 22-Sep-14 | Last updated 22-Sep-14
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SID: It is not what you are; it’s what you don’t become that hurts.

Fannie Hurst (1889-1968) American novelist
Humoresque [film] (1946) [screenplay Clifford Odets, Zachary Gold]

Spoken by Oscar Levant.
Added on 25-Aug-14 | Last updated 25-Aug-14
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Wanting to meet an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like paté.

Margaret Atwood (b. 1939) Canadian writer, literary critic, environmental activist
Negotiating with the Dead, ch. 2 “Duplicity: The jekyll hand, the hyde hand, and the slippery double” (2002)
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Usually directly attributed to Atwood, but she made it clear that it was not hers:

There's an epigram tacked to my office bulletin board, pinched from a magazine -- [the quotation]. That's a light enough comment upon the disappointments of encountering the famous, or even the moderately well-known -- they are always shorter and older and more ordinary than you expected -- but there's a more sinister way of looking at it as well. In order for the paté to be made and then eaten, the duck must first be killed. And who is it that does the killing?
Added on 27-May-14 | Last updated 20-Sep-19
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