Top Catastrophe Quotes

Browse top 214 famous quotes and sayings about Catastrophe by most favorite authors.

Favorite Catastrophe Quotes

1. "Inexorable self, carried like the superfluous and tiresome piece of luggage which it is impossible to lose; franked with the customs' stamp of every frontier, retrieved exasperatingly from the disaster where everything else is lost, companion of the dislocation of cancelled sailings and missed connections, witness of every catastrophe, survivor of all voyages and situations…I"
Author: Anna Kavan
2. "That was for instance the case in Mocambique a couple of years ago, during the flooding catastrophe. Instead of co-ordinating assistance properly, to much time and resources was spent on fighting about the same helicopters and local guides."
Author: Anna Lindh
3. "The thing about old friends is not that they love you, but that they know you. They remember that disastrous New Year's Eve when you mixed White Russians and champagne, and how you wore that red maternity dress until everyone was sick of seeing the blaze of it in the office, and the uncomfortable couch in your first apartment and the smoky stove in your beach rental. They look at you and don't really think you look older because they've grown old along with you, and, like the faded paint in a beloved room, they're used to the look. And then one of them is gone, and you've lost a chunk of yourself. The stories of the terrorist attacks of 2001, the tsunami, the Japanese earthquake always used numbers, the deaths of thousands a measure of how great the disaster. Catastrophe is numerical. Loss is singular, one beloved at a time."
Author: Anna Quindlen
4. "I am apprehensive, therefore - perhaps too apprehensive - that the Government of these States may in futures times end in a monarchy. But this catastrophe, I think, may be long delayed, if in our proposed system we do not sow the seeds of contention, faction, and tumult, by making our posts of honor places of profit."
Author: Benjamin Franklin
5. "Ce qui (...) peut arriver de mieux à un individu c'est d' "avoir la chance d'être né au sein du peuple qu'il faut au moment de l'histoire qu'il faut" : grec et non barbare, aux siècles de Solon et Périclès ; romain et non pas grec, au temps d'Auguste et des débuts de la Pax romana ; chrétien et non pas juif, ensuite, quand l'Europe se christianise et que commencent les pogromes (...) le mieux qui puisse arriver à un sujet c'est de naître occidental ; le pire, la catastrophe irrémédiable, la figure même de l'infortune, du tragique, de la damnation, c'est d'être né burundais, angolais, sud-soudanais, colombien ou, comme la petite Srilaya, sri-lankais. (ch. 15Arendt, Sarajevo : qu'est-ce qu'être damné ?)"
Author: Bernard Henri Lévy
6. "It is not the diamonds or the birds, the people or the potatoes; it is not any of the nouns. The miracle is the adverbs, the way things are done. It is the way love gets done despite every catastrophe."
Author: Daniel Handler
7. "I'm familiar with that feeling of silence that comes with a very imminent catastrophe, when you know you have absolutely no control over a situation."
Author: Dave Matthews
8. "In response to a plea in early 1941 from his colleague and friend, the writer Marietta Shaginyan, who was newly infatuated with the Piano Quintet and its creator, Mickhail Zoshchenko drafted for her a portrait of the Shostakovich he knew, a deeply complex individual:"It seemed to you that he is "frail, fragile, withdrawn, an infinitely direct, pure child." That is so. But if it were only so, then great art (as with him) would never be obtained. He is exactly what you say he is, plus something else — he is hard, acid, extremely intelligent, strong perhaps, despotic and not altogether good-natured (although cerebrally good-natured).That is the combination in which he must be seen. And then it may be possible to understand his art to some degree.In him, there are great contradictions. In him, one quality obliterates the other. It is conflict in the highest degree. It is almost a catastrophe."Quoted in Laurel Fay: Shostakovich, a Life."
Author: Dmitri Shostakovich
9. "She alone was left standing, amid the accumulated riches of her mansion, while a host of men lay stricken at her feet. Like those monsters of ancient times whose fearful domains were covered with skeletons, she rested her feet on human skulls and was surrounded by catastrophes...The fly that had come from the dungheap of the slums, carrying the ferment of social decay, had poisoned all these men simply by alighting on them. It was fitting and just. She had avenged the beggars and outcasts of her world. And while, as it were, her sex rose in a halo of glory and blazed down on her prostrate victims like a rising sun shining down on a field of carnage, she remained as unconscious of her actions as a splendid animal, ignorant of the havoc she had wreaked, and as good-natured as ever."
Author: Émile Zola
10. "We all wish to live. We all seek a world in which men are freed of the burdens of ignorance, poverty, hunger and disease. And we shall all be hard-pressed to escape the deadly rain of nuclear fall-out should catastrophe overtake us."
Author: Haile Selassie
11. "In his essay, ‘Perpetual Peace,' the philosopher, Immanuel Kant, argued that perpetual peace would eventually come to the world in one of two ways, by human insight or by conflicts and catastrophes of a magnitude that left humanity no other choice. We are at such a juncture."
Author: Henry Kissinger
12. "The notion that one will not survive a particular catastrophe is, in general terms, a comfort since it is equivalent to abolishing the catastrophe."
Author: Iris Murdoch
13. "The earliest intelligence of the travellers' safe arrival at Antigua, after a favourable voyage, was received; though not before Mrs. Norris had been indulging in very dreadful fears, and trying to make Edmund participate them whenever she could get him alone; and as she depended on being the first person made acquainted with any fatal catastrophe, she had already arranged the manner of breaking it to all the others, when Sir Thomas's assurances of their both being alive and well made it necessary to lay by her agitation and affectionate preparatory speeches for a while."
Author: Jane Austen
14. "I am extremely interested in how people negotiate catastrophe, not because I'm morbidly interested in it but because I'm interested in the secret of resilience; that's what I'm always exploring in the stories and the novels."
Author: Janette Turner Hospital
15. "Catastrophe, riots, factories blowing up, armies in flight, flood - the ear can detect a whole apocalypse in the starry night of the human body."
Author: Jean Cocteau
16. "Don't we all discover, at some stage or another that there are some things we'll never get any better at, even though we have no idea why and hardly ever notice it when it happens, even though we may have enjoyed these things and might not have been lagging behind last time we checked? Learning to draw, for instance, was a familiar catastrophe - all of a sudden, unaware, you just stop getting any better at it, your drawings never progress beyond those of a four-year-old or a six-year-old, you're left behind by those who "can draw," condemned to producing flat, doughy figures on the page, with no sense of perspective to them and (this was what really struck me) no resemblance to the outside world: condemned by your ruined self to a shameful childhood."
Author: Jean Christophe Valtat
17. "Death releases the energy into air. If a true catastrophe is looming, the disturbance becomes such that a sensitive individual may become highly troubled by it. He may be aware exactly when and where it will occur. He may see an aura around people who are soon to die. Or he may see images of the disaster beforehand..."
Author: Jed Rubenfeld
18. "She knew what she looked like - someone at the edge of catastrophe, someone already flinching from a blow that had not yet been delivered."
Author: Josephine Humphreys
19. "How do you turn catastrophe into art? Nowadays the process is automatic. A nuclear plant explodes? We'll have a play on the London stage within a year. A President is assissinated? You can have the book or the film or the filmed book or booked film. War? Send in the novelists. A series of gruesome murders? Listen for the tramp of the poets. We have to understand it, of course, this catastrophe; to understand it, we have to imagine it, so we need the imaginative arts. But we also need to justify it and forgive it, this catastrophe, however minimally. Why did it happen, this mad act of Nature, this crazed human moment? Well, at least it produced art. Perhaps, in the end, that's what catastrophe is for."
Author: Julian Barnes
20. "Not merely hope, but any burdensome yearning: ambition, hatred, love (especially love) - how rarely do our emotions meet the object they seem to deserve? How hopelessly we signal; how dark the sky; how big the waves. We are all lost at see, washed between hope and despair, hailing something that may never come to rescue us. Catastrophe has become art; but this is no reducing process. It is freeing, enlarging, explaining. Catastrophe has become art: that is, after all, what it is for."
Author: Julian Barnes
21. "I guess it never is what you worry over that comes to pass in the end. The real catastrophes are always different—unimagined, unprepared for, unknown."
Author: Karen Thompson Walker
22. "Then again, given that human history appears to be defined by a succession of more or less corrupt ruling elites, and if we are to assume that such corruption (and its spread throughout society) is the mechanism by which a civilization attracts cosmic catastrophe, blaming and deposing the elite is a good solution. The problem, however, is that the underlying mechanism is not understood by the people, which means that they lack the knowledge that, if they are to prevent further destruction, they must, at all costs, prevent the establishment of any future corrupt elite."
Author: Laura Knight Jadczyk
23. "If Gone With the Wind has a theme it is that of survival. What makes some people come through catastrophes and others, apparently just as able, strong, and brave, go under? It happens in every upheaval. Some people survive; others don't. What qualities are in those who fight their way through triumphantly that are lacking in those that go under? I only know that survivors used to call that quality 'gumption.' So I wrote about people who had gumption and people who didn't."
Author: Margaret Mitchell
24. "When a man meets catastrophe on the road, he looks in his purse, but a woman looks in her mirror."
Author: Margaret Turnbull
25. "Bad artists ignore the darkness of human existence. Good artists often get stuck there. Great artists embrace the full catastrophe of our condition and find beyond it an even deeper truth of peace, healing, and redemption."
Author: Martha N. Beck
26. "Oh, please, Mr. B thinks, not a human. Not another human. He is filled with despair. God's passion for humans always leads to catastrophe, to meteorological upset on an epic scale. What is wrong with the boy that he can't get it up for some nice goddess? Why, oh why, can't he pursue a sensible relationship, one that will not end in disaster?"
Author: Meg Rosoff
27. "You list the dead. You tell the stories of the past. You write about the catastrophes and the massacres. What about the living, Finnikin? Who honors them?"
Author: Melina Marchetta
28. "Unless we are willing to escape into sentimentality or fantasy, often the best we can do with catastrophes, even our own, is to find out exactly what happened and restore some of the missing parts."
Author: Norman Maclean
29. "Probably most catastrophes end this way without an ending, the dead not even knowing how they died...,those who loved them forever questioning "this unnecessary death," and the rest of us tiring of this inconsolable catastrophe and turning to the next one."
Author: Norman Maclean
30. "For life is terribly deficient in form. Its catastrophes happen in the wrong way and to the wrong people. There is a grotesque horror about its comedies, and its tragedies seem to culminate in farce."
Author: Oscar Wilde
31. "Of the four billion life forms which have existed on this planet, three billion, nine hundred and sixty million are now extinct. We don't know why. Some by wanton extinction, some through natural catastrophe, some destroyed by meteorites and asteroids. In the light of these mass extinctions it really does seem unreasonable to suppose that Homo sapiens should be exempt. Our species will have been one of the shortest-lived of all, a mere blink, you may say, in the eye of time."
Author: P.D. James
32. "Terrifying encounters with the end? I'm thirty-four! Worry about oblivion, he told himself, when you're seventy-five! The remote future will be time enough to anguish over the ultimate catastrophe!"
Author: Philip Roth
33. "We can act to deal with the consequences of the earthquake and tsunami, but the disaster was only faintly political in the economics and indifference...the relief will be very political, in who gives how much (Bush offering 15 million, then 35 million under pressure, the cost of his inauguration and then 350 million under strong international pressure)...but the event itself transcends politics, the realm of things we cause and can work to prevent. We cannot wish that human beings were not subject to the forces of nature, including the mortality... we cannot wish for the seas to dry up, that the waves grow still, that the tectonic plates ceast to exist, that nature ceases to be beyond our abilities to predict and control... But the terms of that nature include such catastrophe and suffering, which leaves us with sorrow as not a problem to be solved but a fact. And it leaves us with compassion as the work we will never finish"
Author: Rebecca Solnit
34. "Only part of us is sane: only part of us loves pleasure and the longer day of happiness, wants to live to our nineties and die in peace, in a house that we built, that shall shelter those who come after us. The other half of us is nearly mad. It prefers the disagreeable to the agreeable, loves pain and its darker night despair, and wants to die in a catastrophe that will set back life to its beginnings and leave nothing of our house save its blackened foundations."
Author: Rebecca West
35. "...until the fear of catastrophe amends, or catastrophe itself destroys..."
Author: Reinhold Niebuhr
36. "Being broke is not a disgrace, it is only a catastrophe."
Author: Rex Stout
37. "No connection between Iraq and the 9/11 catastrophe."
Author: Richard Ben Veniste
38. "You want to be an alchemist so badly? Don't wait to react to the immediate problem.Plan ahead. Look at the big picture and you won't ever have to deal with that problem.Better to save yourself from a major catastrophe than drag your feet over a bunch of little inconveniences."
Author: Richelle Mead
39. "Our practical faith in progress has ramified and hardened into an ideology -- a secular religion which, like the religions that progress has challenged, is blind to certain flaws in its credentials. Progress, therefore, has become 'myth' in the anthropological sense. By this I do not mean a belief that is flimsy or untrue. Successful myths are powerful and often partly true. […] The myth of progress has sometimes served us well -- those of us seated at the best tables, anyway -- and may continue to do so. […] Progress has an internal logic that can lead beyond reason to catastrophe. (4-5)"
Author: Ronald Wright
40. "I beg you to exercise wisdom and restraint and remember that not all opportunities are created equal. Some are nothing but steps leading down toward catastrophe."
Author: Sherry Thomas
41. "We urgently need to do - and I mean actually do - something radical to avert a global catastrophe. But I don't think we will.I think we're fucked."
Author: Stephen Emmott
42. "Chris, soap people are likeus-they seldom go outdoors. And when they do, we only hear about it,never see it. They loll about in living rooms, bedrooms, sit in thekitchens and sip coffee or stand up and drink martinis-but never, nevergo outside before our eyes. And whenever something good happens,whenever they think they're finally going to be happy, some catastrophecomes along to dash their hopes."
Author: V.C. Andrews
43. "'You call this a catastrophe, but take it from me, the line between a catastrophe and a miracle is a fine one.'"
Author: Vicki Pettersson
44. "Night sometimes lends such tragic assistance to catastrophe."
Author: Victor Hugo
45. "In all the books love is one of the great facts that mould human life. But it is a catastrophe: it happens suddenly and overwhelmingly, and there is little to be said about it."
Author: Virginia Woolf
46. "It's not catastrophes, murders, deaths, diseases, that age and kill us; it's the way people look and laugh, and run up the steps of omnibuses."
Author: Virginia Woolf
47. "I think psychology and self-reflection is one of the major catastrophes of the twentieth century."
Author: Werner Herzog
48. "I can imagine no greater catastrophe than if I were mistaken, and the theory were correct that what I consider secondary instincts or drives are actually primary instincts! Because in that case the emotional plague would rest upon the support of a natural law while its archenemies, truth and sociality, would be relying upon unfounded ethics. Until now both lies and truth have taken recourse to ethics. But only lies have profited because they were able to appear under the guise of truth. Under these circumstances, egoism, theft, petty selfishness, slander, etc., would be the natural rule. (26.july.1943)"
Author: Wilhelm Reich
49. "Take a look at anyone's life. Take a look at your own. In the long fold catastrophe that makes up your three-score years and ten you will encounter many cusp catastrophes along the way."
Author: William Boyd
50. "Partition was a total catastrophe for Delhi,' she said. ‘Those who were left behind are in misery. Those who were uprooted are in misery. The Peace of Delhi is gone. Now it is all gone."
Author: William Dalrymple

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Later, I realized that the mission had to end in a let-down because the real barrier wasn't in the sky but in our knowledge and experience of supersonic flight."
Author: Chuck Yeager

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