Gore Vidal? La Rochefoucauld? Somerset Maugham? Wilfrid Sheed? Iris Murdoch? David Merrick? Genghis Khan? Larry Ellison? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: Competition and jealousy space reflected in a family of closely related pessimistic sayings:

It is not enough to succeed; one’s ideal friend should fail.It is not enough to succeed; one’s friends should fail.It is not sufficient to succeed; others should fail.It’s not enough that I need to succeed, others have to fail.It is not adequate that ns succeed – all others must fail.

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I have heard various versions of this quotations credited to the epigrammatist La Rochefoucauld, the writer Gore Vidal, and also the warlord Genghis Khan. Might you research this topic?

Quote Investigator: François Duc de la Rochefoucauld to be born in 1613, and he did craft adages that room sometimes perplexed with the unit volume you have actually given. Here are English translations of 2 of his statements that were originally made in French :

In the misfortune that our finest friends, we constantly find something i m sorry is not displeasing to us.

We are all solid enough come bear the misfortunes that others.

These room really various maxims, and also QI believes the the sayings under investigation should not be ascribed to La Rochefoucauld. A separate write-up will be produced to discuss Rochefoucauld’s words.

The earliest circumstances known come QI that a quotation that fits in this family of sayings was released in 1959. The words were attributed to the best-selling writer Somerset Maugham by the avid quotation collector Bennett Cerf. The quote was published in Cerf’s syndicated newspaper column called “Try and Stop Me”, and he credited Maugham second-hand v an unnamed “visitor”. Emphasis included to excerpts by QI :

Octogenarian Somerset Maugham called a visitor to his French Riviera legacy recently, “Now that I’ve get an impression old, i realize the for many of us it is not sufficient to have actually achieved personal success. One’s ideal friend must likewise have failed.”

In 1961 “Somerset Maugham: A Biographical and crucial Study” through Richard A. Cordell to be published, and it contained a discussion of the quotation instantly above. The biographer contended that Maugham’s comment was inspired by his exposure to the Maxims the La Rochefoucauld in his youth. The excerpt below referred to Maugham’s sojourn in Heidelberg, Germany that started when he to be eighteen. The excerpt also referred his 85th birthday which occurred in 1959 :

His companions introduced him come the pleasures that art, poetry, theatre, and friendly disputation. He found the Maxims of La Rochefoucauld, and also their echoes to be heard because that sixty years in his plays and stories. ~ above Maugham’s eighty-fifth birthday a reporter reported him as uttering a pure La Rochefoucauld: “Now that I have grown old, ns realize the for many of united state it is not enough to have achieved personal success. One’s best friend must additionally have failed.” fortunately one is no obliged to expropriate as authentic every statement do by a columnist, and also this ill-humored remark is quoted out of context.

Some readers may have actually misinterpreted the phrase “uttering a pure La Rochefoucauld” and also concluded that the quotation was composed directly by La Rochefoucauld. However Cordell actual expected that the quote was stylistically and thematically congruent with the maxims the La Rochefoucauld. This similarity has actually caused confusion between the native of Maugham and La Rochefoucauld for decades as shown in the citations below.

See more: Word Of Force Path Of Exile, What Are Your Glove Enchantments

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

continue reading the Is Not enough to Succeed; One’s best Friend need to Fail


Posted on august 6, 2012October 5, 2018Categories Gore Vidal, Iris Murdoch, La Rochefoucauld, Somerset MaughamTags David Merrick, Genghis Khan, Gore Vidal, Iris Murdoch, La Rochefoucauld, Larry Ellison, Somerset Maugham, Wilfrid Sheed