Stephen Vizinczey

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Stephen Vizinczey in 2001

Stephen Vizinczey (born 12. May 1933 in Káloz – 18 August 2021) is a Hungarian essayist, novelist, and literary critic.


  • During all my wandering through two decades and two continents, I've found nothing more pathetic than the universal misery of young boys trying to charm young girls.
    • In Praise of Older Women (1965)
  • Strange as it may seem, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it.
    • In the Sunday Telegraph (2 March 1975) ; as quoted in A Speaker's Treasury of Quotations: Maxims, Witticisms and Quips for Speeches and Presentations, Michael & Linda Thomsett, McFarland (2009), p. 110
  • Cultural History suggests that men have always had a greater inclination to close their eyes than to open them, to believe comforting lies rather than disconcerting truths.
    • The Rules of Chaos (1969), p. 113
  • Far from securing order, terror intensifies disorder and social disintegration. Terror, the most extreme form of power, is the least effective, and rulers employ it to the detriment of their own authority.
    • The Rules of Chaos (1969), p. 48
  • There may not always be a way where there's a will, but on the other hand - if success isn't certain, neither is failure.
    • The Rules of Chaos (1969), p. 87
  • People flock around the sorcerer, the priest, the scientist, the commissar, the psychiatrist, the drug pusher, each generation of the faithful pitying the victims of past fallacies, and this repetitive vanity keeps us stupider than we need to be.
    • The Rules of Chaos (1969), p. 106
  • [...] our confidence in foretelling and influencing events increases in inverse ratio to our ability to do so. The farther we go from ourselves and from the present, the less we sense the probabilities, and it is easy for us to be "dead certain" about things we cannot possibly know anything about.
    • The Rules of Chaos (1969), pp. 23-24
  • The world is full of people whom no one has put in chains but who bind themselves with frozen thoughts and fears. A man whose mind conforms to the conditioned responses of his daily life is a coward and a slave.
    • The Rules of Chaos (1969), p. 84

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