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Outrageous FortuneGloomy Reflections on Luck and Life$
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William Ian Miller

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197530689

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197530689.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 December 2021

May You Have My Luck

May You Have My Luck

(p.9) 1 May You Have My Luck
Outrageous Fortune

William Ian Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers a treatment of why good luck seems to many people, and as an ancient widespread folk belief has it, to be the very manufactory of bad luck. It takes a look at the apotropaic rituals people undertake not to have their good luck count against them. It also examines why it seems people’s merest wishes and desires provoke the gods to thwart them. The chapter provides an excursus on the negative causal powers people attribute to themselves, what the author calls the narcissism of negativity. The chapter features an extended discussion of hope as opposed to feeling lucky.

Keywords:   good luck, apotropaic, magic, evil eye, narcissism of negativity, soldier memoirs, heebie-jeebies, causation, hope, despair

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