for the tragedy may come about

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SuprunP

Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
Cenainly this is something that we were not prepared for fifteen or twenty years ago, that pathological consequences might ensue after having attained what one had been trying to attain, and which was supposed to bring happiness. We have learned with Oscar Wilde to beware of what we wish -- for the tragedy may come about that our wishes may be granted.
(Motivation and Personality; A.H. Maslow)

Would you be so kind as to tell me whether I have understood it correctly that the part in bold suggests (rather unequivocally), that 'the granting of our wishes' is necessarily 'the tragedy'?

Thanks.
 
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  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    for the tragedy may come about that our wishes may be granted. =
    in order that our wishes be granted
    , the tragedy may have to happen .

    We've have learned with from Oscar Wilde ->
    Wilde wrote: "When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers." This is a version of an older saying:
    'Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true.' and 'Be careful what you wish for; you may receive it.'
     

    SuprunP

    Senior Member
    Ukrainian & Russian
    Thank you PaulQ!

    May I ask you whether Maslow's construction is a contemporary one or whether it is reminiscent of some other period?

    Thanks.
     
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