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Neither "abyss" moves him to Pascalian awe or to a sense of the puniness of the human mind.
This was not mere titillation, as a roller coaster ride might give, but a profound encounter with objects whose immense magnitude and implacable severity overwhelms us with despair at our own puniness and insignificance.
But that's where you suddenly feel the puniness of your powers of prediction.
Surely, there is little future for a group whose most persuasive defense is not refutation of the vileness of its acts but rather a quip that the puniness of the organization ensures the irrelevancy of its behavior.
Mumford, especially, can be seen as providing Wright with a precise blueprint through which Bigger could become "a symbol for all the larger things" when he desc ribes Ahab as embodying "the lonely heroic spirit, who declares himself a sovereign nature" (Golden 149-50), "the spirit of man, small and feeble, but purposeful, that pits its puniness against [the blind, fatal, overpowering energies of existence] and its purpose against the blank senselessness of power" (125).
So to the extraordinarily ground-breaking Pathetique he imparted a strength of arm-muscle which recreated the puniness of Beethoven's original piano; I'm not so sure about the wisdom of Donohoe's repeating the shock-horror introduction.
He may underestimate the effects of pervasive state terror, the puniness of the individual living in the leviathan state.
Armed with books, he compensated for his puniness with the powerful rhetoric with which he pumped their revolutionary lessons into his fellow students.
About small states and heavy reliance on external markets there was less a prevailing theory than a prevailing prejudice - that puniness entailed constraint, insecurity, and (barring extraordinary good luck) economic trouble.