Last modified on 11 September 2014, at 15:20

Oriana Fallaci


There are moments in Life when keeping silent becomes a fault, and speaking an obligation. A civic duty, a moral challenge, a categorical imperative from which we cannot escape.

Oriana Fallaci (June 29, 1929September 15, 2006) was an Italian journalist, author and political interviewer. She was a partisan against Fascism in the Italian resistance movement during World War II.

QuotesEdit

Objectivity does not exist. The word is a hypocrisy which is sustained by the lie that the truth stays in the middle. No, sir: Sometimes truth stays on one side only.
  • What's the point anyway — Of suffering, dying? It teaches us to live, boy. A man who does not struggle does not live, he survives.
    • A Man (1979)
  • I am angry at the Jews for many things… If you want to take the example of America, how they hold the power, the economical power in so many ways, and the press and the other kind of stuff… I never realized how it happened and they came to control the media to that point. Why?
    • Playboy magazine, 1981 interview [1] [2]
  • There are moments in Life when keeping silent becomes a fault, and speaking an obligation. A civic duty, a moral challenge, a categorical imperative from which we cannot escape.
  • Europe becomes more and more a province of Islam, a colony of Islam. And Italy is an outpost of that province, a stronghold of that colony...In each of our cities lies a second city: a Muslim city, a city run by the Quran. A stage in the Islamic expansionism.
  • People like me who have passion are derided: 'Ha ha ha! She's hysterical!' 'She's very passionate!' Listen how the Americans speak about me: 'A very passionate Italian.'
  • "Americans," she said, repeating for me something she told the American Enterprise Institute, "you have taught me this stupid word: cool. Cool, cool, cool! Coolness, coolness, you've got to be cool. Coolness! When I speak like I speak now, with passion, you smile and laugh at me! I've got passion. They've got passion. They have such passion and such guts that they are ready to die for it."
    • "The Rage of Oriana Fallaci", in The New York Observer (27 January 2003)
  • Our weakness in the West is born of the fact of so-called "objectivity." Objectivity does not exist. The word is a hypocrisy which is sustained by the lie that the truth stays in the middle. No, sir: Sometimes truth stays on one side only.
    • "The Rage of Oriana Fallaci", in The New York Observer (27 January 2003)
  • Whether it comes from a despotic sovereign or an elected president, from a murderous general or a beloved leader, I see power as an inhuman and hateful phenomenon... I have always looked on disobedience toward the oppressive as the only way to use the miracle of having been born.
    • As quoted in "The Agitator: Oriana Fallaci directs her fury toward Islam" by Margaret Talbot, in The New Yorker (5 June 2006)
  • If you put a pistol against my head and ask which I think is worse, Muslims or Mexicans, I'd have to think a moment, then I'd say the Muslims because they've broken my balls.
    • As quoted in "The Agitator: Oriana Fallaci directs her fury toward Islam" by Margaret Talbot, in The New Yorker (5 June 2006)

Intervista con la StoriaEdit

  • Among today's Italians, when treading upon Haile Selassie's memory, the sense of guilt and shame is such that they react by seeing only his positive traits: the merits of his past actions. His portrayals always brim with excessive deferance, unwarranted admiration and delusion. They go on and on about his priestly composure, his regal dignity, his great intelligence and his generosity towards former adversaries. They never explain who this sovereign, who we made into a victim, really was. They never dare tell us if he was something more, or less, than a victim. For example, that he was an old man hardened in principles which were centuries out of date; that he was the absolute ruler of a nation which has never heard the words rights and democracy, which lives in a near prehistoric fashion in the suburbs, opressed by hunger, disease, ignorance and the squallor of a feudal regime which even we did not experience during the darkest years of the Medieval period.
    • On Haile Selassie, (June 1972), as quoted in Intervista con la Storia (sixth edition, 2011) p. 509
  • Hearing him speak is so fun, reassuring I dare say. You can say all you like about Sihanouk: that he's an atrocious liar, a madman, a fraud, a swashbuckler, an international blot. You may think that, but you cannot deny how in this age in which the political arena seems to generate only dull, obtuse and boring characters with no imagination, he's a kind of miracle.
    • On Norodom Sihanouk, (June 1973), as quoted in Intervista con la Storia (sixth edition, 2011) p. 100

Quotes about FallaciEdit

With Oriana Fallaci's demise at 77 … there also died something of the art of the interview. Her absolutely heroic period was that of the 1970s … Christopher Hitchens
  • With Oriana Fallaci's demise at 77 from a host of cancers, in September, in her beloved Florence, there also died something of the art of the interview. Her absolutely heroic period was that of the 1970s, probably the last chance we had of staving off the complete triumph of celebrity culture.
  • Ever since the secret trip to China, my own relationship with Nixon had grown complicated. Until then I had been an essentially anonymous White House assistant. But now his associates were unhappy, and not without reason, that some journalists were giving me perhaps excessive credit for the more appealing aspects of our foreign policy while blaming Nixon for the unpopular moves. .
    These tendencies were given impetus by an interview I granted to the Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, without doubt the single most disastrous conversation I ever had with any member of the press. I saw her briefly on Nov. 2 and 4, 1972, in my office. I did so largely out of vanity. She had interviewed leading personalities all over the world. Fame was sufficiently novel for me to be flattered by the company I would be keeping. I had not bothered to read her writings; her evisceration of other victims was thus unknown to me.
    I paid the price for my naiveté. The quotes ascribed to me, statements of marginal taste gathered together in what she presented as a conversation, were the most self-serving utterances of my entire public career.
  • Even though you are on the blacklist of my authorities, I'll add you to the whitelist of my heart.
    • Muhammad Reza Pahlavi (October 1973), as quoted in Intervista con la Storia (sixth edition, 2011) p. 563
  • Who is this woman? Where does she come from? What does she want? Enough, go away, ça suffit! ça suffit!!
    • Haile Selassie, as quoted in Interviewed by Oriana Fallaci, Chicago Tribune, Sunday, June 24, 1973

External linksEdit

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