The Precision of Luck, by Joel Rea, 2015. Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 48 inches. © Joel Rea, courtesy the artist and Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York City.

Luck

Volume IX, Number 3 | summer 2016

Miscellany

A twelfth-century-BC Chinese king consulted an oracle and was told his lucky charm would not be a tiger, dragon, bear, or leopard but rather a wise counselor. He soon came upon a sagacious old man fishing in the river and conscripted him into service. It is said the man’s virtue was such that he fished not with a hook but with a straight piece of iron; acknowledging his integrity, fish impaled themselves voluntarily.

Nothing is as obnoxious as other people’s luck.

—F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1938