Saul Bellow Quotes
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Humankind struggles with collective powers for its freedom, the individual struggles with dehumanization for the possession of his soul.
A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.
There are evils that have the ability to survive identification and go on for ever... money, for instance, or war.
Associate with the noblest people you can find; read the best books; live with the mighty; but learn to be happy alone.
I am a phoenix who runs after arsonists.
You can spend the entire second half of your life recovering from the mistakes of the first half.
Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.
A man is only as good as what he loves.
When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.
Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take small steps.
It's usually the selfish people who are loved the most. They do what you deny yourself, and you love them for it. You give them your heart.
You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.
A fool can throw a stone in a pond that 100 wise men can not get out.
In an age of madness, to expect to be untouched by madness is a form of madness. But the pursuit of sanity can be a form of madness, too
Strict seriousness was far more dangerous than any joke.
Unexpected intrusions of beauty. This is what life is.
If I had a child of school age, I would send him to one of the Waldorf Schools.
People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned.
Everybody knows there is no fineness or accuracy of suppression; if you hold down one thing, you hold down the adjoining.
Hapiness can only be found if you can free yourself of all other distractions.
Readiness to answer all questions is the infallible sign of stupidity.
There was a disturbance in my heart, a voice that spoke there and said, I want, I want, I want! It happened every afternoon, and when I tried to suppress it it got even stronger.
The life of every citizen is becoming a business. This, it seems to me, is one of the worst interpretations of the meaning of human life history has ever seen. Man's life is not a business.
Take our politicians: they're a bunch of yo-yos. The presidency is now a cross between a popularity contest and a high school debate, with an encyclopedia of cliches.
In Los Angeles all the loose objects in the country were collected, as if America had been tilted and everything that wasn't tightly screwed down had slid into Southern California.
With one long breath, caught and held in his chest, he fought his sadness over his solitary life. Don't cry, you idiot! Live or die, but don't poison everything.
We mustn't forget how quickly the visions of genius become the canned goods of intellectuals.
I'm glad I haven't lived in vain.
I've never turned over a fig leaf yet that didn't have a price tag on the other side.
A plan relieves you of the torment of choice.
A novel is balanced between a few true impressions and the multitude of false ones that make up most of what we call life.
The secret motive of the absent-minded is to be innocent while guilty. Absent-mindedness is spurious innocence.
Goodness is achieved not in a vacuum, but in the company of other men, attended by love.
Some people, if they didn't make it hard for themselves, might fall asleep.
The first undressing of two lovers is a most special event.
The late philosopher Morris R. Cohen of CCNY was asked by a student in the metaphysics course, Professor Cohen, how do I know that I exist? The keen old prof replied, And who is asking?
We are funny creatures. We don't see the stars as they are, so why do we love them? They are not small gold objects, but endless fire.
Our society, like decadent Rome, has turned into an amusement society, with writers chief among the court jesters
People don't realize how much they are in the grip of ideas. We live among ideas much more than we live in nature.
A man should be able to hear, and to bear, the worst that could be said of him.
I think that art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction.
The main reason for rewriting is not to achieve a smooth surface, but to discover the inner truth of your characters.
All a writer has to do to get a woman is to say he's a writer. It's an aphrodisiac.
Anxiety destroys scale, and suffering makes us lose perspective.
We are always looking for the book it is necessary to read next.
California is like an artificial limb the rest of the country doesn't really need. You can quote me on that.
There is only one way to defeat the enemy, and that is to write as well as one can. The best argument is an undeniably good book.
One thought-murder a day keeps the psychiatrist away.
... an era of turmoil and ideological confusion, the principal phenomenon of the present age.
I've discovered that rejections are not altogether a bad thing. They teach a writer to rely on his own judgment and to say in his heart of hearts, 'To hell with you.'