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Quotes of the day: Bernard Malamud

Published Saturday, April 26, 2014 @ 12:58 PM EDT
Apr 26 2014

Bernard Malamud (April 26, 1914 – March 18, 1986) was an American author of novels and short stories. Along with Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, he was one of the best known American Jewish authors of the 20th century. His baseball novel, The Natural, was adapted into a 1984 film starring Robert Redford. His 1966 novel The Fixer, about antisemitism in Tsarist Russia, won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man is an island in the only sense that matters, not an easy way to be. We live in mystery, a cosmos of separate lonely bodies, men, insects, stars. It is all loneliness and men know it best.

A writer is a spectator, looking at everything with a highly critical eye.

Charity you can give even when you haven't got.

His worst fault is he thinks his brains entitle him to certain privileges.

I don't think you can do anything for anyone without giving up something of your own.

If you ever forget you are a Jew a goy will remind you.

Life is a tragedy full of joy.

Mourning is a hard business... If people knew there'd be less death.

One can't make pure clay of time's mud. There is no life that can be recaptured wholly; as it was. Which is to say that all biography is ultimately fiction.

Suffering is what brings us toward happiness.

Teach yourself to work in uncertainty.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.

The wild begins where you least expect it, one step off your normal course.

There are no wrong books. What's wrong is the fear of them.

There comes a time in a man's life when to get where he has to- if there are no doors or windows- he walks through a wall.

They say God appeared in history and used it for his purposes, but if that was so he had no pity for men.

Those who write about life, reflect about life... you see in others who you are.

We have two lives... the life we learn with and the life we live with after that.

What suffering has taught me is the uselessness of suffering.

Without heroes, we're all plain people and don't know how far we can go.

You could not pity anything if you weren't a man; pity was a surprise to God. It was not his invention.

Categories: Bernard Malamud, Quotes of the day


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