Top 114 Jonathan Safran Foer Quotes

Time was passing like a hand waving from a train I wanted to be on. I hope you never have to think about anything as much as I think about you.


Why are you leaving me?He wrote, I do not know how to live.I do not know either but I am trying.I do not know how to try.There were some things I wanted to tell him. But I knew they would hurt him. So i buried them and let them hurt me


You are the only one who has understood even a whisper of me, and I will tell you that I am the only person who has understood even a whisper of you.


I imagine a line, a white line, painted on the sand and on the ocean, from me to you.


He promised us that everything would be okay. I was a child, but I knew that everything would not be okay. That did not make my father a liar. It made him my father.


She let out a laugh, and then she put her hand over her mouth, like she was angry at herself for forgetting her sadness.


Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.


Why didn’t I learn to treat everything like it was the last time. My greatest regret was how much I believed in the future.


It was not the feeling of completeness I so needed, but the feeling of not being empty.


I’m sorry for my inability to let unimportant things go, for my inability to hold on to the important things.


I don’t think that there are any limits to how excellent we could make life seem.


The mistakes I’ve made are dead to me. But I can’t take back the things I never did.


She was like a drowning person, flailing, reaching for anything that might save her. Her life was an urgent, desperate struggle to justify her life.


It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past. It is always along the side of us…on the inside, looking out.


There’s nothing wrong with not understanding yourself.


I want an infinitely blank book and the rest of time……why didn’t I learn to treat everything like it was the last time, my greatest regret is how much I believed in the future.


If we were to one day encounter a form of life more powerful and intelligent than our own, and it regarded us as we regard fish, what would be our argument against being eaten?


Succotash my cocker spaniel, you fudging crevasse-hole dipshiitake!


I will describe my eyes and then begin the story. My eyes are blue and resplendent. Now I will begin the story.


Feathers filled the small room. Our laughter kept the feathers in the air. I thought about birds. Could they fly if there wasn’t someone, somewhere, laughing?


Because sometimes people who seem goodend up being not as good as you might have hoped.


Nine out of ten significant people have to do with money or war!


Highs and lows make you feel that things matter, but they’re nothing.


There are worse things, worse than being like us. Look, at least we’re alive.


I could not believe in a God that would challenge faith like this.


You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.


I think and think and think, I‘ve thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it.


I said, ‘I need to know how he died.’He flipped back and pointed at, ‘Why?’So I can stop inventing how he died. I’m always inventing.


That is what death is like. It doesn’t matter what uniforms the soldiers are wearing. It doesn’t matter how good the weapons are. I thought if everyone could see what I saw, we would never have war anymore.


I kept thinking how they were all names of dead people, and how names are basically the only thing dead people keep.


A few weeks after the worst day, I started writing lots of letters. I don’t know why, but it was one of the only things that made my boots lighter.


Writing’s funny, it’s like walking down a hall in the dark looking for the light switch, and suddenly you find it, flip it on, and then you discover the hallway you passed through is papered with the novel you’ve written.


I want an infinitely blank book and the rest of time.


I realized that your mother couldn’t see the emptiness, she couldn’t see anything…All of the words I’d written to her over all of those years, had I never said anything to hear at all?


Parents are always more knowledgeable than their children, and children are always smarter than their parents.


Between any two beings there is a unique, uncrossable distance, an unenterable sanctuary. Sometimes it takes the shape of aloneness. Sometimes it takes the shape of love.


In the struggle between yourself and the world, side with the world


Anyone who believes that a second is faster than a decade did not live life.


Fuck You!’ [Oskar said] ‘Exuse me!’ [His mom said] ‘Sorry. I mean, screw you.’ ‘You need a time-out!’ ‘I need a mausoleum!


So many people enter and leave your life! Hundreds of thousands of people! You have to keep the door open so they can come in! But it also means you have to let them go!


So it had something to do with the sinner, and something with the judge, and the fear of not being forgiven, and the relief of being loved again.


Sometimes people who seem good end up being not as good as you might have hoped, you know?


My dream went all the way back to the beginning. The rain rose into the clouds, and the animals descended the ramp.


Nothing goes away. Not on its own. You deal with it, or it deals with you.


No father knows that he is carrying his son up the stairs for the final time


Why do beautiful songs make you sad?’ ‘Because they aren’t true.’ ‘Never?’ ‘Nothing is beautiful and true.


But I knew the truth and that’s why I was so sad. Every moment before this one depends on this one. Everything in the history of the world can be proven wrong in one moment.




Not in all ways (of course), but the animals you know have power: they have abilities humans lack, could be dangerous, could bring life, mean things that mean things.


So many days in their shared life. So many experiences. How had they managed to spend the previous sixteen years unlearning each other? How had all the presence summed to disappearance?


One day you will do things for me that you hate. That is what it means to be family.


If I’d been someone else in a different world I’d’ve done something different, but I was myself and the world was the world, so I was silent.


As we drove, I imagined we were standing still and the world was coming toward us.


I’m not smarter than you, I’m more knowledgeable than you, and that’s only because I’m older than you. Parents are always more knowledgeable than their children, and children are always smarter than their parents.


I regret that it takes a life to learn how to live.


Then I have some bad news for you, because humans are going to destroy each other as soon as it becomes easy enough to, which will be very soon.


Sometimes my hand starts to burn and I am convinced we are writing the same word at the same moment.


I can forgive you for leaving, but not for coming back.


She was a genius of sadness, immersing herself in it, separating its numerous strands, appreciating its subtle nuances. She was a prism through which sadness could be divided into its infinite spectrum.


But that slip of paper wouldn’t disappear, ever, and neither would the image of his prostrate wife, and neither would the thought that if he could, it might greatly improve his life to end it.


She was a prism through which sadness could be divided into its infinite spectrum.


She was a prism through with sadness could be divided into its infinite spectrum


Today, it isn’t unusual for meat to travel almost halfway around the globe to reach your supermarket. The average distance our meat travels hovers arounf fifteen hundred miles.


Memory was supposed to fill the time, but it made time a hole to be filled.


Memories are small prayers to God, if we believed in that sort of thing.


It’s much easier to be cruel than one might think.


There are more places you haven’t heard of then you’re heard of!’ I loved that


It made me start to wonder if there were other people so lonely so close. I thought about “Eleanor Rigby.” It’s true, where do they all come from? And where do they all belong?


Deep down, the young are lonelier than the old.’ I read that in a book somewhere and it’s stuck in my head. Maybe it’s true. Maybe it’s not true. More likely, the young and the old are lonely in different ways, in their own ways…


We are breeding creatures incapable of surviving in any place other than the most artificial settings. We have focused the awesome power of modern genetic knowledge to bring into being animals that suffer more.


And how can you say I love you to someone you love? I rolled onto my side and fell asleep next to her. Here is the point of everything I have been trying to tell you, Oskar. It’s always necessary.


I wanted to cry but I didn’t, I probably should have cried, I should have drowned us there in the room ending our suffering.


I will walk without noise and I will open the door in darkness and I will


She wanted more, more slang, more figures of speech, the bee’s knees, the cats pajamas, horse of a different color, dog-tired, she wanted to talk like she was born here, like she never came from anywhere else


Highs and lows make you feel that things matter, but they’re nothing.” “So what’s something?” “Being reliable is something. Being good.


Ironically, the utterly unselective omnivore — “I’m easy; I’ll eat anything” — can appear more socially sensitive than the individual who tries to eat in a way that is good for society.


It can be challenge enough to have to eat with myself.


Food for her is not food, it is terror, dignity, gratitude, vengeance, joyfulness, humiliation, religion, history, and, of course, love. As if the fruit she always offered us were picked from the destroyed brances of out family tree.


Before you rush off trying to see everything you can, educate yourself.


Rationally, factory farming is so obviously wrong, in so many ways. In all of my reading and conversations, I’ve yet to find a credible defense of it. But food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, and identity.


She extended a hand that I didn’t know how to take, so I broke its fingers with my silence.


Why does watching a dog be a dog fill one with happiness?


There are only so many times that you can utter ‘It does not hurt’ before it begins to hurt even more than the hurt. You become enlightened of the feeling of feeling hurt, which is worse, I am certain, than the existent hurt.


There were things I wanted to tell him. But I knew they would hurt him. So I buried them, and let them hurt me.


He chose illness, because he knew of no other way to be seen. Not even by those looking at him.


Long before man traveled into space, rabbis debated how one would observe Shabbat there-not because they anticipated space travel but because Buddhists strive to live with questions and Jews would rather die.


Not responding is a response–we are equally responsible for what we don’t do. In the case of animal slaughter, to throw your hands in the air is to wrap your fingers around a knife handle.


she also liked to remember that there could be no such thing as an intentional imperfection. People are always mistaking something that looks good for something that feels good.


In my dream, people apologized for things that were about to happen, and lit candles by inhaling.


I spent my life learning to feel less. Every day I felt less. Is that growing old? Or is it something worse?


The persistence of the story of animal consent into the contemporary era tells of a human appreciation of the stakes, and a desire to do the right thing.


We perhaps know more than we care to admit, keeping it down in the dark places of our memory-disavowed. When we eat factory-farmed meat we live, literally, on tortured flesh. Increasingly, that tortured flesh is becoming our own.


Whether we change our lives or do nothing, we have responded. To do nothing is to do something.


Do you eat chicken because you are familiar with the scientific literature on them and have decided that their suffering doesn’t matter, or do you do it because it tastes good?


…only someone who’d never been an animal would put up a sign saying not to feed them….


The animals are those things that God likes but doesn’t love.


As told by Kafka’s close friend Max Brod:”Suddenly he began to speak to the fish in their illuminated tanks. ‘Now at least I can look at you in peace, I don’t eat you anymore.’ It was the time he turned strictly vegetarian.


Thanksgiving is the holiday that encompasses all others. All of them, from Martin Luther King Day to Arbor Day to Christmas to Valentine’s Day, are in one way or another about being thankful.


What’s so horrible about being dead forever, and not feeling anything, and not even dreaming? What’s so great about feeling and dreaming?


He promised us that everything would be OK. I was a child, but I knew that everything would not be OK. That did not make my father a liar. It made him my father.


I hated the gnawing longing that accompanied having everything.


She said, “Do you have more things that you need, or more that you don’t need?” I said, “It depends on what it means to need.


It’s better to lose something than never to have had


Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.


August has passed, and yet summer continues by force to grow days. They sprout secretly between the chapters of the year, covertly included between its pages.


Does it break my heart, of course, every moment of every day, into more pieces than my heart was made of…


It’s nice to believe that when confronted with facts people will just suddenly respond to them but, in fact, most people don’t really work like that.


One hundred years of joy can be erased in one second


Weeks passed like boats waiting to sail into the starless dawn, we were full of aimless endless darkness.


Thomas! What are you doing!” and I gestured, “I thought this was Nothing,” covering myself with one of my daybooks ,and she said, “It’s Something!


I’m less worried about accomplishment – as younger people always can’t help but be – and more concerned with spending my time well, spending time with my family, and reading, learning things.


Food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, craving and identity.


Food is not just what we put in our mouths to fill up; it is culture and identity. Reason plays some role in our decisions about food, but it’s rarely driving the car.


There’s never been a culture that wasn’t obsessed with food. The sort of sad thing is that our obsession is no longer with food, but with the price of food.



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