Top 39 Philip Roth Quotes

Life is just a short period of time in which you are alive.


Don’t judge it. Just write it. Don’t judge it. It’s not for you to judge it.Interview in Esquire Magazine 10/10


In school we chanted, along with our teacher, I am the Captain of my fate, I am the Master of my soul, and meanwhile, within my own body, an anarchic insurrection had been launched by one of my privates- which I was helpless to put down!


Doctor doctor, what do you say, lets put the id back in yid


You put too much stock in human intelligence, it doesn’t annihilate human nature.


She thinks, I’m telling him who I am. He’s interested in who I am. That is true, but I am curious about who she is because I want to fuck her.


Every man’s endeavor was imbued with responsibility


yEvery man’s endeavor was imbued with responsibility


The tragedy of the man not set up for tragedy—that is every man’s tragedy.


Is that what eternity is for, to muck over a lifetime’s minutiae? Who could have imagined that one would have forever to remember each moment of life down to its tiniest component?


In America everything goes and nothing matters, while in Europe nothing goes and everything matters.


Not to be rich, not to be famous, not to be mighty, not even to be happy, but to be civilized–that was the dream of his life.


Writting turns you into somebody who’s always wrong. The illusion that you may get ir right someday is the perversity that draws you on. What else could? As pathological phenomena go, it doesn’t completely wreck your life.


A man who’s discontents were barely known to himself, awakening in middle age to the horror of self-reflection.


This is what you know about someone you have to hate: he charges you with his crime and castigates himself in you.


Simple was never that simple. Still, the self-questioning did take some time to reach him. And if there’s anything worse than self-questioning coming too early in life, it’s self-questioning coming too late.


Everything dictated silence and self-control but I couldn’t restrain myself and spoke my mind.


There were two types of strong men: those like Uncle Monty and Abe Steinheim, remorseless about their making money, and those like my father, ruthlessly obedient to their idea of fair play.


There is his religion of art, my young successor: rejecting life! Not living is what he makes his beautiful fiction out of! And you will now be the person he is not living with!


In my childhood I led the life of a sage, when I grew up I started climbing trees


How much time could you spend staring out the ocean, even if it was the ocean you’d loved since you were a boy?


A Jewish man with his parents alive is half the time a helpless infant!


It’s human to have a secret, but it’s just as human to reveal it sooner or later.


You have a conscience, and a conscience is a valuable attribute, but not if it begins to make you think you were to blame for what is far beyond the scope of your responsibility.


He was trying hard to continue to exist as himself despite the unlikeliness of everything.


None of us ate together: my Aunt Gladys ate at five o’clock, my cousin Susan at five-thirty, me at six, and my uncle at six-thirty. There is nothing to explain this beyond the fact that my aunt is crazy.


other people’s weakness can destroy you just as much as their strength can. Weak people are not harmless. Their weakness can be their strength.


For discipline is imposed not just on oneself but on those in one’s orbit.


The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It’s getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That’s how we know we’re alive: we’re wrong.


It is not our high purposes alone that make us moving creatures, but our humble needs and cravings.


I was still too much of a fledgling with people to understand that, in the long run, nobody is a picnic and that I was no picnic myself.


If you read the novel in more than two weeks, you don’t read the novel really


The Jewish man with parents still alive is a fifteen-year-old boy and will remain a fifteen-year-old boy until they die.


A Jewish man with parents alive is a 15-year-old boy and will remain a 15-year-old boy until they die.


I work all day, morning and afternoon, just about every day. If I sit there like that for two or three years, at the end I have a book.


Fear tends to manifest itself much more quickly than greed, so volatile markets tend to be on the downside. In up markets, volatility tends to gradually decline.


Obviously the facts are never just coming at you but are incorporated by an imagination that is formed by your previous experience. Memories of the past are not memories of facts but memories of your imaginings of the facts.


People are unjust to anger – it can be enlivening and a lot of fun.


A Jew without Jews, without Judaism, without Zionism, without Jewishness, without a temple or an army or even a pistol, a Jew clearly without a home, just the object itself, like a glass or an apple.



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