My own habitual feeling is that the world is so extremely odd, and everything in it so surprising. Why should there be green grass and liquid water, and why have I got hands and feet?
Since everything is but an apparition, perfect in being what it is, having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one may well burst out in laughter.
To describe happiness is to diminish it.
In later life, as in earlier, only a few persons influence the formation of our character; the multitude pass us by like a distant army. One friend, one teacher, one beloved, one club, one dining table, one work table are the means by which his nation and the spirit of his nation affect the individual.
How people keep correcting us when we are young! There’s always some bad habit or other they tell us we ought to get over. Yet most bad habits are tools to get us through life.
The shlemiel lands on his back and bruises his nose.
The trouble about arguments is, they ain’t nothing but theories, after all, and theories don’t prove nothing, they only give you a place to rest on a spell when you are tuckered out butting around and around trying to find out something there ain’t no way to find out.
What had happened? Nothing particularly original. We had a fight, our first, nothing more or less annihilating than that. What had overcharged the rhetoric and ignited the resentment was of course her role of mother’s daughter rubbing against mine of father’s son — our first fight hadn’t even been ours. But then the battle initially rocking most marriages is usually just that — fought by surrogates for real antagonists whose conflict is never rooted in the here and now but sometimes originates so far back that all that remains of the grandparents’ values are the newlywed’s ugly words. Virginal they may wish to be, but the worm in the dream is always the past, that impediment to all renewal.
We are the echo of the future.
The great mistake of the Marxists and of the whole of the nineteenth century was to think that by walking straight on, one mounted upward into the air.
Truth is beautiful, without doubt; and so are lies.
The things of mine that are utterly lost are the ones that, when I lost them, were not found by someone else.
Now no joy but lacks salt That is not dashed with pain And weariness and fault; I crave the stain Of tears, the aftermark Of almost too much love The sweet of bitter bark And burning clove.
Sit, walk, or run, but don’t wobble.
There is no skeptic who does not feel that men have doubted before, but no man who is in love thinks that anyone has been in love before.
Love had brought her here, to lie beside this young man; love was the key to every good; love lay like a mirage through the golden gates of sex.