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David Grossman quotes (showing 1-30 of 61)

“The primary urge that motivates and engenders writing...is the writer's desire to invent and tell a story, and to know himself. But the more I write, the more I feel the force of the other urge, which collaborates with and completes the first one: the desire to know the Other from within him. To feel what it means to be another person. To be able to touch, if only for a moment, the blaze that burns within another human being.”
David Grossman
“Non sai di quante allusioni a te sia pieno il mondo.”
David Grossman, Be My Knife
“I write. I imagine. The act of imagining in itself enlivens me. I am not frozen and paralyzed before the predator. I invent characters. At times I feel as if I am digging up people from the ice in which reality enshrouded them, but maybe, more than anything else, it is myself that I am now digging up.”
David Grossman, Writing in the Dark: Essays on Literature and Politics
“I like to do things that frighten me. When I’m afraid, I understand more things. I want the feeling... All my instincts cry out against it, every morning anew. Then I say, ‘I should do it. If I don’t do it, no one will do it for me.”
David Grossman
“We write. How fortunate we are: The world does not close in on us. The world does not grow smaller.”
David Grossman
“You describe your reality in the highest resolution even when it’s a nightmare and in doing so, you live your own life, not a cliche others have formulated for you.”
David Grossman
“More than anything, more than anything she had with him, she missed the language they had invented, the likes of which she had never had nor would again. The thoughts and ideas he had birthed in her, his golden touch, and the words that erupted from her and became sparks of light to him.”
David Grossman, Her Body Knows
“I write. I give intimate private names to an external and foreign world. In a sense, I make it mine. In a sense, I return from feeling exiled and foreign to feeling at home. By doing so, I am already making a small change in what appeared to me earlier as unchangeable. Also, when I describe the impermeable arbitrariness that signs my destiny — arbitrariness at the hands of a human being, or arbitrariness at the hands of fate — I suddenly discover new nuances, subtleties. I discover that the mere act of writing about arbitrariness allows me to feel a freedom of movement in relation to it. That by merely facing up to arbitrariness I am granted freedom — maybe the only freedom a man may have against any arbitrariness: the freedom to put your tragedy into your own words. The freedom to express yourself differently, innovatively, before that which threatens to chain and bind one to arbitrariness and its limited, fossilizing definitions.”
David Grossman, Writing in the Dark: Essays on Literature and Politics
“I write, and I feel how the correct and precise use of words is sometimes like a remedy to an illness. Like a contraption for purifying the air, I breathe in and exhale the murkiness and manipulations of linguistic scoundrels and language rapists of all shades and colors. I write and I feel how the tenderness and intimacy I maintain with language, with its different layers, its eroticism and humor and soul, give me back the person I used to be, me, before my self became nationalized and confiscated by the conflict, by governments and armies, by despair and tragedy.”
David Grossman, Writing in the Dark: Essays on Literature and Politics
“Dopo aver fatto l'amore, dormiremo abbracciati. La tua schiena contro il mio ventre. E io stringerò le dita dei piedi attorno alle tue caviglie, come delle mollette, perché tu non possa volar via la notte. Saremo come un'immagine in un libro di scienze: un frutto tagliato a metà, tu la buccia e io il torsolo.”
David Grossman, Be My Knife
“My destiny doomed me to be in this desert land. I will map it.”
David Grossman
“For him, the Holocaust was a laboratory gone mad, accelerating and intensifying human processes a hundredfold...”
David Grossman, See Under: Love
“Bisognerebbe chiarire una volta per tutte perché "un momento brutto" può andare avanti per mesi, mentre un momento di grazia dura sempre e soltanto un momento.”
David Grossman, Be My Knife
“again, her singing was her only absolute, the only thing that was completely her. a thousand classes hadn't given her this concrete insight: her voice was her place in the world, the home she leaves in the morning and returns to at night, in which she can be herself in her entirety and hope to be loved for all that she is and in spite of all she is.”
David Grossman, Someone to Run With
tags: home, voice
“and I discovered my limitations, and mainly I learned that there was a price to pay for that childhood (it turns out there’s no such thing as a free starvation), and that in the meantime the world had filled up with other children who hadn’t wasted all their strength on just surviving but had simply grown and opened and deepened, and that only in her innocent eyes could I still be considered worth anything.”
David Grossman, Her Body Knows
“She seems to be resuscitating me from far away as soon as I start to weaken. I close my eyes and see myself fleeing from the bed to the mattress on the floor, and from there to the couch, and the rug, and Melanie following me sleepily from one place to the next. I shout that I can’t fall asleep within the magnetic field of another body, and she mumbles, half asleep, “Come on, try a little longer.” And so for a few bleary-eyes, sleepwalking weeks—and as if having no knowledge of it the next morning—she gave me the nocturnal portion of a withdrawal treatment from the loneliness: one night we spent a whole hour together, the next night two hours, then a week of regression and crisis as I tried to adapt to the horrific idea of a shared blanket. Until suddenly, out of utter exhaustion, I discovered that our bodies had already reached an agreement—even mine, the illiterate one, must have caught on, because one night I woke up from a deep sleep and realized how beautifully we turned over together in bed, embraced.”
David Grossman, Her Body Knows
“From the minute I saw you with the match in your hand I thought I could tell you anything on my mind.

You'd be my model, but for words.”
David Grossman, To the End of the Land
“She breathes as if he had held her hand and helped her jump over the chasm of that scar.”
David Grossman, Her Body Knows
“Telling secrets to a writer is like embracing a pickpocket.”
David Grossman, Her Body Knows
“He played the opening bars again, opening a door for her, inviting her to join. She started quietly, almost voiceless, only a thin string of sound weaving herself into his tune, as if her voice were just another string on the guitar between his fingers. She had to be careful, so no one saw the changes on her face. But she didn't want to be careful; she couldn't be careful. He played and she sang to him, and inside her more and more blocks of ice began to melt, cracking and falling into the frozen sea between them. She sang of all the things that were happening to her and him, the world that collapsed over both of them, the things that might be in store, if only they dared to believe it was possible.”
David Grossman, Someone to Run With
“Prometto che non ti scriverò e che non cercherò di mettermi in contatto con te. Non ti importunerò mai più. A malincuore chiuderò la porta che ti ho aperto con tanta gioia. Ma se per qualche motivo deciderai di tornare da me, devi sapere che in questa fase della mia vita ho bisogno della tua disponibilità più completa e della tua capacità di comprensione più profonda. Ho bisogno che tu fluisca liberamente verso di me, senza alcun ostacolo esterno. Ne ho bisogno come dell'aria che respiro. Se non puoi donarmi tutto questo, non venire. Davvero: non venire. Perché probabilmente mi sono sbagliata sul tuo conto...
(David Grossman, Che tu sia per me il coltello)”
David Grossman
“And there will be a time, not for long, a month is enough, or a week, when every single person will be able to completely fulfill what they were meant to be—everything their bodies and souls have offered them, not what other people have dumped on them.”
David Grossman, To the End of the Land
“Because even after fifty-six years of independent sovereignty, still the earth trembles beneath Israel's feet. Israel has not yet managed to establish among its citizens the sense that this place is their home. They may feel that Israel is their fortress, but still not truly their home.”
David Grossman, Writing in the Dark: Essays on Literature and Politics
“He falls quiet again and tries to understand how he can be saying these things, how it can be that his dark words are coming out into the light and yet he is still alive. At once he storms the doorway that has suddenly opened for him in the endless corridor in which he has been bumping around for years; words spill out, cut off, confused, ashamed, squeezing out.”
David Grossman, Her Body Knows
“She had not yet sensed the pea beneath the pile of mattresses, the pea that belonged to the little brown-skinned girl who used to make up stories to keep her soul pinned down inside her or, at times, to let it fly—stories whose most exciting element was the word “suddenly” at the beginning of every sentence and before each description: Suddenly, suddenly, her heart would leap when she whispered to herself, suddenly.”
David Grossman, Her Body Knows
“How could she be feeling the very same streams that rushed around within him? She thought, as they overflowed and lapped inside her too. She had never felt the inside of another person this way.”
David Grossman, Her Body Knows
“Only now, in rhythmic waves, was she struck by her stupidity, her blindness, her estheronautiness, and, above all, her longing, the insult of the power of her longing, and she knew very well that is was these shortcomings that had made her so eager to interweave in his story the threads of her secret dreams of candor and of painful, purifying honesty; of a generous togetherness in which everything was possible. For a moment, with all that had been spun and stabbed and defiled within her, her face took on the expression of a frightened, abandoned girl who lunges out to bite, who lives unimaginably close to the skin’s surface, ready to be drawn out like a final plan of retreat.”
David Grossman, Her Body Knows
“Als dat klopt, als je je echt tussen haakjes voelt, laat mij dan tenminste ook binnen. De rest van de wereld mag buiten blijven, laat de wereld maar de factor buiten de haakjes zijn waarmee wij binnen vermenigvuldigd worden.”
David Grossman, Be My Knife
“Si sentiva libero. [...] Libero come una stella che devia dall'orbita e solca il firmamento lasciandosi dietro una scia sfavillante.”
David Grossman, Someone to Run With
“Un tempo piangevo moltissimo ed ero pieno di speranze. Oggi rido parecchio, un riso disilluso.”
David Grossman, Someone to Run With

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