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Bernard Malamud quotes Showing 1-30 of 90

“There comes a time in a man's life when to get where he has to go--if there are no doors or windows--he walks through a wall.”
Bernard Malamud
“Where to look if you've lost your mind?”
Bernard Malamud, The Fixer
“We have two lives... the life we learn with and the life we live after that. Suffering is what brings us towards happiness.”
Bernard Malamud, The Natural
“Without heroes we're all plain people and don't know how far we can go.”
Bernard Malamud
“The purpose of a writer is to keep civilisation from destroying itself."

(Interview, New York Post Magazine, September 14, 1958)”
Bernard Malamud
“What suffering has taught me is the uselessness of suffering.”
Bernard Malamud
“Teach yourself to work in uncertainty.”
Bernard Malamud
“There are no wrong books. What's wrong is the fear of them.”
Bernard Malamud, The Fixer
“Of course it would cost something, but he was an expert in cutting corners; and when there were no more corners left he would make circles rounder.”
Bernard Malamud, The Magic Barrel
“I fix what's broken - except in the heart.”
Bernard Malamud, The Fixer
“The wild begins where you least expect it, one step off your normal course”
Bernard Malamud
“Revision is one of the exquisite pleasures of writing.”
Bernard Malamud
“If the stories come, you get them written, you're on the right track. Eventually everyone learns his or her own best way. The real mystery to crack is you.”
Bernard Malamud
“When I don't feel hurt, I hope they bury me.”
Bernard Malamud, The Assistant
tags: life, pain
“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.”
Bernard Malamud, Dubin's Lives
“You could not pity anything if you weren't a man; pity was a surprise to God. It was not his invention.”
Bernard Malamud, The Fixer
“We have two lives; the life we learn with and the life we live after that.”
Bernard Malamud, The Natural
tags: life
“Would you say you have a "philosophy" Of your own? If so what is it?'
'If I have it's all skin and bones...If I have any philosophy...it's that life could be better than it is.”
Bernard Malamud, The Fixer
“Her face deeply moved him. Why, he could at first not say. It gave him the impression of youth--spring flowers, yet age--a sense of having been used to the bone, wasted; this came from the eyes, which were hauntingly familiar, yet absolutely strange. He had a vivid impression that he had met her before, but try as he might he could not place her although he could almost recall her name, as he had read it in her own handwriting. No, this couldn't be; he would have remembered her. It was not, he affirmed, that she had an extraordinary beauty--no, though her face was attractive enough; it was that something about her moved him. Feature for feature, even some of the ladies of the photographs could do better; but she lapsed forth to this heart--had lived, or wanted to--more than just wanted, perhaps regretted how she had lived--had somehow deeply suffered: it could be seen in the depths of those reluctant eyes, and from the way the light enclosed and shone from her, and within her, opening realms of possibility: this was her own. Her he desired. His head ached and eyes narrowed with the intensity of his gazing, then as if an obscure fog had blown up in the mind, he experienced fear of her and was aware that he had received an impression, somehow, of evil. He shuddered, saying softly, it is thus with us all. Leo brewed some tea in a small pot and sat sipping it without sugar, to calm himself. But before he had finished drinking, again with excitement he examined the face and found it good: good for Leo Finkle. Only such a one could understand him and help him seek whatever he was seeking. She might, perhaps, love him. How she had happened to be among the discards in Salzman's barrel he could never guess, but he knew he must urgently go find her.”
Bernard Malamud, The Magic Barrel
“A writer is a spectator, looking at everything with a highly critical eye.”
Bernard Malamud
“His worst fault is he thinks his brains entitle him to certain privileges.”
Bernard Malamud, The Assistant
“We're persecuted in the most civilized languages.”
Bernard Malamud, The Fixer
“First drafts are for learning what your novel or story is about. Revision is working with that knowledge to enlarge & enhance an idea, to reform it . . . Revision is one of the true pleasures of writing.”
Bernard Malamud
“Without heroes we are all plain people and don't know how far it is we can go.”
Bernard Malamud
“She waited uneasily and shyly. From afar he saw that her eyes--clearly her father's--were filled with desperate innocence. He pictured, in her, his own redemption. Violins and lit candles revolved in the sky. Leo ran forward with flowers out-thrust.”
Bernard Malamud
“I am somewhat of a meliorist. That is to say, I act as an optimist because I find I cannot act at all, as a pessimist. One often feels helpless in the face of the confusion of these times, such a mass of apparently uncontrollable events and experiences to live through, attempt to understand, and if at all possible, give order to; but one must not withdraw from the task if he has some small things to offer - he does so at the risk of diminishing his humanity.”
Bernard Malamud, The Fixer
“Nobody lived in Eden anymore.”
Bernard Malamud
“He remembered how satisfied he had been as a youngster, and that with the little he had had - a dog, a stick, an aloneness he loved (which did not bleed him like his later loneliness), and he wished he could have lived longer in his boyhood. This was an old thought with him.”
Bernard Malamud, The Natural
“Charity you can give even when you haven't got.”
Bernard Malamud, The Fixer
“But she had recently come to think that in such unhappy times--when the odds were so high against personal happiness--to find love was miraculous, and to fulfill it as best two people could was what really mattered.”
Bernard Malamud, The Assistant
tags: love

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