Little Failure Quotes

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Little Failure Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart
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Little Failure Quotes Showing 1-30 of 42
“Maybe this is who I really am.

Not a loner, exactly.

But someone who can be alone.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“I write because there is nothing as joyful as writing, even when the writing is twisted and full of hate, the self-hate that makes writing not only possible but necessary. I hate myself, I hate the people around me, but what I crave is the fulfillment of some ideal.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“She folds the pages of the books she reads when she wants to remember something important. Her favorite books are accordions, testaments to an endless search for meaning.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“As every so-called creative spirit soon learns, the rest of the world doesn't particularly give a damn.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“I want to be loved so badly, it verges on mild insanity.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“I am not good with others.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“You are not what you want. You are what wants you back.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“After all, this is America, and you can swap out the parts of yourself that don't work. You can rebuild yourself piece by piece.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“Michigan, with its delicious American name. How lucky one must be to live there.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“The goal of politics is to make us children. The more heinous the system the more this is true. The Soviet system worked best when its adults—its men, in particular—were welcomed to stay at the emotional level of not-particularly-advanced teenagers.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“I wonder what children whose parents have money think about in their spare time.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“I am a kind of joke, but the question is: which kind? My job is to keep everyone guessing.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“Every moment I have ever experienced as a child is as important as every moment I am experiencing now, or will experience ever. I guess what I'm saying is that not everybody should have children.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“My mother cranes her neck. Her ability to be fascinated by things is her best gift to me.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“I am born hungry. Ravenous. I want to eat the world, and I can never be satiated.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“The world is harsh and inconsiderate, and you can rely only on your family.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“The truth is this: The rich will rule even at a place like Oberlin, where their kind is technically forbidden. They will simply invert the power structure to suit their needs. They will come out on top no matter what. Stuyvesant was hard but hopeful; Oberlin, on the other hand, reminds me yet again how the world works. I guess that's why they call it an education.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“A writer or any suffering artist-to-be is just an instrument too finely set to the human condition [...]”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“Let’s start with my surname: Shteyngart. A German name whose insane Sovietized spelling, eye-watering bunching of consonants (just one i between the h and t and you got some pretty nice “Shit” there), and overall unattractiveness has cost me a lot of human warmth. “Mr., uh, I can’t pronounce this … Shit … Shit … Shitfart?” the sweet Alabama girl at reception giggles. “Is, uh, a single bed okay for you?” What do you think, honey, I want to say. Do you think a Shitfart gets to share a bed?”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“The simple trill of her laugh has not declined over the years; if anything it's been buffeted by her endless sorrows and disappointments.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“In America, the distance between wanting something and having it delivered to your living room is not terribly great.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“Just don’t write like a self -hating Jew,” my father is whispering into my ear.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“My mother is changing history. She is making her balalaika-smashing mother into a heroine. Does she want me to do the same for her? Is that what good children do for their parents? What about good writers?”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“I am scared of the photo studio. I am scared of the telephone. Scared of anything outside our apartment. Scared of the people in their big fur hats. Scared of the snow. Scared of the cold. Scared of the heat. Scared of the ceiling fan at which I would point one tragic finger and start weeping. Scared of any height higher than my sickbed. Scared of Uncle Electric Current. "Why was I so scared of everything?" I ask my mother nearly forty years later.

"Because you were born a Jewish person," she says.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“stockbrokers, secretaries, government functionaries—everybody back then was expected to have some kind of inner life.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure: A memoir
“The fact that my sexual awakening peripherally involves Steve Guttenberg I have gradually accepted.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“The reflexive sense of wonder, of crying over a medal of the Madonna del Granduca and not knowing why, will be mostly replaced by survival and knowing perfectly well why. And survival will mean replacing the love of the beautiful with the love of what is funny, humor being the last resort of the besieged Jew, especially when he is placed among his own kind.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“The goal of politics is to make us children. The more heinous the system the more this is true. The Soviet system worked best when its adults—its men, in particular—were welcomed to stay at the emotional level of not-particularly-advanced teenagers. Often at a dinner table, a male Homo soveticus will say something uncouth, hurtful, disgusting, because this is his teenager’s right and prerogative, this is what the system has raised him to be, and his wife will say, Da tishe!—Be quiet!—and then look around the table, embarrassed. And the man will laugh bitterly to himself and say, Nu ladno, it’s nothing, and wave away the venom he has left on the table. The”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“The past is haunting us. In Queens, in Manhattan, it is shadowing us, punching us in the stomach. I am small, and my father is big. But the Past—it is the biggest.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure
“People who think literature should be Serious—should serve as a blueprint for a rocket that will never take off—are malevolent at best, anti-Semitic at worst.”
Gary Shteyngart, Little Failure

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