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I Married a Communist (Complete Nathan Zuckerman #7/The American Trilogy, #2) I Married a Communist by Philip Roth
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I Married a Communist Quotes Showing 1-27 of 27
“As an artist the nuance is your task. Your task is not to simplify. Even should you choose to write in the simplest way, a la Hemingway, the task remains to impart the nuance, to elucidate the complication, to imply the contradiction. Not to erase the contradiction, not to deny the contradiction, but to see where, within the contradiction, lies the tormented human being. To allow for the chaos, to let it in. You must let it in. Otherwise you produce propaganda, if not for a political party, a political movement, then stupid propaganda for life itself -- for life as it might itself prefer to be publicized.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“Look, everything the Communists say about capitalism is true, and everything the capitalists say about Communism is true. The difference is, our system works because it's based on the truth about people's selfishness, and theirs doesn't because it's based on a fairy tale about people's brotherhood. It's such a crazy fairy tale they've got to take people and put them in Siberia in order to get them to believe it.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“If the weather isn't bad and it's a clear night, I spend fifteen or twenty minutes before bedtime out on the deck looking skyward, or, using a flashlight, I pick my way along the dirt road to the open pasture at the peak of my hill, from where I can see, from above the treeline, the whole heavenly inventory, stars unfurled in every direction, and, just this week, the planets Jupiter in the east and Mars in the west. It is beyond belief and also a fact, a plain and indisputable face: that we are born, that this is here. I can think of worse ways to end my day.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“Politics is the great generalizer and literature the great particularizer, and not only are they in an inverse relationship to each other---they are in an antagonistic relationship.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“Maybe, despite ideology, politics, and history, a genuine catastrophe is always personal bathos at the core. Life can’t be impugned for any failure to trivialize people. You have to take your hat off to life for the techniques at its disposal to strip a man of his significance and empty him totally of his pride.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“But that’s what happens. Once the human tragedy has been completed, it gets turned over to the journalists to banalize into entertainment. Perhaps it’s because the whole irrational frenzy burst right through our door and no newspaper’s half-baked insinuating detail passed me by that I think of the McCarthy era as inaugurating the postwar triumph of gossip as the unifying credo of the world’s oldest democratic republic. In Gossip We Trust. Gossip as gospel, the national faith. McCarthyism as the beginning not just of serious politics but of serious everything as entertainment to amuse the mass audience. McCarthyism as the first postwar flowering of the American unthinking that is now everywhere.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“My father was taking me as seriously as the Ringolds were, but not with Ira’s political fearlessness, with Murray’s literary ingenuity, above all, with their seeming absence of concern for my decorum, for whether I would or would not be a good boy. The Ringolds were the one-two punch promising to initiate me into the big show, into my beginning to understand what it takes to be a man on the larger scale. The Ringolds compelled me to respond at a level of rigor that felt appropriate to who I now was. Be a good boy wasn’t the issue with them. The sole issue was my convictions. But then, their responsibility wasn’t a father’s, which is to steer his son away from the pitfalls. The father has to worry about the pitfalls in a way the teacher doesn’t. He has to worry about his son’s conduct, he has to worry about socializing his little Tom Paine. But once little Tom Paine has been let into the company of men and the father is still educating him as a boy, the father is finished. Sure, he’s worrying about the pitfalls—if he wasn’t, it would be wrong. But he’s finished anyway. Little Tom Paine has no choice but to write him off, to betray the father and go boldly forth to step straight into life’s very first pit. And then, all on his own—providing real unity to his existence—to step from pit to pit for the rest of his days, until the grave, which, if it has nothing else to recommend it, is at least the last pit into which one can fall.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“Why, emotionally, is a man of his type reciprocally connected to a woman of her type? The usual reason: their flaws fit.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“Ma appena desideri appassionatamente una cosa sulla quale non puoi esercitare alcun controllo, sei alla vigilia di una grossa delusione: ti stai preparando a farti mettere in ginocchio.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“هل تعرف واحدة من أفضل مشاعر الحياة وربما أفضلها على الإطلاق؟ألا تكون خائفا.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“If the weather isn't bad and it's a clear night, I spend fifteen or twenty minutes before bedtime out on the deck looking skyward, or, using a flashlight, I pick my way along the dirt road to the open pasture at the peak of my hill, from where I can see, from above the treeline, the whole heavenly inventory, stars unfurled in every direction, and, just this week, the planets Jupiter in the east and Mars in the west. It is beyond belief and also a fact, a plain and indisputable fact: that we are born, that this is here. I can think of worse ways to end my day.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“وباسم المنطق،أنت تبحث عن حافز ما أعلى،أنت تبحث عن معنى آخر أكثر عمقا.كانت عادتي في تلك الأيام ما زالت هي أن أكون منطقيا فيما يتعلق بما هو غير منطقي،وأن أبحث عن التعقيد في الأشياء البسيطة.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“And talking about books as though something were at stake in a book. Not opening up a book to worship it or be elevated by it or to lose yourself to the world around you. No, boxing with the book.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“Anger is to make you effective. That’s its survival function. That’s why it’s given to you. If it makes you ineffective, drop it like a hot potato.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“إنه جريء.لكن هل هذا يكفي؟هذا فقط جزء من المعادلة.ينبغي أن يكون للجرأة هدف،وإلا ستكون رخيصة وسطحية ومبتذلة.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“He has outlived dissatisfaction. This is what remains after the passing of everything, the disciplined sadness of stoicism. This is the cooling. For so long it’s so hot, everything in life is so intense, and then little by little it goes away, and then comes the cooling, and then comes the ashes.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“ما الذي يمكن أن يكون أكثر ثباتا من التفاهة والخسة؟
هل التفاهة والخسة تقفان في طريق الدهاء والصرامة؟
هل التفاهة والخسة تبطلان الهدف من أن تكون شخصية هامة؟
أنت لا تحتاج إلى جهة نظر متطورة عن الحياة من أجل أن تعتلي السلطة.فرؤية متطورة للحياة ربما تكون في الحقيقة أسوأ عائق،بينما عدم وجود رؤية متطورة أروع ميزة.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“...steeped like a teabag in aristocratic pretensions...”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“تحت التعذيب القاسي،لا يستطيع الإنسان العادي أن يقاوم.إن البطولة هي استثناء إنساني.فالشخص الذي يعيش حياة طبيعية مصنوعة من آلاف التنازلات اليومية الصغيرة،غير مدرب مطلقا على عدم التنازل الفجائي،ناهيك عن تحمل التعذيب.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“الكذب،نهر الأكاذيب.ترجمة الحقيقة إلى أكذوبة.ترجمة كذبة إلى كذبة أخرى.الكفاءة التي يعرضها الناس في كذبهم.المهارة.استغلال الموقف بدقة،ومن ثم بصوت هادئ ووجه صارم،تقديم أكبر كذبة مثمرة.حتى لو قالوا الحقيقة الجزئية تسع مرات من عشر،فهذا بالنيابة عن كذبة.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“انظر،كل شيء يقوله الشيوعيون عن الرأسمالية هو صحيح،وكل شيء يقوله الرأسماليون عن الشيوعية هو صحيح.إن الفرق هو أن نظامنا ناجح لأنه قائم على الصدق فيما يتعلق بأنانية الناس،ونظامهم فاشل لأنه قائم على الحكاية الأسطورية حول تآخي الناس.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“In nome della ragione, si cerca sempre un motivo più elevato, un significato più profondo: allora avevo ancora l'abitudine di sforzarmi di essere ragionevole anche sull'irragionevole e cercare la complessità nelle cose semplici. Esigevo risposte dalla mia intelligenza, quando non erano affatto necessarie. Pensavo: non può essere così meschino e insulso come sembra. Questo non può essere che un decimo della sua storia. Deve avere, dentro, qualcosa di più.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“In human society, thinking’s the greatest transgression of all.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“Quando la tragedia umana si è compiuta, la si passa ai giornalisti affinché, banalizzandola, la trasformino in spettacolo.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“Sylphid was beginning to play professionally, and she was subbing as second harpist in the orchestra at Radio City Music Hall. She was called pretty regularly, once or twice a week, and she’d also got a job playing at a fancy restaurant in the East Sixties on Friday night. Ira would drive her from the Village up to the restaurant with her harp and then go and pick her and the harp up when she finished. He had the station wagon, and he’d pull up in front of the house and go inside and have to carry it down the stairs. The harp is in its felt cover, and Ira puts one hand on the column and one hand in the sound hole at the back and he lifts it up, lays the harp on a mattress they keep in the station wagon, and drives Sylphid and the harp uptown to the restaurant. At the restaurant he takes the harp out of the car and, big radio star that he is, he carries it inside. At ten-thirty, when the restaurant is finished serving dinner and Sylphid’s ready to come back to the Village, he goes around to pick her up and the whole operation is repeated. Every Friday. He hated the physical imposition that it was—those things weigh about eighty pounds—but he did it. I remember that in the hospital, when he had cracked up, he said to me, ‘She married me to carry her daughter’s harp! That’s why the woman married me! To haul that fucking harp!’ “On those Friday night trips, Ira found he could talk to Sylphid in ways he couldn’t when Eve was around. He’d ask her about being a movie star’s child. He’d say to her, ‘When you were a little girl, when did it dawn on you that something was up, that this wasn’t the way everyone grew up?’ She told him it was when the tour buses went up and down their street in Beverly Hills. She said she never saw her parents’ movies until she was a teenager. Her parents were trying to keep her normal and so they downplayed those movies around the house. Even the rich kid’s life in Beverly Hills with the other movie stars’ kids seemed normal enough until the tour buses stopped in front of her house and she could hear the tour guide saying, ‘This is Carlton Pennington’s house, where he lives with his wife, Eve Frame.’ “She told him about the production that birthday parties were for the movie stars’ kids—clowns, magicians, ponies, puppet shows, and every child attended by a nanny in a white nurse’s uniform. At the dining table, behind every child would be a nanny. The Penningtons had their own screening room and they ran movies. Kids would come over. Fifteen, twenty kids.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“The motive for writing serious literature is to write serious literature. You want to rebel against society? I'll tell you how to do it - write well.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist
“During the hearing I watched Bryden Grant, trying to believe that there was more to him than a politician with a personal vendetta finding in the national obsession the means to settle a score. In the name of reason, you search for some higher motive, you look for some deeper meaning—it was still my wont in those days to try to be reasonable about the unreasonable and to look for complexity in simple things. I would make demands upon my intelligence where none were really necessary. I would think, He cannot be as petty and vapid as he seems. That can’t be more than one-tenth of the story. There must be more to him than that.”
Philip Roth, I Married a Communist