A Tale of Love and Darkness Quotes

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A Tale of Love and Darkness A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz
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A Tale of Love and Darkness Quotes Showing 1-30 of 104
“There are lots of women who are attracted to tyrannical men. Like moths to a flame. And there are some women who do not need a hero or even a stormy lover but a friend. Just remember that when you grow up. Steer clear of the tryant lovers, and try to locate the ones who are looking for a man as a friend, not because they are feeling empty themselves but because they enjoy making you full too. And remember that friendship between a woman and a man is something much more precious and rare than love: love is actually something quite gross and even clumsy compared to friendship. Friendship includes a measure of sensitivity, attentiveness, generosity, and a finely tuned sense of moderation.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“If you steal from one book you are condemned as a plagiarist, but if you steal from ten books you are considered a scholar, and if you steal from thirty or forty books, a distinguished scholar.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“When I was little, my ambition was to grow up to be a book. Not a writer. People can be killed like ants. Writers are not hard to kill either. But not books: however systematically you try to destroy them, there is always a chance that a copy will survive and continue to enjoy a shelf-life in some corner on an out-of-the-way library somehwere in Reykjavik, Valladolid or Vancouver.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“… that sour blend of loneliness and lust for recognition, shyness and extravagance, deep insecurity and self-intoxicated egomania, that drives poets and writers out of their rooms to seek each other out, to rub shoulders with one another, bully, joke, condescend, feel each other, lay a hand on a shoulder or an arm round a waist, to chat and argue with little nudges, to spy a little, sniff out what is cooking in other pots, flatter, disagree, collude, be right, take offence, apologise, make amends, avoid each other, and seek each other’s company again.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“Love is a curious mixture of opposites, a blend of extreme selfishness and total devotion. A paradox! Besides which, love, everybody is always talking about love, love, but love isn't something you choose, you catch it like a disease, you get trapped in it, like a disaster.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“I now believe that all journeys are ridiculous: the only journey from which you don't always come back empty-handed is the journey inside yourself.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“Facts have a tendency to obscure the truth.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“while it was true that books could change with the years just as much as people could, the difference was that whereas people would always drop you when they could no longer get any advantage or pleasure or interest or at least a good feeling from you, a book would never abandon you. Naturally you sometimes dropped them, maybe for several years, or even forever. But they, even if you betrayed them, would never turn their backs on you: they would go on waiting for you silently and humbly on their shelf. They would wait for ten years. They wouldn't complain. One night, when you suddenly needed a book, even at three in the morning, even if it was a book you had abandoned and erased from your heart for years and years, it would never disappoint you, it would come down from its shelf and keep you company in your moment of need. It would not try to get its own back or make excuses or ask itself if it was worth its while or if you deserved it or if you still suited each other, it would come at once as soon as you asked. A book would never let you down.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“If you have no more tears left to weep, then don’t weep. Laugh.”
Amos Oz, A Tale Of Love And Darkness
“The whole of reality was just a vain attempt to imitate the world of words.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“عندما كنت صغيراً راودني أمل أن أكبر و أن أكون كتاباً لا كاتباً. اذ أن الانسان يمكن أن يُقتل مثل النمل، كذلك الكُتّاب ليس من الصعب قتلهم. أما الكتاب وحتى و ان أبادوه بطريقة منهجية، هناك احتمال لأن تنجو نسخة منه وتبقى حيّة حياة أبدية صامتة على أحد الرفوف المنسية في مكتبة ما نائية .”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“There is no freedom about this: the world gives, and you just take what you're given, with no opportunity to choose.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“And remember that friendship between a woman and a man is something much more precious and rare than love: love is actually something quite gross and even clumsy compared to friendship. Friendship includes a measure of sensitivity, attentiveness, generosity, and a finely tuned sense of moderation.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“Feelings are just a fire in a field of stubble: it burns for a moment, and then all that’s left is soot and ashes. Do you know what the main thing is—the thing a woman should look for in her man? She should look for a quality that’s not at all exciting but that’s rarer than gold: decency.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“But there's also an upside-down sort of happiness, a black happiness, that comes from doing evil to others.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“عملياً هذا الدافع الغريب الذي لازمني عندما كنت صغيراً - الرغبة أن أمنح فرصة أخرى لمن لا توجد و لن تكون لهم فرصة ثانية - هو أحد الدوافع التي مازالت تحركني حتى الآن كلما جلست لكتابة قصة”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“The very word ‘disappears’ implies that the universe is, so to speak, finite, and that it is possible to leave it. But no-o-othing” (he deliberately drew the word out) “can ever leave the universe. And nothing can enter it. Not a single speck of dust can appear or disappear. Matter is transformed into energy, and energy into matter,”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“ذلك أننّنى أعتقد اليوم أن كل سفر فى رحلة ما هو إلا حماقة كبيرة : الرحلة الوحيدة التى لا نعود منها دائما صفر اليدين هى الرحلة الداخلية, فى الداخل لا توجد حدود ولا جمارك, يمكن الوصول حتى إلى أبعد النجوم أو التمشّى فى أماكن لم تعد موجودة , وزيارة أشخاص لم يعودوا على ظهر الأرض. وحتى الدخول إلى أماكن لم تكن موجودة فى يوم من الأيام وربما ما كان وجودها ممكنا ولكنى أرتاح فيها أو على الأقل ليس سيئا .”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“once you have lifted your foot, do not be in a hurry to put it down again: who can tell what menacing nest of vipers you might step on.”
Amos Oz, A Tale Of Love And Darkness
“كل هذا كان تشيخوفياً- وكذلك كان الشعور بالنأي \العزلة : هناك في العالم أماكن تتحقق فيها الحياة الحقيقية، بعيداً من هنا، في أوروبا ما قبل هتلر، في كل مساء تضاء مصابيح كثيرة، والسيدات و السادة يلتقون لشرب فنجان قهوة مع الكريما في قاعات مسقوفة بالخشب، يجلسون مرتاحين في مقاهٍ فاخرة تحت نجفات مذهبة، و يذهبون و هم يمسكون بأذرع بعض الى أوبرا او باليه، يرون عن كثب حياة الفنانين الكبار، وقصص الحب المستعر، و انكسارات القلوب، حبيبة الرسام التي عشقت فجاة أقرب أصدقائه،الملحن، و في منتصف الليل ذهبت حاسرة الرأس تحت زخّات المطر لتقف وحيدة على الجسر العتيق الذي يرتجف خياله في ماء النهر.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“And so I learnt the secret of diversity. Life is made up of different avenues. Everything can happen in one of several ways, according to different musical scores and parallel logics. Each of these parallel logics is consistent and coherent in its own terms, perfect in itself, indifferent to all the others. In”
Amos Oz, A Tale Of Love And Darkness
“everything, every speck of dust, every drop of water continue to exist eternally, albeit in different forms, except for my soul?”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“there are places in the world where real life is still happening, far away from here, in a pre-Hitler Europe, where hundreds of lights are lit every evening, ladies and gentlemen gather to drink coffee with cream in oak-panelled rooms, or sit comfortably in splendid coffee-houses under gilt chandeliers, stroll arm in arm to the opera or the ballet, observe from close-up the lives of great artists, passionate love affairs, broken hearts, the painter’s girlfriend falling in love with his best friend the composer, and going out at midnight bareheaded in the rain to stand alone on the ancient bridge whose reflection trembles in the river. *”
Amos Oz, A Tale Of Love And Darkness
“Papa used to say that wealth is a sin and poverty is a punishment but that God apparently wants there to be no connection between the sin and the punishment. One man sins and another is punished. That's how the world is made.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“I could imagine his sorrow. My father had a sensual relationship with his books. He loved feeling them, stroking them, sniffing them. He took a physical pleasure in books: he could not stop himself, he had to reach out and touch them, even other people's books. And books then really were sexier than books today: they were good to sniff and stroke and fondle. There were books with gold writing on fragrant, slightly rough leather bindings, that gave you gooseflesh when you touched them, as though you were groping something private and inaccessible, something that seemed to tremble at your touch. And there were other books that were bound in cloth-covered cardboard, stuck with a glue that had a wonderful smell. Every book had its own private, provocative scent. Sometimes the cloth came away from the cardboard, like a saucy skirt, and it was hard to resist the temptation to peep into the dark space between body and clothing and sniff those dizzying smells. Father would generally return”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“I have written various words, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, and bits of dismantled sentences, fragments of expressions and descriptions and all kinds of tentative combinations. Every now and again I pick up one these particles, these molecules of texts, hold it up to the light and examine it carefully, turn it in various directions, lean forward and rub or polish it, hold it up to the light again, rub it again slightly, then lean forward and fit it into the texture of the cloth I am weaving. Then I stare at it from different angles, still not entirely satisfied, and take it out again and replace it with another word, or try to fit it into another niche in the same sentence, then remove, file it down a tiny bit more, and try to fit it in again, perhaps at a slightly different angle. Or deploy it differently. Perhaps farther down the sentence. Or at the beginning of the next one. Or should I cut it off and make it into a one-word sentence on its own?
I stand up. Walk around the room. Return to the desk. Stare at it for a few moments or longer, cross out the whole sentence or tear up the whole page. I give up in despair. I curse myself aloud and curse writing in general and the language as a whole, despite which I sit down and start putting the whole thing together all over again. [p.268]”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“with Jewish families: they believed that education was an investment in the future, the only thing that no one can ever take away from your children, even if, heaven forbid, there’s another war, another revolution, another migration, more discriminatory laws—your diploma you can always fold up quickly, hide it in the seams of your clothes, and run away to wherever Jews are allowed to live.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“I understood where I had come from: from a dreary tangle of sadness and pretense, of longing, absurdity, inferiority and provincial pomposity, sentimental education and anachronistic ideals, repressed traumas, resignation, and helplessness. Helplessness of the acerbic, domestic variety, where small-time liars pretended to be dangerous terrorists and heroic freedom fighters, where unhappy bookbinders invented formulas for universal salvation, where dentists whispered confidentially to all their neighbors about their protracted personal correspondence with Stalin, where piano teachers, kindergarten teachers, and housewives tossed and turned tearfully at night from stifled yearning for an emotion-laden artistic life, where compulsive writers wrote endless disgruntled letters to the editor of Davar, where elderly bakers saw Maimonides and the Baal Shem Tov in their dreams, where nervy, self-righteous trade-union hacks kept an apparatchik's eye on the rest of the local residents, where cashiers at the cinema or the cooperative shop composed poems and pamphlets at night.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
“They taught us always to respect other peoples: every man is made in the image of God, even if he has a tendency to forget it.”
Amos Oz, A Tale Of Love And Darkness
“And in fact that selfsame strange urge I had when I was small - the desire to grant a second chance to something that could never have one - is still one of the urges that set me going today whenever I sit down to write a story.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness

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