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Sophie's Choice Sophie's Choice by William Styron
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Sophie's Choice Quotes Showing 1-30 of 71
Someday I will understand Auschwitz. This was a brave statement but innocently absurd. No one will ever understand Auschwitz. What I might have set down with more accuracy would have been: Someday I will write about Sophie's life and death, and thereby help demonstrate how absolute evil is never extinguished from the world. Auschwitz itself remains inexplicable. The most profound statement yet made about Auschwitz was not a statement at all, but a response.

The query: "At Auschwitz, tell me, where was God?"

And the answer: "Where was man?”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“This was not judgment day - only morning. Morning: excellent and fair.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“There are friends one makes at a youthful age in whom one simply rejoices, for whom one possesses a love and loyalty mysteriously lacking in the friendships made in after-years, no matter how genuine.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“I have learned to cry again and I think perhaps that means I am a human being again. Perhaps that at least. A piece of human being but yes, a human being.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“Let your love flow out on all living things.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“Mercifully, I was at that age when reading was still a passion and thus, save for a happy marriage, the best state possible in which to keep absolute loneliness at bay. I could not have made it through those evenings otherwise.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“Then I resolved that I would go back out there and somehow cope with the situation, despite the fact that I lacked a strategy and was frightened to the pit of my being.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“At Dachau. We had a wonderful pool for the garrison children. It was even heated. But that was before we were transferred. Dachau was ever so much nicer than Auschwitz. But then, it was in the Reich. See my trophies there. The one in the middle, the big one. That was presented to me by the Reich Youth Leader himself, Baldur von Schirach. Let me show you my scrapbook.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“I suddenly encountered the face of loneliness, and decided that it was a merciless and ugly face indeed.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“It was, of course, the memory of Sophie and Nathan's long-ago plunge that set loose this flood [of tears], but it was also a letting go of rage and sorrow for the many others who during these past months had battered at my mind and now demanded my mourning: Sophie and Nathan, yes, but also Jan and Eva -- Eva with her one-eyed mis -- and Eddie Farrell, and Bobby Weed, and my young black savior Artiste, and Maria Hunt, and Nat Turner, and Wanda Muck-Horch von Kretschmann, who were but a few of the beaten and butchered and betrayed and martyred children of the earth. I did not weep for the six million Jews or the two million Poles or the one million Serbs or the five million Russians -- I was unprepared to weep for all humanity -- but I did weep for these others who in one way or another had become dear to me, and my sobs made an unashamed racket across the abandoned beach; then I had no more tears to shed, I lowered myself to the sand...and slept...When I awoke it was nearly morning...I heard children chattering nearby. I stirred...Blessing my resurrection, I realized that the children had covered me with sand, protectively, and that I lay as safe as a mummy beneath this fine, enveloping overcoat.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“Dress is important. It's part of being human. It might as well be a thing of beauty, something you take real pleasure in doing. And maybe in the process, give other people pleasure. Though that's secondary.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“I don’t see any point in trying to equate one evil with another, or to assign some stupid scale of values. They’re both awful! Would”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“I mean, I don't know much about the Civil War, but whenever I think of that time—I mean, ever since Gone With the Wind I've had these fantasies about those generals, those gorgeous young Southern generals with their tawny mustaches and beards, and hair in ringlets, on horseback. And those beautiful girls in crinoline and pantalettes. You would never know that they ever fucked, from all you're able to read." She paused and squeezed my hand. "I mean, doesn't it just do something to you to think of one of those ravishing girls with that crinoline all in a fabulous tangle, and one of those gorgeous young officers—I mean, both of them fucking like crazy?"

"Oh yes," I said with a shiver, "oh yes, it does. It enlarges one's sense of history.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“Someday I will understand Auschwitz. This was a brave statement but innocently absurd. No one will ever understand Auschwitz. What I might have set down with more accuracy would have been: Someday I will write about Sophie's life and death, and thereby help demonstrate how absolute evil is never extinguished from the world. Auschwitz itself remains inexplicable. The most profound statement yet made about Auschwitz was not a statement at all, but a response.

The query: "At Auschwitz, tell me, where was God?"

And the answer: "Where was man?”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“And so you see, dear reader, the death of my friend Sophie forced me to realize that the whole universe is one big concentration camp run by God -- the biggest Nazi of them all! So slavery in Virginia wasn't all that bad. And it was really God's fault anyway. Pretty good tragic insight there. Think I'll crank some Bellamy Brothers and get loaded!”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring.” Beyond”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“..bet gal nedera vienos meilės lyginti su kita”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“An extermination center can only manufacture corpses; a society of total domination creates a world of the living dead...”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“the fate of Bobby Weed at the hands of white Southern Americans is as bottomlessly barbaric as any act performed by the Nazis during the rule of Adolf Hitler! Do”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“To make matters worse, I was out of a job and had very little money and was self-exiled to Flatbush—like others of my countrymen, another lean and lonesome Southerner wandering amid the Kingdom of the Jews.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“This was not judgment day—only morning. Morning: excellent and fair.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“Those strange creepy people, all picking at their little... scabs,” she had complained to me when Nathan was not around. “I hate this type of—and here I thought she used a lovely gem of a phrase—“unearned unhappiness!”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“One of the things I cannnot grasp, though I have often written about them, trying to get them into some kind of bearable perspective," Steiner writes, "is the time relation." Steiner has just quoted descriptions of the brutal deaths of two Jews at the Treblinka extermination camp. "Precisely at the same hour in which Mehring and Langner were being done to death, the overwhelming plurality of human beings, two miles away on the Polish farms, five thousand miles away in New York, were sleeping or eating or going to a film or making love or worrying about the dentist. This is where my imagination balks. The two orders of simultaneous experience are so different, so irreconcilable to any common norm of human values, their coexistence is so hideous a paradox-Treblinka is both because some men have built it and almost all other men let it be-that I puzzle over time.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“Are there, as science fiction and Gnostic speculation imply, different species of time in the same world, 'good time' and enveloping folds of inhuman time, in which men fall into the slow hands of the living damnation?”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“I was still in this state of being a little girl and thinking that this wonderful life so comfortable and safe and secure would continue forever. Mama”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“I was so completely dependent on him, you see, and that was not a healthy thing.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“In my career as a writer I have always been attracted to morbid themes—suicide, rape, murder, military life, marriage, slavery.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“the repressiveness of a society in general is directly proportionate to its harsh repression of sexual language.” What”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“more often than not the person one loves from whom one withholds the most searing truths about one’s self, if only out of the very human motive to spare groundless pain. But”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice
“During that spring afternoon’s jaunt in the company of one of Poland’s most influential anti-Semites, her admirer Walter Dürrfeld, like his host, uttered not a word about Jews. Six years later almost all that she heard from Dürrfeld’s lips concerned Jews and their consignment to oblivion.”
William Styron, Sophie's Choice

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