Joseph Epstein citáty

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Joseph Epstein

Datum narození: 16. říjen 1911
Datum úmrtí: 11. duben 1944

Joseph Epstein je americký spisovatel.


„Pokud je Berkeley to, co se v 60. letech přihodilo americkým univerzitám, a Andy Warhol to, co se přihodilo výtvarnému umění, pak Portnoyův komplex je to, co se přihodilo židovské americké literatuře – padla veškerá (a zejména sexuální) tabu.“ o knize Philipa Rotha

„Of all the seven deadly sins, only Envy is no fun at all.“ Envy


„The reason 'closure' is a cliche is that it is used too often, too imprecisely, and doesn't in any case reflect reality. In reality, such closure in broken friendships and much else in life is rarely achieved; only death brings closure and then not always for those still living.“ Friendship: An Exposé

„All men and women are born, live suffer and die; what distinguishes us one from another is our dreams, whether they be dreams about worldly or unworldly things, and what we do to make them come about... We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose our historical epoch, the country of our birth, or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live.“

„I believe it was Gayelord Hauser, the nutritionist, who said, 'You are what you eat,' but if you happen to be an intellectual, you are what you quote.“ A Line Out for a Walk: Familiar Essays

„We use books like mirrors, gazing into them only to discover ourselves.“

„[Snobbishness] is the desire for what divides men and the inability to value what unites them.“

„I am afraid I am one of those people who continues to read in the hope of sometime discovering in a book a single—and singular—piece of wisdom so penetrating, so soul stirring, so utterly applicable to my own life as to make all the bad books I have read seem well worth the countless hours spent on them. My guess is that this wisdom, if it ever arrives, will do so in the form of a generalization.“


„Conservatives and those on the right are usually willing to settle for thinking themselves correct on political issues; those on the left have always needed to feel not so much that they are correct but that they are also good. Disagree with someone on the right and he is likely to think you obtuse, wrong, sentimental, foolish, a dope; disagree with someone one the left and he is more likely to think you selfish, cold-hearted, a sellout, evil-in league with the devil, he might say, if he didn't think religious terminology too coarse for our secular age. To this day one will hear of people who fell for Communism in a big way let off the hook because they were sincere; if one's heart is in the right place, nothing else matters, even if one's naive opinions made it easier for tyrants to murder millions.“

„I was recently asked what it takes to become a writer. Three things, I answered: first, one must cultivate incompetence at almost every other form of profitable work. This must be accompanied, second, by a haughty contempt for all the forms of work that one has established that one cannot do. To these two must be joined, third, the nuttiness to believe that other people can be made to care about your opinions and views and be charmed by the way you state them. Incompetence, contempt, lunacy--once you have these in place, you are set to go.“

„High standards generally -- about workmanship and creation of objects, about what is owed in friendship, about the quality of art and much else -- far from being snobbish, are required to maintain decency in life.“

„..... We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live.“


„Not everyone strives to be fashionable. I don't, and I believe I succeed.“ Snobbery: The American Version

„I should prefer to die laughing, and, on more than one occasion, thought I might.“

„The study of the past is the main portal through which culture is acquired.“

„What seems clear to me,' Karl Wertheimer joined in, 'is that Eli Black believes in the myth of the artist. This is a myth that holds that everything must be sacrificed for art. It may not be a foolish myth if one is, say, Michelangelo or Beethoven. But if one is less than that then the myth of the artist is very destructive, sadly so for people who become too closely involved with him.“

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