Saul Bellow Quotes

We are all such accidents. We do not make up history and culture. We simply appear, not by our own choice. We make what we can of our condition with the means available. We must accept the mixture as we find it the impurity of it, the tragedy of it, the hope of it.

Saul Bellow

All human accomplishment has the same origin, identically. Imagination is a force of nature. Is this not enough to make a person full of ecstasy? Imagination, imagination, imagination. It converts to actual. It sustains, it alters, it redeems!

Saul Bellow

Conquered people tend to be witty.

Saul Bellow

There is only one way to defeat the enemy, and that is to write as well as one can. The best argument is an undeniably good book.

Saul Bellow

You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.

Saul Bellow

Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take small steps.

Saul Bellow

What is art but a way of seeing?

Saul Bellow

Take our politicians: they're a bunch of yo-yos. The presidency is now a cross between a popularity contest and a high school debate, with an encyclopedia of cliches.

Saul Bellow

All a writer has to do to get a woman is to say he's a writer. It's an aphrodisiac.

Saul Bellow

Reading Decline of the West I learned that in Spenglers view ours was a Faustian civilization and that we, the Jews, were Magians, the survivors and representatives of an earlier type, totally incapable of comprehending the Faustian spirit that had created the great civilization of the West. ... What Magians were to Faustians, Faustians might very well be to Americans.

Saul Bellow

A millennial belief in a Holy God may have the effect of deepening the soul, but it is also obviously archaic, and modern influences would presently bring me up to date and reveal how antiquated my origins were. To turn away from those origins, however, has always seemed to me an utter impossibility. It would be a treason to my first consciousness to un-Jew myself.

Saul Bellow

Much of junk culture has a core of crisis shoot-outs, conflagrations, bodies weltering in blood, naked embracers or rapist-stranglers. The sounds of junk culture are heard over a ground bass of extremism. Our entertainments swarm with specters of world crisis. Nothing moderate can have any claim to our attention.

Saul Bellow

We take foreigners to be incomplete Americans convinced that we must help and hasten their evolution.

Saul Bellow

In politics continental Europe was infantile horrifying. What America lacked, for all its political stability, was the capacity to enjoy intellectual pleasures as though they were sensual pleasures. This is what Europe offered, or was said to offer.

Saul Bellow

One naturally regrets not being an expert or one of those insiders who thoroughly understand. It's hell to be an amateur. A little reflection calms your sorrow, however. The experts in their own little speedboat, the rest of us floating with the rest of mankind in a great barge that is the picture.

Saul Bellow
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