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Saul Bellow quotes page 1

1915 - 2005, American writer

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say
something.
Saul Bellow

A human soul devoid of longing was a soul deformed, deprived of its highest good, sick unto
death.
Saul Bellow

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.
Saul Bellow

The book of the world, so richly studied by autodidacts, is being closed by the "learned," who
are raising walls of opinions to shut the world out.
Saul Bellow

Bringing people into the here-and-now. The real universe. That's the present moment. The
past is no good to us. The future is full of anxiety. Only the present is real - the
here-and-now. Seize the day.
Saul Bellow

A man is only as good as what he loves.
Saul Bellow

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

Happiness can only be found if you can free yourself of all other distractions.
Saul Bellow

Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.
Saul Bellow

A fool can throw a stone in a pond that 100 wise men can not get out.
Saul Bellow

All human accomplishment has this 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

People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned.
Saul Bellow

When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.
Saul Bellow

One thought-murder a day keeps the psychiatrist away.
Saul Bellow

I'm glad I haven't lived in vain.
Saul Bellow

Readiness to answer all questions is the infallible sign of stupidity.
Saul Bellow

Goodness is achieved not in a vacuum, but in the company of other men, attended by love.
Saul Bellow

For the first time in history, the human species as a whole has gone into politics. Everyone is
in the act, and there is no telling what may come of it.
Saul Bellow

There is an immense, painful longing for a broader, more flexible, fuller, more coherent, more
comprehensive account of what we human beings are, who we are and what this life is for.
Saul Bellow

Live or die but don't poison everything.
Saul Bellow

Any artist should be grateful for a naïve grace which puts him beyond the need to reason
elaborately.
Saul Bellow

I think that New York is not the cultural center of America, but the business and
administrative center of American culture.
Saul Bellow

In an age of madness, to expect to be untouched by madness is a form of madness. But the
pursuit of sanity can be a form of madness, too.
Saul Bellow

One of the booby traps of freedom - which is bordered on all sides by isolation - is that we
think so well of ourselves. I now see that I have helped myself to the best cuts at life's
banquet.
Saul Bellow

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

What is imposed on us by birth and environment is what we are called upon to overcome.
Saul Bellow

A novel is balanced between a few true impressions and the multitude of false ones that
make up most of what we call life.
Saul Bellow

She was what we used to call a suicide blonde - dyed by her own hand.
Saul Bellow

Writers are greatly respected. The intelligent public is wonderfully patient with them,
continues to read them, and endures disappointment after disappointment, waiting to hear
from art what it does not hear from theology, philosophy, social theory, and what it cannot
hear from pure science.
Saul Bellow

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

A writer is a reader moved to emulation.
Saul Bellow

The challenge of modern freedom, or the combination of isolation and freedom which
confronts you, is to make yourself up. The danger is that you may emerge from the process
as a not-entirely-human creature.
Saul Bellow

You have to fight for your life. That's the chief condition on which you hold it.
Saul Bellow

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