It is not an aesthetic misstep to make the viewer aware of the paint and the painter's hand. Such an empathetic awareness lies at the heart of aesthetic appreciation.

I should mention something that nobody ever thinks about, but proofreading takes a lot of time. After you write something, there are these proofs that keep coming, and there's this panicky feeling that 'This is me and I must make it better.'

There always comes in September a parched brightness to the air that hits Rabbit two ways, smelling of apples and blackboard dust and marking the return to school and work in earnest, but then again reminding him he's suffered another promotion, taken another step up the stairs that has darkness at the head.

The day is declining through the white afternoon to the long blue spring evening. He drives past a corner where someone is practicing on a trumpet.

But the nightmares were accurate enough: we are like a swarm of mosquitoes, crazy with thirst and doomed to be swatted.

Baseball skills schizophrenically encompass a pitcher's, a batter's and a fielder's.

How sad, how strange, we make companions out of air and hurt them, so they will defy us, completing creation.

I would write ads for deodorants or labels for catsup bottles, if I had to. The miracle of turning inklings into thoughts and thoughts into words and words into metal and print and ink never palls for me.

Fiction is burdened for me with a sense of duty.

My life is, in a sense, trash. My life is only that of which the residue is my writing.

An affair wants to spill, to share its glory with the world. No act is so private it does not seek applause.

If the worst comes true, and the paper book joins the papyrus scroll and parchment codex in extinction, we will miss, I predict, a number of things about it.

My actinic keratosis is a result of the triumphalism of the beach. The sun exacerbates it.

If my mother hadn't been trying to be a writer, I don't know if I would have thought of it myself.

I don't write about too many male businessmen, and I'm not apt to write about too many female businessmen.

The army was kept in as good state of fitness as the funds would allow.

A yawning repetitiveness as of a man who knows few words but will not stop talking.

A seventeenth-century house tends to be short on frills like hallways and closets; you must improvise.

An earth hard as iron lay locked beneath a sky whose mottled clouds spit snow like ashes sucked up a chimney and then dispersed with the smoke.

Atrocity is truly emperor; All things that thrive are slaves of cruel Creation.

Writing makes you more human.

All love comes from the family.

I picked up 'On Moral Fiction' in the bookstore and looked up myself in the index, but I didn't read it through. I try not to read things that depress me.

While some of us burned on the edges of life, insatiable and straining to see more deeply in, he sat complacently at the centre and let life come to him — so much of it, evidently, that he could not keep track of his appointments.

Each morning my characters greet me with misty faces willing, though chilled, to muster for another day's progress through the dazzling quicksand the marsh of blank paper.

All love is betrayal, in that it flatters life. The loveless man is best armed.

People are incorrigibly themselves.

Harvard has enough panegyrists without me.

The inner spaces that a good story lets us enter are the old apartments of religion.

By the mid-17th century, telescopes had improved enough to make visible the seasonally growing and shrinking polar ice caps on Mars, and features such as Syrtis Major, a dark patch thought to be a shallow sea.

All this saving a child does! At one point I even saved the box scores of an entire baseball season, both leagues, since Philadelphia played, haplessly, in both. How precious each scrap of the world appears, in our first years' experience of it! Slowly we realize that it is all disposable, including ourselves.

Reagan has turned America into a tax haven.

Publishers are looking for blockbusters - all the world loves a megaseller.

Whatever men make," she says, "what they felt when they made it is there...Man is a means for turning things into spirit and turning spirit into things.

History. The more of it you have the more you have to live it. After a little while there gets to be too much of it to memorize and maybe that's when empires start to decline.

She had willed herself open to him and knew that the chemistry of love was all within her, her doing. Even his power to wound her with neglect was a power she had created and granted ...

I would write ads for deodorants or labels for catsup bottles if I had to.

Having children is something we think we ought to do because our parents did it, but when it is over the children are just other members of the human race, rather disappointingly.

Each day, we wake slightly altered, and the person we were yesterday is dead. So why, one could say, be afraid of death, when death comes all the time?

What art offers is space – a certain breathing room for the spirit.

Suspect each moment, for it is a thief, tiptoeing away with more than it brings.

I don't recall inclement weather on a fair day.

Does fiction, artistic writing, have much of a future? I must say it's on the way out.

Yes, well, years. Some die young; some are born old.

There was a beauty here bigger than the hurtling beauty of basketball, a beauty refined from country pastures, a game of solitariness, of waiting, waiting for the pitcher to complete his gaze toward first base and throw his lightning, a game whose very taste, of spit and dust and grass and sweat and leather and sun, was America.

The theme of old age doesn't seem to fascinate Hollywood.

Do you think God wants a waterfall to be a tree?

A room containing Philip Roth, I have noticed, begins hilariously to whirl and pulse with a mix of rebelliousness and constriction that I take to be Oedipal.

New York is a city with virtually no habitable public space - only private spaces expensively maintained within the general disaster.