Somewhere in every intellectual is a dumb prick.

Would never understand what women want. What do they want? They breath salad and drink human blood.

A good man can bear to listen to another talk about himself.

These were his friends of the business community; a man in business had to have such, and he visited and entertained but neither touched nor was touched, ever.

What was the matter that pureness of feeling couldn't be kept up? I see I met those writers in the big book of utopias at a peculiar time. In those utopias, set up by hopes and art, how could you overlook the part of nature or be sure you could keep the feelings up?

Strict and literal truthfulness was a trivial game and might even be a disagreeable neurotic affliction.

His early book, not much noticed when it was published, was now on many reading lists, and the younger generation of historians accepted it as a model of the new sort of history, history that interests us—personal, engagée—and looks at the past with an intense need for contemporary relevance.

No realistic, sane person goes around Chicago without protection.

The paltriness of these sexual struggles.

Every treasure is guarded by dragons. That's how you can tell it's valuable.

History is the history of cruelty, not love, as soft men think.

Unexpected intrusions of beauty. This is what life is.

No school without spectacular eccentrics and crazy hearts is worth attending.

You're used to difficult women. To struggle. Perhaps you like it when they give you a bad time. Every treasure is guarded by dragons. That's how you can tell it's valuable.… Do you mind if I unbutton my collar? It seems to be pressing on an artery.

He goes on to say that if we don't have the gift for effecting change, we have the solace of criticism.

I had yet to find out how little people want you to succeed in an extraordinary project, and what comfort some have that the negligible is upheld and all other greater efforts falls on its face.

Depressives cannot surrender childhood--not even the pains of childhood.

You can know a man by his devils and the way he gives hurts.

Everybody knows there is no fineness or accuracy of suppression; if you hold down one thing, you hold down the adjoining.

Going up, Herzong found a bouquet of violets, dropped from the hand of a woman. Perhaps a bride. Little perfume remained in them, but they made him remember... These violets smelled to him like female tears. He gave them a burial in the trash ca, hoping they had not dropped from a disappointed hand.

Strict seriousness was far more dangerous than any joke.

The poor guy, she said, and this was remorse over her savage speed and rashness as well as pity for this boy, haunting the mouth of an alley with that toy of swift decisions.

I feel that art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm. I think that art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction.

Also, he was smoking a cigar, and when a man is smoking a cigar, wearing a hat, he has an advantage; it is harder to find out how he feels.

In Los Angeles all the loose objects in the country were collected, as if America had been tilted and everything that wasn't tightly screwed down had slid into Southern California.

The Dictator must have living crowds and also a crowd of corpses.

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

Thoughts should be real. Words should have a definite meanings and a man should believe what he said.

Everybody wants to have intimate conversations, but the smart fellows don't give out, only the fools. The smart fellows talk intimately about the fools, and examine them all over and give them advice.

The human being now simply can't close his elected garment about himself. Obligations to one's fellows perhaps prevent full buttoning by artists.

It wasn't that he was specially ungenerous but that he put things off to give his generosity a longer and more significant route.

How should I know why! I didn't invent human beings, Iggy.

I mean you have been disappointed in love, but don't you know how many things there are to be disappointed in besides love? You are lucky to be still disappointed in love. Later it may be even more terrible.

Associate with the noblest people you can find; read the best books; live with the mighty; but learn to be happy alone.

In this view the body itself, with its two arms and vertical length, was compared to the Cross, on which you knew the agony of consciousness and separate being.

In the depths of a man's being there was something that responded with a quack to such perfume. Quack!

What do women really want? They eat green salad and drink human blood.

The flesh would shrink and go, the blood would dry, but no one believes in his mind of minds or heart of hearts that the pictures do stop.

That's so often what it is with machinery: be somewhat in doubt and it carries the decision.

Many common lies and hypocrisies are like that, just out of the harmony of the moment.

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

It seems, after all that there are no nonpeculiar people.

A bit of ideology and being up to date is most apropos, Chekhov said—tongue in cheek, I suspect. In a more serious vein, he wrote that writers should engage in politics only enough to protect themselves from politics.

Herzog abandoned this theme with characteristic abruptness.

I labor, I spend, I strive, I design, I love, I cling, I uphold, I give way, I envy, I long, I scorn, I die, I hide, I want.

I always suspected of him that he had in some fashion discovered that there were ways in which to be human was unutterably dismal, and that all his life was given over to avoiding those ways.

Nobody asks you to love the whole world, only to be honest, ehrlich. Don't have a loud mouth. The more you love people the more they'll mix you up. A child loves, a person respects. Respect is better than love.

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

You don't know what you've got within you. A person either creates or he destroys. There is no neutrality ...