Philip Roth Quotes
116 Sourced Quotes
The radio was playing "Easter Parade" and I thought, But this is Jewish genius on a par with the Ten Commandments. God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and then He gave to Irving Berlin "Easter Parade" and "White Christmas."... Easter he turns into a fashion show and Christmas into a holiday about snow.
When I was first in Czechoslovakia, it occurred to me that I work in a society where as a writer everything goes and nothing matters, while for the Czech writers I met in Prague, nothing goes and everything matters. This isn't to say I wished to change places. I didn't envy their persecution and the way in which it heightens their social importance. I didn't even envy them their seemingly more valuable and serious themes. The trivialization, in the West, of much that's deadly serious in the East is itself a subject, one requiring considerable imaginative ingenuity to transform into compelling fiction.
You go to someone and you think, 'I'll tell him this.' But why? The impulse is that the telling is going to relieve you. And that's why you feel awful later—you've relieved yourself, and if it truly is tragic and awful, it's not better, it's worse—the exhibitionism inherent to a confession has only made the misery worse.
World War III will be triggered off not by suppressed nationalists seeking political independence, as happened the first time around when the Serbs at Sarajevo shot the heir to the Austrian throne, but by some semiliterate, whacked-out "loner" who lobs a rocket into a nuclear arsenal in order to impress Brooke Shields.