One isn’t born one’s self. One is born with a mass of expectations, a mass of other people’s ideas – and you have to work through it all.
The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.
The only lies for which we are truly punished are those we tell ourselves.
Most people are not really free. They are confined by the niche in the world that they carve out for themselves. They limit themselves to fewer possibilities by the narrowness of their vision.
It is wrong to have an ideal view of the world. That's where the mischief starts. That's where everything starts unravelling.
After all, we make ourselves according to the ideas we have of our possibilities.
My life is short. I can't listen to banality.
The past has to be seen to be dead; or the past will kill.
Home is, I suppose just a child's idea. A house at night, and a lamp in the house. A place to feel safe.
An autobiography can distort; facts can be realigned. But fiction never lies: it reveals the writer totally.
If a writer doesn't generate hostility, he is dead.
Life is a helluva thing. You can see trouble coming and you can't do a damn thing to prevent it coming. You just got to sit and watch and wait.
Life doesn't have a neat beginning and a tidy end; life is always going on. You should begin in the middle and end in the middle, and it should be all there.
The world is always in movement.
One always writes comedy at the moment of deepest hysteria.
Everybody is interesting for an hour, but few people can last more than two.
I always knew who I was and where I had come from. I was not looking for a home in other people's lands.
I will say I am the sum of my books.
Writers should provoke disagreement.
The melancholy thing about the world is that it is full of stupid people; and the world is run for the benefit of the stupid and common.
People come and go all the time; the world has always been in movement.
We cannot understand all the traits we have inherited. Sometimes we can be strangers to ourselves.
That element of surprise is what I look for when I am writing. It is my way of judging what I am doing - which is never an easy thing to do.
It's very attractive to people to be a victim. Instead of having to think out the whole situation, about history and your group and what you are doing... if you begin from the point of view of being a victim, you've got it half-made. I mean intellectually.
And it was strange, I thought, that sorrow lasts and can make a man look forward to death, but the mood of victory fills a moment and then is over
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