Words matter. These are the best Philip Roth Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
I think I write and publish as often as I do because I can’t bear being without a book to work on… I don’t feel I have this to say or that to say or this story to tell, but I know I want to be occupied with the writing process while I’m living.
Writing is frustration – it’s daily frustration, not to mention humiliation. It’s just like baseball: you fail two-thirds of the time.
I write fiction and I’m told it’s autobiography, I write autobiography and I’m told it’s fiction, so since I’m so dim and they’re so smart, let them decide what it is or it isn’t.
A Jewish man with parents alive is a fifteen-year-old boy, and will remain a fifteen-year-old boy until they die!
Just like those who are incurably ill, the aged know everything about their dying except exactly when.
Unless one is inordinately fond of subordination, one is always at war.
Making fake biography, false history, concocting a half-imaginary existence out of the actual drama of my life is my life.
Fluency can be a sign that nothing is happening; fluency can actually be my signal to stop, while being in the dark from sentence to sentence is what convinces me to go on.
It was my great problem to solve: how to write a book, you know. And after you write one, you have to write another to prove to yourself you can do it again.
I’m not angry; I write about angry characters. When I’m doing that, I’m happy. Just like when I’m writing about Mickey Sabbath being lustful, I’m not feeling lustful; I’m happy.
Literature isn’t a moral beauty contest. Its power arises from the authority and audacity with which the impersonation is pulled off; the belief it inspires is what counts.
A Jew without Jews, without Judaism, without Zionism, without Jewishness, without a temple or an army or even a pistol, a Jew clearly without a home, just the object itself, like a glass or an apple.
That’s what you’re looking for as a writer when you’re working. You’re looking for your own freedom. To lose your inhibition to delve deep into your memory and experiences and life and then to find the prose that will persuade the reader.
I do the same kind of rewriting that I do in the shorts that I do in long books – and that is a lot. The book really comes to life in the rewriting.
I’m an Obama supporter. And if you’re an Obama supporter, that means you had a hard time during the Bush years.
Is an intelligent human being likely to be much more than a large-scale manufacturer of misunderstanding?
As for the kind of writer I am? I am who I don’t pretend to be.
My traducers propound my alleged malefaction as though I have spewed venom on women for half a century. But only a madman would go to the trouble of writing 31 books in order to affirm his hatred.
Life is just a short period of time in which you are alive.
I work all day, morning and afternoon, just about every day. If I sit there like that for two or three years, at the end I have a book.
Novel-writing is, for the novelist, a game of let’s pretend.
If I don’t measure up as an American writer, at least leave me to my delusion.
The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.
At night, I read. I read for two hours. I just finished a marvelous book by Louise Erdrich, ‘The Round House.’ But mostly I read 20th-century history and biography. I lived then. I was either a child or at school or at work.
I’m not good at finding ‘encouraging’ features in American culture. I doubt that aesthetic literacy has much of a future here.