Philip Roth Quotes

Enjoy the top 354 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Philip Roth.

Philip Roth Quotes

The ordeal is part of the commitment
Esquire Interview 10/10
— Philip Roth —

The only obsession everyone wants: 'love.' People think that in falling in love they make themselves whole? The Platonic union of souls? I think otherwise. I think you're whole before you begin. And the love fractures you. You're whole, and then you're cracked open.

— Philip Roth

I came to New York and in only hours, New York did what it does to people: awakened the possibilities. Hope breaks out.

— Philip Roth

And since we don't just forget things because they don't matter but also forget things because they matter too much because each of us remembers and forgets in a pattern whose labyrinthine windings are an identification mark no less distinctive than a fingerprint's, it's no wonder that the shards of reality one person will cherish as a biography can seem to someone else who, say, happened to have eaten some ten thousand dinners at the very same kitchen table, to be a willful excursion into mythomania

— Philip Roth

There is something fascinating about what moral suffering can do to someone who is in no obvious way a weak or feeble person. It's more insidious even than what physical illness can do, because there is no morphine drip or spinal block or radical surgery to alleviate it. Once you're in its grip, it's as though it will have to kill you for you to be free of it. Its raw realism is like nothing else.

— Philip Roth

But, no, Nathan was utterly unable to involve himself in anything not entirely of his own making. The closest Nathan could ever come to life's real confusion was in these fictions he created about it
otherwise he'd lived as he died, died as he'd lived, constructing fantasies of loved ones, fantasies of adversaries, fantasies of conflict and disorder, alone day after day in this peopleless room, continuously seeking through solitary literary contrivance to dominate what, in real life, he was too fearful to confront. Namely: the past, the present, and the future.

— Philip Roth

It's as though not even that most basic level of imaginative thought had been admitted into consciousness to cause the slightest disturbance. A century of destruction unlike any other in its extremity befalls and blights the human race-scores of millions of ordinary people condemned to suffer deprivation upon deprivation, atrocity upon atrocity, evil upon evil, half the world or more subjected to pathological sadism as social policy, whole societies organized and fettered by the fear of violent persecution, the degradation of individual life engineered on a scale unknown throughout human history, nations broken and enslaved by ideological criminals who rob them of everything, entire populations so demoralized as to be unable to get out of bed in the morning with the minutest desire to face the day ... all the terrible touchstones presented by this century, and here they are up in arms about Faunia Farley.

— Philip Roth

I'm so drunk my head doesn't even need my neck.

— Philip Roth

There is no protest to be lodged against loneliness-not all the bombing campaigns in history have made a dent in it.

— Philip Roth

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