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Authors & Writing
Engrave this Quote Undermining experience, embellishing experience, rearranging and enlarging experience into a species of mythology.
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-Philip Roth
Books
Engrave this Quote When you publish a book, it's the world's book. The world edits it.
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-Philip Roth
Death
Engrave this Quote Just like those who are incurably ill, the aged know everything about their dying except exactly when.
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-Philip Roth
Facts
Engrave this Quote Obviously the facts are never just coming at you but are incorporated by an imagination that is formed by your previous experience. Memories of the past are not memories of facts but memories of your imaginings of the facts.
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-Philip Roth
Fame
Engrave this Quote To become a celebrity is to become a brand name. There is Ivory Soap, Rice Krispies, and Philip Roth. Ivory is the soap that floats; Rice Krispies the breakfast cereal that goes snap-crackle-pop; Philip Roth the Jew who masturbates with a piece of liver.
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-Philip Roth
Judging, Judgment
Engrave this Quote I cannot and do not live in the world of discretion, not as a writer, anyway. I would prefer to, I assure you -- it would make life easier. But discretion is, unfortunately, not for novelists.
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-Philip Roth
Legacy
Engrave this Quote 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.
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-Philip Roth
Engrave this Quote It isn't that you subordinate your ideas to the force of the facts in autobiography but that you construct a sequence of stories to bind up the facts with a persuasive hypothesis that unravels your history's meaning.
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-Philip Roth
Mother
Engrave this Quote Only in America do these peasants, our mothers, get their hair dyed platinum at the age of sixty, and walk up and down Collins Avenue in Florida in pedal pushers and mink stoles -- and with opinions on every subject under the sun. It isn't their fault they were given a gift like speech -- look, if cows could talk, they would say things just as idiotic.
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-Philip Roth
Progress
Engrave this Quote The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.
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-Philip Roth
Religion
Engrave this Quote A Jewish man with parents alive is a fifteen-year-old boy, and will remain a fifteen-year-old boy until they die!
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-Philip Roth
Engrave this Quote 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.
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-Philip Roth
Understanding
Engrave this Quote Is an intelligent human being likely to be much more than a large-scale manufacturer of misunderstanding?
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-Philip Roth
Words
Engrave this Quote My God! The English language is a form of communication! Conversation isn't just crossfire where you shoot and get shot at! Where you've got to duck for your life and aim to kill! Words aren't only bombs and bullets -- no, they're little gifts, containing meanings!
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-Philip Roth

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