In America few people will trust you unless you are irreverent.
The desire for success lubricates secret prostitution in the soul.
We love those who can lead us to a place we will never reach without them.
I had a quick grasp of the secret to sanity, it had become the ability to hold the maximum of impossible combinations in one's mind.
Obsession is the single most wasteful human activity, because with an obsession you keep coming back and back and back to the same question and never get an answer.
Once a newspaper touches a story, the facts are lost forever, even to the protagonists.
Any workout which does not involve a certain minimum of danger or responsibility does not improve the body - it just wears it out.
Being a real writer means being able to do the work on a bad day.
America is a hurricane, and the only people who do not hear the sound are those fortunate if incredibly stupid and smug White Protestants who live in the center, in the serene eye of the big wind.
Somewhere, something incredible happened in history - the wrong guys won.
There are these two kinds of patriotism. There's blind patriotism, unflagging patriotism. And then there's the patriotism that says I live in a democracy and it's very important for the health and the life of this democracy that it get better all the time, not get worse.
A really good style comes only when a man has become as good as he can be. Style is character. A good style cannot come from a bad undisciplined character.
With the pride of the artist, you must blow against the walls of every power that exists the small trumpet of your defiance.
We sail across dominions barely seen, washed by the swells of time. We plow through fields of magnetism. Past and future come together on thunderheads and our dead hearts live with lightning in the wounds of the Gods.
I've made an ass of myself so many times I often wonder if I am one.
Love asks us that we be a little braver than is comfortable, a little more generous, a little more flexible. It means living on the edge more than we care to.
To blame the poor for subsisting on welfare has no justice unless we are also willing to judge every rich member of society by how productive he or she is. Taken individual by individual, it is likely that there's more idleness and abuse of government favors among the economically privileged than among the ranks of the disadvantaged.
I had the idea that there were two worlds. There was a real world as I called it, a world of wars and boxing clubs and children'shomes on back streets, and this real world was a world where orphans burned orphans.... I liked the other world in which almost everyone lived. The imaginary world.
There was that law of life, so cruel and so just, that one must grow or else pay more for remaining the same.
Any war that requires the suspension of reason as a necessity for support is a bad war.
Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing.
The function of socialism is to raise suffering to a higher level.
There's that popular misconception of man as something between a brute and an angel. Actually man is in transit between brute and God.
One thing I've learned in all these years is not to make love when you really don't feel it; there's probably nothing worse you can do to yourself than that.
As many people die from an excess of timidity as from bravery.
One of the reasons the English got through all their falls and the loss of their empire, all their disasters, their strikes, their difficulties, their wars through the years was they had Shakespeare to fall back on. And they speak well in England.
Chicago is the great American city, New York is one of the capitals of the world, and Los Angeles is a constellation of plastic; San Francisco is a lady
Bright was the light of my last martini on my moral horizon
Reaching consensus in a group is often confused with finding the right answer.
The difference between writing a book and being on television is the difference between conceiving a child and having a baby made in a test tube.
Short-term amnesia is not the worst affliction if you have an Irish flair for the sauce.
We divorced ourselves from the materials of the earth, the rock, the wood, the iron ore; we looked to new materials which were cooked in vats, long complex derivatives of urine which we called plastic. They had no odor of the living, ... their touch was alien to nature. ... [They proliferated] like the matastases of cancer cells.
Part of living, part of becoming a wise man or a wise woman, is to get to that point where you can have a friend for whom you are genuinely happy when he or she has a success. That's tough. Very few people get to that point. With writers it's next to impossible. You can't really bless a writer who's as good as yourself.
No heart is so hard as the timid heart.
The paradox is that no love can prove so intense as the love of two narcissists for each other.
Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor.
Sentimentality is the emotional promiscuity of those who have no sentiment.
There is no greater impotence in all the world like knowing you are right and that the wave of the world is wrong, yet the wave crashes upon you.
Conservatives are people who look at a tree and feel instinctively that it is more beautiful than anything they can name. But when it comes to defending that tree against a highway, they will go for the highway.
The final purpose of art is to intensify, even, if necessary, to exacerbate, the moral consciousness of people.