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All Quotes by author - Howard Jacobson
" A book isn't noise to drown out other noise. "
" Again and again, Primo Levi's work is described as indispensable, essential, necessary. None of those terms overstate the case, but they do prepare readers new to Levi for a forbiddingly educative experience, making him a writer unlike all others and the experience of reading him a chore. Which it isn't. "
" A healthy culture doesn't memorialise only those it agrees with. "
" Alarm bells ring when a politician stands haughty upon his honour. "
" Alone of prejudices, anti-Zionism is sacrosanct. How very dare we distinguish the motivation of one sort from another? Or question, in any instance, an anti-Zionist's good faith? In fact, what determines whether anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic is the nature of it. "
" Although, from the point of view of sociology, the overt ambition of 'American Pastoral' - to imagine the impact on a good man of America's fall from the family decencies of the '30s and '40s to the self-centred violence of the '60s - outstrips anything Sabbath's Theater attempts, the writing is no less fervid an excurse into the writer's mind. "
" Among the many arguments to be made against cultural revolutions is that they are monotonous in spirit and monomaniacal in intention. "
" A novel is not a play. A novel takes one reader at a time into its confidence. It can be shockingly personal. Private, even. "
" Artless fairy stories enchant us in our first years and retain their hold on us until our last. "
" As a Jew, I believe that every argument has a counterargument. "
" As a young man, I wooed, unsuccessfully, with Puccini. It's important to get your operas right. "
" As for 'Great Expectations', it is up there for me with the world's greatest novels, not least as it vindicates plot as no other novel I can think of does, since what there is to find out is not coincidence or happenstance but the profoundest moral truth. "
" As soon as I finished 'The Finkler Question,' I was in despair. I'd changed my English publisher because they'd been lukewarm about it and not offered enough money. The American publisher didn't like it. The Canadian publisher didn't like it... I'd been bleeding readers since my first novel, and I could see my own career going down. "
" A system of thought that accepts no inconsistencies is a frightful thing. "
" A writer should never allow himself to be lulled out of the vigilance native to his profession. "
" Box-set culture inclines to the hyperbolic. "
" Certainly a curtain has never fallen too soon for me. Every play is too long, even the short ones. Every concert, every film, every television programme the same. "
" Does anyone who leaves a Baltic country ever want to return to it? Someone must, I suppose. "
" Don't imagine that a word you say is going to make a blind bit of difference. "
" Do you want to be strangely various, or do you want to be purely yourself? Either way, revere no one. "
" Economics is not a science; it is a quasi-religion: part superstition, part mystique, part sentimentality. Bankers dream like other men, the only difference being that when their dreams turn to nightmares, we all lose sleep. There can be no trusting the muttering of any prelate when it comes to money. "
" Even the wordiest of men know there's a time to button it. "
" Everything is allowable in literature, but what is not allowable in criticism is objection on the grounds of probability. "
" Everything is susceptible to corruption of one sort or another - humanity is one big cheat - but it matters particularly with sport, which ceases to be itself the minute the outcome's rigged. "
" Every time I criticize the anti-Zionists, they say, 'You are trying to silence us.' I don't deny there are some people who are critical of Israel who are not anti-Semitic. But to criticize Israel, and then criticize Zionism, is not quite the same thing. "
" Failing to see the point is not a virtue. "
" 'Family Guy'. It's not only the funniest programme on television, it's the most wonderfully, indecorously literate. "
" For a lot of readers these days, a book is something you have to agree or disagree with. But you can't agree with a novel. For my generation, it was assumed that a book is a dramatic thing, that the eye of the book is not telling you what to think. "
" For me a Writing Day was an occasion for self-reproach and panic, a time to lament the passing of the years, stare out of windows and remember that even those famous late starters Joseph Conrad and George Eliot had started by the age I was now. "
" For my own poor part, I go to great lengths to keep my nostrils sightly. "
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