Cynthia Ozick quotes

  • We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Thank You #Thanksgiving #Thankful

  • When something does not insist on being noticed, when we aren't grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull by a presence or an event, we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Gratitude #Skulls #Thankfulness

  • What we remember from childhood we remember forever - permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Children #Memories #Childhood

  • The power of language, it seems to me, is the only kind of power a writer is entitled to.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Language #Kind #Power Of Language

  • To want to be what one can be is purpose in life.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Dream #Purpose #Want

  • I'm not afraid of facts, I welcome facts but a congeries of facts is not equivalent to an idea. This is the essential fallacy of the so-called "scientific" mind. People who mistake facts for ideas are incomplete thinkers; they are gossips.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Mistake #Ideas #People

  • To imagine the unimaginable is the highest use of the imagination
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Imagination #Use #Imagine

  • Traveling is seeing; it is the implicit that we travel by.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Travel

  • The engineering is secondary to the vision.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Engineering #Vision

  • If we had to say what writing is, we would have to define it essentially as an act of courage.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Writing #Acts Of Courage

  • After a certain number of years, our faces become our biographies.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Years #Numbers #Age

  • What was lost in the European cataclysm was not only the Jewish past--the whole life of a civilization--but also a major share ofthe Jewish future.... [ellipsis in source] It was not only the intellect of a people in its prime that was excised, but the treasure of a people in its potential.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Past #Civilization #People

  • ... woman is frequently praised as the more "creative" sex. She does not need to make poems, it is argued; she has no drive to make poems, because she is privileged to make babies. A pregnancy is as fulfilling as, say, Yeats' Sailing to Byzantium.... To call a child a poem may be a pretty metaphor, but it is a slur on the labor of art.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Baby #Art #Sex

  • An essay is a thing of the imagination. If there is information in an essay, it is by-the-by, and if there is an opinion, one need not trust it for the long run. A genuine essay rarely has an educational, polemical, or sociopolitical use; it is the movement of a free mind at play.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Running #Educational #Play

  • We are so placid that the smallest tremor of objection is taken as a full-scale revolution.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Taken #Revolution #Scales

  • In books, as in life, there are no second chances. On second thought: its the next work, still to be written, that offers the second chance.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Book #Second Chance #Next

  • I think about fanaticism - oblivion awaits, especially for minor writers, so you have to be a fanatic; you have to be a crank to keep going, but on the other hand, what else would you do with the rest of your life? You gotta do something.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Thinking #Hands #Oblivion

  • No one can teach writing, but classes may stimulate the urge to write. If you are born a writer, you will inevitably and helplessly write. A born writer has self-knowledge. Read, read, read. And if you are a fiction writer, dont confine yourself to reading fiction. Every writer is first a wide reader.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Reading #Writing #Self

  • In 1952, I had gone to England on a literary pilgrimage, but what I also saw, even at that distance from the blitz, were bombed-out ruins and an enervated society, while the continent was still, psychologically, in the grip of its recent atrocities.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Distance #Atrocities #Gone

  • It is true that money attracts; but much money repels.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

  • I read in order to write. I read out of obsession with writing.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Writing #Order #Obsession

  • I was so mad at my agent. I had polished and polished and polished [the play], and he referred to it as a draft. I wrote him a bitter letter: How can you call this a draft? I don't do drafts! By now I've done 18, and its turning, in the rehearsal room, into a 19th.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Play #Mad #Done

  • Is there a word more passionate than passion? Obsession, total immersion, the feeling that everything else doesn't matter.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Passion #Feelings #Matter

  • A writer is dreamed and transfigured into being by spells, wishes, goldfish, silhouettes of trees, boxes of fairy tales dropped in the mud, uncles' and cousins' books, tablets and capsules and powders...and then one day you find yourself leaning here, writing on that round glass table salvaged from the Park View Pharmacy--writing this, an impossibility, a summary of who you came to be where you are now, and where, God knows, is that?
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Cousin #Uncles #Book

  • The imagination has resources and intimations we don't even know about.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Imagination #Resources

  • Above all, a book is a riverbank for the river of language. Language without the riverbank is only television talk - a free fall, a loose splash, a spill.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Book #Fall #Reading

  • The art of fiction is freedom of will for your characters.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Art #Writing #Character

  • Dedication to one's work in the world is the only possible sanctifica-tion. Religion in all its forms is dedication to Someone Else's work, not yours.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Dedication #World #Form

  • Real apprenticeship is ultimately always to the self.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Real #Self #Apprenticeship

  • Comedy springs from the ludicrous; but the ludicrous is stuck in the muck of reality, resolutely hostile to what is impossible.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Spring #Reality #Comedy

  • It is the function of a liberal university not to give right answers, but to ask right questions.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Giving #Justice #Answers

  • I wanted to use what I was, to be what I was born to be - not to have a 'career', but to be that straightforward obvious unmistakable animal, a writer.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Animal #Careers #Use

  • The imagination is a species of knowledge, knowledge that can take the form of discovery.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Discovery #Imagination #Form

  • Life is that which - pressingly, persistently, unfailingly, imperially - interrupts.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Life #Life Is

  • One reason writers write is out of revenge. Life hurts; certain ideas and experiences hurt; one wants to clarify, to set out illuminations, to replay the old bad scenes and get the Treppenworte said -- the words one didn't have the strength or ripeness to say when those words were necessary for one's dignity or survival.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Hurt #Revenge #Writing

  • One reason writers write is out of revenge.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Revenge #Writing #Reason

  • I measure my life in sentences pressed out, line by line, like the lustrous ooze on the underside of the snail, the snail's secret open seam, its wound, leaking attar.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Writing #Secret #Lines

  • Bohemia and all its works are vanished out of America; or, more exactly, bohemia has migrated to the middle class, and is alive and well in condo and suburb.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Class #America #Alive

  • In real life wishing, divorced from willing, is sterile and begets nothing.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Real #Wish #Willing

  • Why do men carry guns and build prison camps, when the nurturing earth is made for freedom?
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Freedom #Men #Gun

  • To listen acutely is to be powerless, even if you sit on a throne.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Listening #Thrones #Powerless

  • In saying what is obvious, never choose cunning. Yelling works better.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Communication #Yelling #Speech

  • We were born to die; we were born to endure, on the way to death, sorrow-sorrow in manifold shapes.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Sorrow #Shapes #Way

  • Time at length becomes justice.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Time #Justice #Length

  • Nothing is so awesomely unfamiliar as the familiar that discloses itself at the end of a journey. Nothing shakes the heart so much as meeting-far, far away-what you last met at home.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Travel #Home #Heart

  • Women who write with an overriding consciousness that they write as women are engaged not in aspiration toward writing, but chiefly in a politics of sex.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Sex #Women #Writing

  • Wars, invented and organized by the highest available consciousnesses (do the worms go to war? do the fish? do the paramecia?), are the planet's chief source and cause of torment.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #War #Causes #Consciousness

  • The usefulness of madmen is famous: they demonstrate society's logic flagrantly carried out down to its last scrimshaw scrap.
    -- Cynthia Ozick

    #Lasts #Logic #Madness