Amos Oz quotes

  • Every single pleasure I can imagine or have experienced is more delightful, more of a pleasure, if you take it in small sips, if you take your time. Reading is not an exception.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Reading #Imagine #Pleasure

  • When I was little, my ambition was to grow up to be a book. Not a writer. People can be killed like ants. Writers are not hard to kill either. But not books: however systematically you try to destroy them, there is always a chance that a copy will survive and continue to enjoy a shelf-life in some corner on an out-of-the-way library somehwere in Reykjavik, Valladolid or Vancouver.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Growing Up #Book #Ambition

  • All of my novels are democracies.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Democracy #Novel

  • Writing a poem is like having an affair, a one-night stand; a short story is a romance, a relationship; a novel is a marriage-one has to be cunning, devise compromises, and make sacrifices.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Writing #Sacrifice #Night

  • I find the family the most mysterious and fascinating institution in the world.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Family #World #Mysterious

  • Fundamentalist s live life with an exclamation point. I prefer to live my life with a question mark.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Live Life #Living My Life #Mark

  • Israel of the coastal plain, where eight out of ten Israeli Jews live far removed from the occupied territories, from the fiery Jerusalem, from the religious and nationalistic conflicts, is unknown to the outside world, almost unknown to itself.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Religious #Eight #Israel

  • She had not wanted him to but had let him have his way because ever since she was a child she had generally yielded before anyone with strong willpower, especially if it was a man, not because she was naturally submissive, but because strong male willpower gave her a feeling of safety and trust, together with acceptance and a desire to give in.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Strong #Children #Acceptance

  • The kibbutz way of life is not for everyone. It is meant for people who are not in the business of working harder than they should be working, in order to make more money than they need, in order to buy things they don't really want, in order to impress people they don't really like.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Order #People #Needs

  • Actually, who hasn't been through the ghastly experience of sitting in front of a blank page, with its toothless mouth grinning at you: Go ahead, let's see you lay a finger on me? A blank page is actually a whitewashed wall with no door and no window. Beginning to tell a story is like making a pass at a total stranger in a restaurant.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Wall #Doors #Sitting

  • One of the things I wanted to introduce in The Same Sea beyond transcending the conflict, is the fact that deep down below all our secrets are the same.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Sea #Secret #Facts

  • If we don't stop somewhere, if we don't accept an unhappy compromise, unhappy for both sides, if we don't learn how to unhappily coexist and contain our burned sense of injustice - if we don't learn how to do that, we end up in a doomed state.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Fate #Unhappy #Sides

  • Never cut loose from your longings.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Cutting #Desire #Longing

  • A conflict begins and ends in the hearts and minds of people, not in the hilltops.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Heart #People #Mind

  • Two children of same cruel parent look at one another and see in each other the image of the cruel parent or the image of their past oppressor. This is very much the case between Jew and Arab: It's a conflict between two victims.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Children #Past #Two

  • I recommend the art of slow reading.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Art #Reading

  • I have seen for the first time in 100 years of conflict, the two peoples - the Israeli people and the Palestinian people - are ahead of their leaderships.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Years #Two #People

  • If you steal from one book you are condemned as a plagiarist, but if you steal from ten books you are considered a scholar, and if you steal from thirty or forty books, a distinguished scholar.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Book #Stealing #Academic

  • But for 30 years, Orthodox leaders have tipped the balance between hawks and doves, and have been in a position to determine who forms a coalition and who runs the country.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Running #Country #Years

  • I wrote The Same Sea not as a political allegory about Israelis and Palestinians. I wrote it about something much more gutsy and immediate. I wrote it as a piece of chamber music.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Sea #Political #Pieces

  • I was born and bred in a tiny, low-ceilinged ground-floor apartment.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Tiny #Born #Lows

  • On my parents scale of values, the more Western something was, the more cultured it was considered.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Parent #Scales #Western

  • I wrote a novel about Israelis who live their own lives on the slope of a volcano. Near a volcano one still falls in love, one still gets jealous, one still wants a promotion, one still gossips.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Falling In Love #Jealous #Volcanoes

  • … that sour blend of loneliness and lust for recognition, shyness and extravagance, deep insecurity and self-intoxicated egomania, that drives poets and writers out of their rooms to seek each other out, to rub shoulders with one another, bully, joke, condescend, feel each other, lay a hand on a shoulder or an arm round a waist, to chat and argue with little nudges, to spy a little, sniff out what is cooking in other pots, flatter, disagree, collude, be right, take offence, apologise, make amends, avoid each other, and seek each other’s company again.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Loneliness #Self #Hands

  • In many ways, I regard Sharon and Arafat as birds of a feather.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Bird #Way #Sharon

  • When people have peace, they hate it and long for excitement, and when they have excitement, they want peace.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Hate #Long #People

  • The minute we leave south Lebanon we will have to erase the word Hezbollah from our vocabulary, because the whole idea of the State of Israel versus Hezbollah was sheer folly from the outset. It most certainly no longer will be relevant when Israel returns to her internationally recognized northern border.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Vocabulary #Israel #Ideas

  • The [political] left are people with an imagination and the right are those without an imagination.
    -- Amos Oz

    #People #Imagination #Political

  • Out there, in the world, all the walls were covered with graffiti: Yids, go back to Palestine, so we came back to Palestine, and now the worldatlarge shouts at us: Yids, get out of Palestine.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Wall #Graffiti #World

  • The actual gap between Labor, Likud and the new central party is microscopic.
    -- Amos Oz

    #Party #Gaps #Labor