I've begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.
Something that is yours forever is never precious
Truth has to be given in riddles. People can't take truth if it comes charging at them like a bull. The bull is always killed. You have to give people the truth in a riddle, hide it so they go looking for it and find it piece by piece; that way they learn to live with it.
I will go wherever the truth leads me. It is secular scholarship, Rebbe; it is not the scholarship of tradition. In secular scholarship there are no boundaries and no permanently fixed views.” Lurie, if the Torah cannot go out into your world of scholarship and return stronger, then we are all fools and charlatans. I have faith in the Torah. I am not afraid of truth.
...a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something.
And these two elements are at odds with one another because Freud is utterly adversary to almost all the ways of structuring the human experience found in Western religions. No Western religion can countenance Freud's view of man.
If I had a plot that was all set in advance, why would I want go through the agony of writing the novel? A novel is a kind of exploration and discovery, for me at any rate.
It is impossible to fuse totally with a culture for which you feel a measure of antagonism.
A book is sent out into the world, and there is no way of fully anticipating the responses it will elicit. Consider the responses called forth by the Bible, Homer, Shakespeare - let alone contemporary poetry or a modern novel.
All of us grow up in particular realities - a home, family, a clan, a small town, a neighborhood. Depending upon how we're brought up, we are either deeply aware of the particular reading of reality into which we are born, or we are peripherally aware of it.
To the extent that I come from a deeply religious tradition and have been contending with those beginnings all of my life - that constitutes the subject of much of my early fiction.
Well, in The Chosen, Danny Saunders, from the heart of his religious reading of the world, encounters an element in the very heart of the secular readings of the world - Freudian psychoanalytic theory.
There is in my work a very strong religious foreground and background. In the later work some of that tends to diminish, but it's certainly present in the early work.
A non-fiction writer pretty much has the shape of the figure in front of him or her and goes about refining it. A work of non-fiction is not as difficult to write as a work of fiction, but it's not as satisfying in the end.
I'm not altogether certain that a fundamentalism of necessity has to argue that it is the only reading of the human experience in order to stay alive.
I think that to a very great extent we are partners with the divine in this enterprise called history. That is an ongoing relationship, and there is absolutely no guarantee that things will automatically work out to our best advantage.
Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.
I think the hardest part of writing is revising. And by that I mean the following: A novelist has to create the piece of marble and then chip away to find the figure in it.
It is inconceivable to me that a million or three million or half a million human beings will think and feel precisely the same way on any single subject.
As a species we are always hungry for new knowledge.