When you're dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you're dead? Nobody.
When the weather's nice, my parents go out quite frequently and stick a bunch of flowers on old Allie's grave. I went with them a couple of times, but I cut it out. In the first place, I don't enjoy seeing him in that crazy cemetery. Surrounded by dead guys and tombstones and all. It wasn't too bad when the sun was out, but twice-twice-we were there when it started to rain. It was awful. It rained on his lousy tombstone, and it rained on the grass on his stomach. It rained all over the place. All the visitors that were visiting the cemetery started running like hell over to their cars. That's what nearly drove me crazy. All the visitors could get in their cars and turn on their radios and all and then go someplace nice for dinner-everybody except Allie. I couldn't stand it. I know it's only his body and all that's in the cemetery, and his soul's in Heaven and all that crap, but I couldn't stand it anyway. I just wished he wasn't there.
weathers quotesnice quotesparents quotesfrequently quotesstick quotesbunch quotesflowers quotesallies quotesgrave quotescouple quotestimes quotescut quotesplace quotesenjoy quotescrazy quotescemetery quotessurrounded quotesdead quotesguys quotestombstones quotesbad quotessun quotestwicetwicewe quotesstarted quotesrain quotesawful quotesrained quoteslousy quotestombstone quotesgrass quotesstomach quotesplace quotesvisitors quotesvisiting quotescemetery quotesrunning quoteshell quotescars quotesdrove quotescrazy quotescars quotesturn quotesradios quotessomeplace quotesnice quotesdinnereverybody quotesallie quotesstand quotesbody quotescemetery quotessouls quotesheaven quotescrap quoteswished quotes
I felt like praying or something, when I was in bed, but I couldn't do it. I can't always pray when I feel like it. In the first place, I'm sort of an atheist. I like Jesus and all, but I don't care too much for most of the other stuff in the Bible. Take the Disciples, for instance. They annoy the hell out of me, if you want to know the truth. They were all right after Jesus was dead and all, but while He was alive, they were about as much use to Him as a hole in the head. All they did was keep letting Him down.
The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, the deers would still be drinking out of that water hole, with their pretty antlers and they're pretty, skinny legs, and that squaw with the naked bosom would still be weaving that same blanket. Nobody's be different. The only thing that would be different would be you. Not that you'd be so much older or anything. It wouldn't be that, exactly. You'd just be different, that's all. You'd have an overcoat this time. Or the kid that was your partner in line the last time had got scarlet fever and you'd have a new partner. Or you'd have a substitute taking the class, instead of Miss Aigletinger. Or you'd heard your mother and father having a terrific fight in the bathroom. Or you'd just passed by one of those puddles in the street with gasoline rainbows in them. I mean you'd be different in some way-I can't explain what I mean. And even if I could, I'm not sure I'd feel like it.
thing quotesmuseum quotesstayed quotesnobodyd quotesmove quoteshundred quotesthousand quotestimes quoteseskimo quotesfinished quotescatching quotesfish quotesbirds quotessouth quotesdeers quotesdrinking quoteswater quoteshole quotespretty quotesantlers quotespretty quotesskinny quoteslegs quotessquaw quotesnaked quotesbosom quotesweaving quotesblanket quotesnobodys quotesthing quotesolder quotesovercoat quotestime quoteskid quotespartner quotesline quotestime quotesscarlet quotesfever quotespartner quotessubstitute quotestaking quotesclass quotesmiss quotesaigletinger quotesheard quotesmother quotesfather quotesterrific quotesfight quotesbathroom quotespassed quotespuddles quotesstreet quotesgasoline quotesrainbows quoteswayi quotesexplain quotesfeel quotes
It's everybody, I mean. Everything everybody does is so - I don't know - not wrong, or even mean, or even stupid necessarily. But just so tiny and meaningless and - sad-making. And the worst part is, if you go bohemian or something crazy like that, you're conforming just as much only in a different way.
Boy, it began to rain like a bastard. In buckets, I swear to God. All the parents and mothers and everybody went over and stood right under the roof of the carrousel, so they wouldn't get soaked to the skin or anything, but I stuck around on the bench for quite a while. I got pretty soaking wet, especially my neck and my pants. My hunting hat really gave me quite a lot of protection, in a way; but I got soaked anyway. I didn't care, though. I felt so damn happy all of a sudden, the way old Phoebe kept going around and around. I was damn near bawling, I felt so damn happy, if you want to know the truth. I don't know why. It was just that she looked so damn nice, the way she kept going around and around, in her blue coat and all. God, I wish you could've been there.
boy quotesbegan quotesrain quotesbastard quotesbuckets quotesswear quotesgod quotesparents quotesmothers quotesstood quotesroof quotescarrousel quotessoaked quotesskin quotesstuck quotesbench quotespretty quotessoaking quoteswet quotesneck quotespants quoteshunting quoteshat quotesgave quoteslot quotesprotection quotescare quotesfelt quotesdamn quoteshappy quotessudden quotesphoebe quotesbawling quoteshappy quotestruth quoteslooked quotesnice quotesblue quotescoat quotesgod quotescouldve quotes
Keep me up till five because all your stars are out, and for no other reason... Oh dare to do it Buddy! Trust your heart. You're a deserving craftsman. It would never betray you. Good night. I'm feeling very much over-excited now, and a little dramatic, but I think I'd give almost anything on earth to see you writing a something, an anything, a poem, a tree, that was really and truly after your own heart.
Answer Professor Mandell's letter when you get a chance and the patience. Ask him not to send me any more poetry books. I already have enough for 1 year anyway. I am quite sick of it anyway. A man walks along the beach and unfortunately gets hit in the head by a cocoanut. His head unfortunately cracks open in two halves. Then his wife comes along the beach singing a song and sees the 2 halves and recognizes them and cries heart breakingly. That is exactly where I am tired of poetry. Supposing the lady just picks up the 2 halves and shouts into them very angrily 'Stop that!' Do not mention this when you answer his letter, however. It is quite controversial and Mrs. Mandell is a poet besides.
answer quotesprofessor quotesmandells quotesletter quoteschance quotespatience quotessend quotespoetry quotesbooks quotes1 quotesyear quotessick quotesman quoteswalks quotesbeach quoteshit quoteshead quotescocoanut quotescracks quotesopen quoteshalves quoteswife quotessinging quotessong quotessees quotes2 quoteshalves quotesrecognizes quotescries quotesheart quotesbreakingly quotestired quotespoetry quotessupposing quoteslady quotespicks quotesshouts quotesangrily quotesstop quotesthat quotesmention quotesanswer quotesletter quotescontroversial quotesmrs quotesmandell quotespoet quotes
I am a dash man and not a miler, and it is probable that I will never write a novel. So far the novels of this war have had too much of the strength, maturity and craftsmanship critics are looking for, and too little of the glorious imperfections which teeter and fall off the best minds. The men who have been in this war deserve some sort of trembling melody rendered without embarrassment or regret. I'll watch for that book.
dash quotesman quotesmiler quotesprobable quoteswrite quotesnovels quoteswar quotesstrength quotesmaturity quotescraftsmanship quotescritics quotesglorious quotesimperfections quotesteeter quotesfall quotesminds quotesmen quotesdeserve quotessort quotestrembling quotesmelody quotesrendered quotesembarrassment quotesregret quoteswatch quotesbook quotes
I've read this same sentence about twenty times since you came in." Anybody else except Ackley would've taken the goddamn hint. Not him though... "What the hellya reading?" "Goddamn book." He shoved my book back with his hand so that he could see the name on it. "Any good?" he said. "This sentence I'm reading is terrific.
I think if you don't really like a girl, you shouldn't horse around with her at all, and if you do like her, then you're supposed to like her face, and if you like her face, you ought to be careful about doing crumby stuff to it, like squirting water all over it. It's really too bad that so much crumby stuff is a lot of fun sometimes.
She was around ten minutes late, as a matter of fact. I didn't give a damn, though. All that crap they have in cartoons in the Saturday Evening Post and all, showing guys on street corners looking sore as hell because their dates are late - that's bunk. If a girl looks swell when she meets you, who gives a damn if she's late? Nobody.
ten quotesminutes quoteslate quotesmatter quotesfact quotesgive quotesdamn quotescrap quotescartoons quotessaturday quotesevening quotespost quotesshowing quotesguys quotesstreet quotescorners quotessore quoteshell quotesdates quoteslate quotesbunk quotesgirl quotesswell quotesmeets quotesdamn quotesshes quoteslate quotes
Girls with their legs crossed, girls with their legs not crossed, girls with terrific legs, girls with lousy legs, girls that looked like swell girls, girls that looked like they'd be bitches if you knew them... You figured most of them would probably marry dopey guys. Guys that always talk about how many miles they get to a gallon in their goddam cars. Guys that get sore and childish as hell if you beat them at golf, or even just some stupid game like ping-pong. Guys that are very mean. Guys that never read books. Guys that are very boring.
girls quoteslegs quotescrossed quotesgirls quotesterrific quoteslegs quoteslousy quoteslooked quotesswell quotesgirls quotesbitches quotesknew quotesfigured quotesmarry quotesdopey quotesguys quotesguys quotestalk quotesmiles quotesgallon quotesgoddam quotescars quotessore quoteschildish quoteshell quotesbeat quotesgolf quotesstupid quotesgame quotespingpong quotesread quotesbooks quotesboring quotes
I was half in love with her by the time we sat down. That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. Girls. Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can.
It was the poem containing the lines: Not wasteland, but a great inverted forest with all foliage underground. As though it might be best to look immediately for shelter, Corinne had to put the book down. At any moment the apartment building seemed liable to lose its balance and topple across Fifth Avenue into Central Park. She waited. Gradually the deluge of truth and beauty abated.
poem quoteslines quoteswasteland quotesgreat quotesinverted quotesforest quotesfoliage quotesunderground quotesimmediately quotesshelter quotescorinne quotesput quotesbook quotesmoment quotesapartment quotesbuilding quotesliable quoteslose quotesbalance quotestopple quotesavenue quotescentral quotespark quoteswaited quotesgradually quotesdeluge quotestruth quotesbeauty quotesabated quotes
If you're a poet, you do something beautiful. I mean you're supposed to leave something beautiful after you get off the page and everything. The ones you're talking about don't leave a single, solitary thing beautiful. All that maybe the slightly better ones do is sort of get inside your head and leave something there, but just because they do, just because they know how to leave something, it doesn't have to be a poem, for heaven's sake.
be quotesproprio quotescose¬ quotesinsistette quotesperche quotesti quotessposi quotesabbandonando quotesla quotessua quotesposizione quoteszooey quotesprese quotesdalla quotestasca quotesposteriore quotesdei quotescalzoni quotesfazzoletto quotespiegato quotese quotesdisse quotesmi quotespiace quotestroppo quotesviaggiare quotestreno quotesquando quotessei quotessposato quotespuoi quotespie¹ quotessederti quotesvicino quotesl quotesfinestrino quotes
One of the few things left in the world, aside from the world itself, that sadden me every day is an awareness that you get upset if Boo Boo or Walt tells you you're saying something that sounds like me. You sort of take it as an accusation of piracy, a little slam at your individuality. Is it so bad that we sometimes sound like each other? The membrane is so thin between us. Is it so important for us to keep in mind which is whose... For us, doesn't each of our individualities begin right at the point where we own up to our extremely close connections and accept the inevitability of borrowing one another's jokes, talents, idiocies?
things quotesleft quotesworld quotesworld quotessadden quotesday quotesawareness quotesupset quotesboo quoteswalt quotestells quotessounds quotessort quotesaccusation quotespiracy quotesslam quotesindividuality quotesbad quotessound quotesmembrane quotesthin quotesimportant quotesmind quotesindividualities quotesbegin quotespoint quotesextremely quotesclose quotesconnections quotesaccept quotesinevitability quotesborrowing quotesanothers quotesjokes quotestalents quotesidiocies quotes
When I take my hand out of this blanket, " he thought, "my nail will be grown back, my hands will be clean. My body will be clean. I'll have on clean shorts, clean undershirt, a white shirt. A blue polka-dot tie. A gray suit with a stripe, and I'll be home, and I'll bolt the door. I'll put some coffee on the stove, some records on the phonograph, and I'll bolt the door. I'll read my books and I'll drink coffee and I'll listen to music, and I'll bolt the door. I'll open the window, I'll let in a nice, quiet girl-not Frances, not anyone I've ever known-and I'll bolt the door. I'll ask her to read some Emily Dickinson to me-that one about being chartless-and I'll ask her to read some William Blake to me-that one about the little lamb that made thee-and I'll bolt the door. She'll have an American voice, and she won't ask me if I have any chewing gum or bonbons, and I'll bolt the door.
hand quotesblanket quotesthought quotesnail quotesgrown quotesback quoteshands quotesclean quotesbody quotesclean quotesshorts quotesundershirt quoteswhite quotesshirt quotesblue quotespolkadot quotestie quotesgray quotessuit quotesstripe quoteshome quotesbolt quotesdoor quotesput quotescoffee quotesstove quotesrecords quotesphonograph quotesread quotesbooks quotesdrink quoteslisten quotesmusic quotesopen quoteswindow quotesnice quotesquiet quotesgirlnot quotesfrances quotesknownand quotesemily quotesdickinson quotesmethat quoteschartlessand quoteswilliam quotesblake quoteslamb quotesmade quotestheeand quotesshell quotesamerican quotesvoice quoteschewing quotesgum quotesbonbons quotes
Think about this truck. Make believe this is not the darkest, wettest, most miserable Army truck you have ever ridden in. This truck, you've got to tell yourself, is full of roses and blondes and vitamins. This here is a real pretty truck. This is a swell truck. You were lucky to get this job tonight. When you get back from the dance... Choose yo' pahtnuhs, folks!... you can write an immortal poem about this truck. This truck is a potential poem. You can call it, "Trucks I Have Rode In", or "War and Peace", or "This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise." Keep it simple.
truck quotesmake quotesdarkest quoteswettest quotesmiserable quotesarmy quotestruck quotesridden quotestruck quotesfull quotesroses quotesblondes quotesvitamins quotesreal quotespretty quotesswell quoteslucky quotesjob quotestonight quotesback quotesdance quoteschoose quotesyo quotespahtnuhs quotesfolks quoteswrite quotesimmortal quotespoem quotespotential quotespoem quotescall quotestrucks quotesrode quoteswar quotespeace quotessandwich quotesmayonnaise quotessimple quotes
We're freaks, the two of us, Franny and I. I'm a twenty-five-year-old freak and she's a twenty-one-year-old freak, and both those bastards are responsible. I swear to you, I could murder them both without batting an eyelash. The great teachers. The great emancipators. My God. I can't even sit down to lunch with a man any more and hold up my end of a decent conversation. I either get so bored or so goddamn preachy that if the son of a bitch had any sense, he'd break his chair over my head
freaks quotesfranny quotestwentyfiveyearold quotesfreak quotesshes quotestwentyoneyearold quotesfreak quotesbastards quotesresponsible quotesswear quotesmurder quotesbatting quoteseyelash quotesgreat quotesteachers quotesemancipators quotesgod quotessit quoteslunch quotesman quoteshold quotesend quotesdecent quotesconversation quotesbored quotesgoddamn quotespreachy quotesson quotesbitch quotessense quoteshed quotesbreak quoteschair quoteshead quotes
The thing is, it's really hard to be roommates with people if your suitcases are much better than theirs-if yours are really good ones and theirs aren't. You think if they're intelligent and all, the other person, and have a good sense of humor, that they don't give a damn whose suitcases are better, but they do. They really do.
All these angels start coming out of the boxes and everywhere, guys carrying crucifixes and stuff all over the place, and the whole bunch of them - thousands of them - singing 'Come All Ye Faithful' like mad. Big deal. It's supposed to be religious as hell, I know, and very pretty and all, but I can't see anything religious or pretty, for God's sake, about a bunch of actors carrying crucifixes all over the stage. When they all finished and started going out the boxes again, you could tell they could hardly wait to get a cigarette of something. I saw it with old Sally Hayes the year before, and she kept saying how beautiful it was, the costumes and all. I said old jesus probably would've puked if he could see it.
angels quotesstart quotescoming quotesboxes quotesguys quotescarrying quotescrucifixes quotesstuff quotesplace quotesbunch quotesthousands quotessinging quotescome quotesye quotesfaithful quotesmad quotesbig quotesdeal quotessupposed quotesreligious quoteshell quotespretty quotespretty quotesgods quotessake quotesactors quotesstage quotesfinished quotesstarted quoteswait quotescigarette quotessally quoteshayes quotesyear quotesbeautiful quotescostumes quotesjesus quoteswouldve quotespuked quotes
I think it should be done over, Buddy... Please make peace with your wit. It's not going to go away, Buddy. To dump it on your own advice would be as bad and unnatural as dumping your adjectives and your adverbs because Prof. B. wants you to. What does he know about it? What do you really know about your own wit? I've been sitting here tearing up notes to you. I keep starting to say things like 'This one is wonderfully constructed, ' and 'The conversation between the two cops is terrific.' So I'm hedging. I'm not sure why. I started to get a little nervous right after you began to read. It sounded like the beginning of something your arch-enemy Bob B. calls a rattling good story. Don't you think he would call this a step in the right direction? Doesn't that worry you? Even what is funny about the woman on the back of the truck doesn't sound like something you think is funny. It sounds much more like something that you think is universally considered funny. I feel gypped. Does that make you mad? You can say our relatedness spoils my judgement. It worries me enough. But I'm also just a reader. Are you a writer or just a writer of rattling good stories. I mind getting a rattling good story from you.
buddy quotesmake quotespeace quoteswit quotesbuddy quotesdump quotesadvice quotesbad quotesunnatural quotesdumping quotesadjectives quotesadverbs quotesprof quotesb quoteswit quotessitting quotestearing quotesnotes quotesstarting quotesthings quotesthis quoteswonderfully quotesconstructed quotes quotesthe quotesconversation quotescops quotesterrific quoteshedging quotesstarted quotesnervous quotesbegan quotesread quotessounded quotesbeginning quotesarchenemy quotesbob quotescalls quotesrattling quotesgood quotesstory quotescall quotesstep quotesdirection quotesworry quotesfunny quoteswoman quotesback quotestruck quotessound quotesfunny quotessounds quotesuniversally quotesconsidered quotesfeel quotesgypped quotesmad quotesrelatedness quotesspoils quotesjudgement quotesworries quotesreader quoteswriter quotesstories quotesmind quotesstory quotes
You know Sven? The man who takes care of the gym?' he asked. He waited till he got a nod from Nicholson. 'Well, if Sven dreamed tonight that his dog died, he'd have a very, very bad night's sleep, because he's very fond of that dog. But when he woke up in the morning, everything would be all right. He'd know it was only a dream.' Nicholson nodded. 'What's the point exactly?' The point is if his dog really died, it would be exactly the same thing. Only he wouldn't know it. I mean he wouldn't wake up till he died himself.
sven quotesman quotestakes quotescare quotesgym quotesasked quoteswaited quotestill quotesnod quotesnicholson quoteswell quotessven quotesdreamed quotestonight quotesdog quotesdied quoteshed quotesbad quotesnights quotessleep quotesfond quotesdog quoteswoke quotesmorning quoteshed quotesdream quotesnicholson quotesnodded quoteswhats quotespoint quotesexactly quotesthing quoteswake quotesdied quotes
I don't think it would have all got me quite so down if just once in a while-just once in a while-there was at least some polite little perfunctory implication that knowledge should lead to wisdom, and that if it doesn't, it's just a disgusting waste of time! But there never is! You never even hear any hints dropped on a campus that wisdom is supposed to be the goal of knowledge. You hardly ever even hear the word 'wisdom' mentioned!
whilejust quoteswhilethere quotespolite quotesperfunctory quotesimplication quotesknowledge quoteslead quoteswisdom quotesdisgusting quoteswaste quotestime quoteshear quoteshints quotesdropped quotescampus quoteswisdom quotessupposed quotesgoal quotesknowledge quotesword quoteswisdom quotesmentioned quotes
I'm not trying to tell you, " he said "that only educated men are able to contribute something valuable to the world. It's not so. But I do say that educated and scholarly men, if they're brilliant and creative to begin with-which, unfortunately, is rarely the case-tend to leave infinitely more valuable records behind them than men do who are MEREly brilliant and creative.
I'm not trying to tell you, " he said, "that only educated and scholarly men are able to contribute something valuable to the world. It's not so. But I do say that educated and scholarly men, if they're brilliant and creative to begin with - which, unfortunately, is rarely the case-tend to leave infinitely more valuable records behind them than men do who are merely brilliant and creative. They tend to express themselves more clearly, and they usually have a passion for following their thoughts through to the end. And-most important-nine times out of ten they have more humility than the unscholarly thinker.
educated quotesscholarly quotesmen quotescontribute quotesvaluable quotesworld quotesmen quotesbrilliant quotescreative quotesbegin quotesrarely quotescasetend quotesleave quotesinfinitely quotesrecords quotescreative quotestend quotesexpress quotespassion quotesthoughts quotesend quotesandmost quotesimportantnine quotestimes quotesten quoteshumility quotesunscholarly quotesthinker quotes
The one that sang, old Janine, was always whispering into the g microphone before she sang. She'd say, 'And now we like to geeve you our impression of Vooly Voo Fransay. Eet ees the story of leetle Fransh girl who comes to a beeg ceety, just like New York, and falls een love wees a leetle boy from Brookleen. We hope you like eet.' Then, when she was all done whispering and being cute as hell, she'd sing some dopey song, half in English and half in French, and drive all the phonies in the place mad with joy.
sang quotesjanine quoteswhispering quotesg quotesmicrophone quotessang quotesshed quotesand quotesgeeve quotesimpression quotesvooly quotesvoo quotesfransay quoteseet quotesees quotesstory quotesleetle quotesfransh quotesgirl quotesbeeg quotesceety quotesyork quotesfalls quoteseen quoteslove quoteswees quotesboy quotesbrookleen quoteshope quoteseet quotescute quoteshell quotesshed quotessing quotesdopey quotessong quoteshalf quotesenglish quotesfrench quotesdrive quotesphonies quotesplace quotesmad quotesjoy quotes
This fall I think you're riding for-it's a special kind of fall, a horrible kind. The man falling isn't permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom. He just keeps falling and falling. The whole arrangement's designed for men who, at some time or other in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn't supply them with. Or they thought their own environment couldn't supply them with. So they gave up looking. They gave it up before they ever really even got started.
fall quotesriding quotesforits quotesspecial quoteskind quotesfall quoteshorrible quoteskind quotesman quotesfalling quotespermitted quotesfeel quoteshear quoteshit quotesbottom quotesfalling quotesarrangements quotesdesigned quotesmen quotestime quoteslives quotesenvironment quotessupply quotesthought quotesgave quotesstarted quotes
I figured I could get a job at a filling station somewhere, putting gas and oil in people's cars. I didn't care what kind of job it was, though. Just so people didn't know me and I didn't know anybody. I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn't have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody. If anybody wanted to tell me something, they'd have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over to me. They'd get bored as hell doing that after a while, and then I'd be through with having conversations for the rest of my life. Everybody'd think I was just a poor deaf-mute bastard and they'd leave me alone.
figured quotesjob quotesfilling quotesstation quotesputting quotesgas quotesoil quotespeoples quotescars quotescare quoteskind quotespeople quotesthought quotespretend quotesdeafmutes quotesgoddam quotesstupid quotesuseless quotesconversations quoteswanted quoteswrite quotespiece quotespaper quotesshove quotesbored quoteshell quotesrest quoteslife quoteseverybodyd quotespoor quotesdeafmute quotesbastard quotesleave quotes