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Saul Bellow never took my advice when he was my friend. ...
by Leslie Fiedler

Saul Bellow never took my advice when he was my friend.
- Leslie Fiedler

I love it now that a large minority of people who are
handicapped prefer to call themselves crippled.
This is all part of the game, like queer theory.
- Leslie Fiedler

Hemingway seems to be in a funny position.
People nowadays can't identify with him closely as
a member of their own generation,
and he isn't yet historical.
- Leslie Fiedler

Writers always know whether you like them or not.
- Leslie Fiedler

 

I gave up writing blurbs because you make one friend and 200 enemies.
- Leslie Fiedler

The novel is always pop art, and the novel is always dying.
That's the only way it stays alive.
It does really die.
I've been thinking about that a lot.
- Leslie Fiedler

Kafka is still unrecognized.
He thought he was a comic writer.
- Leslie Fiedler

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When all of us are forgotten, people will still be
remembering Stephen King.
- Leslie Fiedler

All good criticism should be judged the way art is.
You shouldn't read it the way you read history or science.
- Leslie Fiedler

The reason Saul Bellow doesn't talk to me anymore is
because he knows his new novels are not worth reading.
- Leslie Fiedler

I long for the raised voice, the howl of rage or love.
- Leslie Fiedler

I used to be fond of Indian arm wrestling.
- Leslie Fiedler

Gertrude Stein really thought of Hemingway as frail.
He almost married Stein.
- Leslie Fiedler

I like that people who are not experts can not only
understand but get engaged by my work.
I like that Joe Paterno can read me.
Bill Bradley.
- Leslie Fiedler

One more recent novelist to come along is Cormac McCarthy.
Him, I like.
- Leslie Fiedler

Foucault was the one person I met in France that I could talk to.
He was a mensch.
You know whether you agree with him or not because
you know what he is saying.
- Leslie Fiedler

I have, I admit, a low tolerance for detached chronicling and cool analysis.
- Leslie Fiedler

I liked Camille Paglia.
I liked her even better when I heard her talk.
- Leslie Fiedler

Faulkner sat in our living room and read from Light in August.
That was incredible.
- Leslie Fiedler

The novel doesn't come into existence until certain
methods of reproducing fiction come along.
- Leslie Fiedler

Henry Miller wrote novels, but he calls his protagonist Henry,
often Henry Miller, and his books are in this gray
area between memoir and novel.
- Leslie Fiedler

Of the female black authors, I really like Morrison's early books a lot.
But she's really become so much a clone of Faulkner.
He did it better.
- Leslie Fiedler

I think the pattern of my essays is,
A funny thing happened to me on my way through Finnegans Wake.
- Leslie Fiedler

It's funny to be a critic.
- Leslie Fiedler

What I really dream of is that somebody would blow
everything I've done out of the water in a beautiful way,
which would clear the way for something better to come along.
- Leslie Fiedler

Raymond Carver is good.
I think he'll be appreciated more and more.
He's an easy writer to imitate.
- Leslie Fiedler

I've been writing about James Fenimore Cooper.
He was not a writer.
Here was a man who was 30 years old and had never put
anything more than his signature on paper.
- Leslie Fiedler

If there's one thing I can't stand, it's somebody doing
something because I pushed them in that direction.
- Leslie Fiedler

Faulkner turned out to be a great teacher.
When a student asked a question ineptly,
he answered the question with what the student had really wanted to know.
- Leslie Fiedler

When somebody asks me what I do, I don't think I'd say critic.
I say writer.
- Leslie Fiedler

I never met anybody in my life who says,
I want to be a critic.
People want to be a fireman, poet, novelist.
- Leslie Fiedler

I admire Ginsberg as a poet, despite the fact that
he seems not to know when he is being good and when he is bad.
But he will last, or at least those poems will last.
- Leslie Fiedler

The novel is the first art form that is an honest-to-god commodity.
That's what makes it different from both high art and folk art.
- Leslie Fiedler

The black situation has changed.
They finally realized they're Americans.
- Leslie Fiedler

The middlebrow, I hate.
- Leslie Fiedler

There are things in American culture that want to wipe the class distinction.
Blue jeans.
Ready-made clothes.
Coca-Cola.
- Leslie Fiedler

My assignment is what every writer's assignment is:
tell the truth of his own time.
- Leslie Fiedler

Jane Austen is at the end of the line that begins with Samuel Richardson,
which takes wonder and magic out of the novel,
treats not the past but the present.
- Leslie Fiedler

DeLillo never seems committed to me to what he is writing.
Very nice surfaces, but he's got nothing underneath.
- Leslie Fiedler

Anybody in the next centuries wanting to know what
it was like to be a poet in the middle of the 20th
century should read Kaddish.
- Leslie Fiedler

Cooper wrote a novel which is absolutely indistinguishable from Austen,
completely from a female point of view,
completely English, no sense that he was an American.
- Leslie Fiedler

It's so wrong when I pick up a new edition of Huckleberry
Finn and I look at the last page and it doesn't say,
Yours truly, at the end.
- Leslie Fiedler

Critics? How do they happen? I know how it happened to me.
I would send a poem or story to a magazine and they
would say this doesn't suit our needs precisely but
on the other hand you sound interesting.
Would you be interested in doing a review?
- Leslie Fiedler

When I was 12 years old, someone took me to see Martha Graham.
It was nothing like what I thought of as serious dancing
and even then I knew I was having a great experience.
It was as if somebody was moving through space like no one ever did before.
- Leslie Fiedler

I've had a tough time with Pynchon.
I liked him very much when I first read him.
I liked him less with each book.
He got denser and more complex in a way that didn't really pay off.
- Leslie Fiedler

I think Henry Miller has had huge influence not because he wrote about sex,
but because the memoir or the nonfiction novel has
become such a monumental force in American publishing,
if not in literature.
- Leslie Fiedler

The frightening thought that what you draw may become
a building makes for reasoned lines.
- Saul Steinberg

Proper names are rigid designators.
- Saul Kripke

The artist is an educator of artists of the future
who are able to understand and in the process of understanding perform unexpected -
the best -
evolutions.
- Saul Steinberg

There are evils that have the ability to survive identification and go on for ever...
money, for instance, or war.
- Saul Bellow

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance
when the need for illusion is deep.
- Saul Bellow

No realistic, sane person goes around Chicago without protection.
- Saul Bellow

I'm glad I haven't lived in vain.
- Saul Bellow

Bankers - pillars of society who are going to hell
if there is a God and He has been accurately quoted.
- John Ralston Saul

Everyone has an equal right to inequality.
- John Ralston Saul

History is a relay of revolutions.
- Saul Alinsky

Humanism: an exaltation of freedom, but one limited
by our need to exercise it as an integral part of nature and society.
- John Ralston Saul

The greatest enemy of individual freedom is the individual himself.
- Saul Alinsky

What is art but a way of seeing?
- Saul Bellow

A fool can throw a stone in a pond that 100 wise men can not get out.
- Saul Bellow

A beautiful woman can be painted as a totem only;
not as a woman,
but as a Madonna, a queen, a sphinx.
- Saul Steinberg

Goodness is achieved not in a vacuum,
but in the company of other men, attended by love.
- Saul Bellow

A man is only as good as what he loves.
- Saul Bellow

The citizen's job is to be rude - to pierce the comfort
of professional intercourse by boorish expressions of doubt.
- John Ralston Saul

Hapiness can only be found if you can free yourself
of all other distractions.
- Saul Bellow

Conquered people tend to be witty.
- Saul Bellow

A novel is balanced between a few true impressions
and the multitude of false ones that make up most of what we call life.
- Saul Bellow

Do not let the Obama administration fool you with all
their cunning Alinsky methods.
And if you don't know what that method is,
I implore you to get the book 'Rules for Radicals,'
by Saul Alinsky.
Mr. Obama is very well trained in these methods.
- Jon Voight

Marx was fortunate to have been born eighty years before Walt Disney.
Disney also promised a child's paradise and unlike Marx,
delivered on his promise.
- John Ralston Saul

We are always looking for the book it is necessary to read next.
- Saul Bellow

We must believe that it is the darkest before the dawn
of a beautiful new world.
We will see it when we believe it.
- Saul Alinsky


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