Cynthia Ozick
Quotations


Wondrous hole! Magical hole! Dazzlingly influential hole! Noble and effulgent hole! From this hole everything follows logically: first the baby, then the placenta, then, for years and years and years until death, a way of life. It is all logic, and she who lives by the hole will live also by its logic. It is, appropriately, logic with a hole in it.

After a certain number of years our faces become our biographies. We get to be responsible for our faces.

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.

The usefulness of madmen is famous: they demonstrate society’s logic flagrantly carried out down to its last scrimshaw scrap.

In saying what is obvious, never choose cunning. Yelling works better.

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.



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