Best 172 of Amos Oz quotes - MyQuotes

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Amos Oz
By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

I'm not sure I'm happy with words such as "task" or "role" when they are attached to literature. I prefer to talk about the gift of literature rather than its role or task. You know, gynecology has a role; sex is a gift. And literature is not about sending messages.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Amos Oz

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a tragedy; it is a clash between right and right. And, therefore it's not black and white. Sometimes, recently it is indeed a clash between wrong and wrong. It is not as simple as fascism was.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Amos Oz

Universally, not only in Israel, people want to feel good about themselves. We all want to feel good to some extent.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Amos Oz

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

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

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.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

All my novels are rooted in their time and in their place. The place of my novels is Israel, almost without exception. Almost without exception, my novels are rooted in Israel because that's the place I know well. And, that's my gutsy advice to any young writer: write only about what you know well. Don't write about that which you don't know.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

I don't believe in binational states. There are wonderful examples of this, prosperous multinational states: Switzerland, Switzerland and Switzerland. Everywhere else - be it Cyprus, Yugoslavia or the Soviet Union, it ended in a terrible bloodbath.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Amos Oz

My dream for Israel is peace, external and internal peace.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

I don't think Israelis are less critical of corruption than people in Italy, France or America. Israel is special in a different way. There is a daytime Israel and a nighttime Israel. The first is self-confident, pushy and passionate, like other Mediterranean lands. It is hedonistic, materialistic and almost arrogant. During the nighttime, people are terrified, people are filled with existential dreads. These fears aren't baseless.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Amos Oz

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.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

I don't think a decent person has to choose between being pro-Israel and pro-Palestine. I think you have to be pro-Peace.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Amos Oz

It is crystal clear to me that if Arabs put down a draft resolution blaming Israel for the recent earthquake in Iran it would probably have a majority, the U.S. would veto it and Britain and France would abstain.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Amos Oz

Of course, we carry inside of ourselves our parents. Even when they are dead, we carry them inside ourselves. And they are carrying inside themselves their dead parents and so on and so forth. There is a legacy of language and culture and religion. In some cases, family stories told by grandparents to little grandchildren. When I say my novels are set in Israel in the last seventy years, this entails the fact that they begin hundreds or thousands of years earlier in time. Everybody comes from somewhere.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

Israel is a fulfillment, and as a fulfillment, it is flawed. Dreams fulfilled are imperfect. And, Israel is imperfect, of course it is - a far cry from the monumental dreams of the founding fathers. One of the reasons is that their dreams were unrealistic. They were bigger than life. These were messianic dreams, dreams about total redemption for the Jews, for the world. Such dreams do not come true, not in their entirety.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Amos Oz

The battlefield is first and foremost horrible stenches, not sights, not sounds, but stenches. They don't travel well into literature.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Amos Oz

ll our tongues and cultures are constant shoplifters" from other tongues and cultures.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

In writing a novel, the writer must be able to identify emotionally and intellectually with two or three or four contradicting perspectives and give each of them very a convincing voice. It's like playing tennis with yourself and you have to be on both sides of the yard. You have to be on both sides, or all sides if there are more than two sides.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Amos Oz

Literature belongs first and foremost to the language in which it is being written. The very same book, even if it is translated very accurately, let's say from Hebrew into English or from English into Hebrew, becomes a different book because language is a musical instrument.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

Almost without exception, my novels are rooted in Israel because that's the place I know well.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Amos Oz

I would not waste five years of my life in order to send to the Israeli readers a simple message such as, "Let us change a policy or stop the settlements," Or, "Let us strive for peace." This is not what it is about.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

I'm a great believer in compromises. I do not believe in capitulation.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

In fact, every one of us - every nation, every individual begins hundreds, perhaps thousands of years prior to the date that appears in the passport.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Amos Oz

Now, Israel is a fulfillment, and as a fulfillment, it is flawed. The fact that it is flawed is not so much a testimony about the failures of Israel. No, it is a testimony about the nature of dreams.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Amos Oz

Papa used to say that wealth is a sin and poverty is a punishment but that God apparently wants there to be no connection between the sin and the punishment. One man sins and another is punished. That's how the world is made.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

If people are pro-Israel, they are pro-Israel one-hundred-and-twenty percent. If they are anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian, they tend to be pro-Palestinian one-hundred-and-twenty percent.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Amos Oz

… 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.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Amos Oz

Words create conceptions and self-conceptions and ultimately nations. They can start and stop wars. They can would and heal. Choosing words carefully is a moral responsibility.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

I know that a translation of a work of literature is like playing a violin concerto on the piano. You can do this. You can do this very successfully on one strict condition: never try to force the piano to produce the sounds of the violin. This will be grotesque.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

I'm a great believer in compromise. I know it's not popular among young idealists.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Amos Oz

Of course my books are translated into many languages. I have here, in my home, translations on my shelf of my books into forty-five different languages. Almost none of them I can read. I can read only the English editions. But, I know that a translation of a work of literature is like playing a violin concerto on the piano. You can do this. You can do this very successfully on one strict condition: never try to force the piano to produce the sounds of the violin. This will be grotesque. So, different musical instruments provide for different music.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Amos Oz

The Old Testament is full of poetry, prophecies, chronicles, documentations, storytelling, fairytales.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

If people are pro-Israel, they are pro-Israel one-hundred-and-twenty percent. If they are anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian, they tend to be pro-Palestinian one-hundred-and-twenty percent. I don't think a decent person has to choose between being pro-Israel and pro-Palestine. I think you have to be pro-Peace.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Amos Oz

Sometimes Yoel had the feeling that it was not his sexual organ but his whole being that was penetrating and luxuriating inside her womb. That he was entirety wrapped up and quivering inside her. Until with each caress the difference between caresser and caressed vanished, as though they had ceased being a man and a woman making love and had become one flesh.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Amos Oz

We got a wonderful present from Stalin and Hitler that they never meant to give us. We were immune for 60 years or so to aggression, racism and militarism. They made us partly immune to these things. Now it appears this Stalin-Hitler present has reached its expiration date. We were spoiled by this. So maybe we are just emerging out of a relatively golden age.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Amos Oz

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.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Amos Oz

When people have peace, they hate it and long for excitement, and when they have excitement, they want peace.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Amos Oz

Literature may make the reader reexamine some of his or her own conventions, look at himself or herself in a different way, look at others in a different way. This goes way beyond just making statements or manifesting principles.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

I follow the way people change. I follow the way people, who are very antagonized to one another become very close to one another and vice-versa. Sometimes I follow the way people who are intimately close to each other move apart. This is my business as a novelist. It is not about positions and ideas.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

D.H. Lawrence, I think, defined the difference between writing an article and writing a novel very well. He said, in writing a novel, the writer must be able to identify emotionally and intellectually with two or three or four contradicting perspectives and give each of them very a convincing voice. It's like playing tennis with yourself and you have to be on both sides of the yard. You have to be on both sides, or all sides if there are more than two sides.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

Every decent man had to be against fascism, period.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

All my novels are rooted in their time and in their place.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

Hebrew is deeply inspired by other languages.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Amos Oz

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.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

Israel is a fulfilled dream. Nothing that exists here existed here a hundred years ago.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

I find the family the most mysterious and fascinating institution in the world.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Amos Oz

Dreams fulfilled are imperfect.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Amos Oz

The Palestinians have no other land. They are absolutely right about this. The Israeli Jews also have no other land and they are absolutely right about this. It is a tragedy of two peoples claiming the same very small country - very small, about the size of New Jersey. And both of them are right. Both of them have no other homeland as peoples. As individuals, maybe, but not as a people.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Amos Oz

I write in words. I don't write in sounds or in shapes or in flavors.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Amos Oz

You know, gynecology has a role; sex is a gift. And literature is not about sending messages.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Amos Oz

If you have no more tears left to weep, then don't weep. Laugh.