65 Saul Bellow Quotes On Success In Life

Saul Bellow was a Canadian-American writer. For his literary work, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the National Medal of Arts. He is the only writer to win the National Book Award for Fiction three times and he received the National Book Foundation’s lifetime Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 1990. These Saul Bellow quotes will motivate you.

Best Saul Bellow Quotes

  1. “A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.” ~ Saul Bellow
  2. “Associate with the noblest people you can find; read the best books; live with the mighty; but learn to be happy alone.” ~ Saul Bellow
  3. “Unexpected intrusions of beauty. This is what life is.” ~ Saul Bellow
  4. “When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.” ~ Saul Bellow
  5. “You can spend the entire second half of your life recovering from the mistakes of the first half.” ~ Saul Bellow
  6. “Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take small steps.” ~ Saul Bellow
  7. “Readiness to answer all questions is the infallible sign of stupidity.” ~ Saul Bellow

  8. “I feel that art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm. I think that art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction.” ~ Saul Bellow
  9. “A man is only as good as what he loves.” ~ Saul Bellow
  10. “Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.” ~ Saul Bellow
  11. “Human character is smaller now, people don’t have durable passions; they’ve replaced passions with excitement.” ~ Saul Bellow
  12. “Losing a parent is something like driving through a plate-glass window. You didn’t know it was there until it shattered, and then for years to come you’re picking up the pieces — down to the last glassy splinter.” ~ Saul Bellow
  13. “I have begun in old age to understand…that we seldom if ever realize how generous we are to ourselves, and just how stingy with others.” ~ Saul Bellow
  14. “Open discussion of many major public questions has for some time now been taboo. We can’t open our mouths without being denounced as racists, misogynists, supremacists, imperialists, or fascists. As for the media, they stand ready to trash anyone so designated.” ~ Saul Bellow
  15. “When the striving ceases, there is life waiting as a gift.” ~ Saul Bellow

  16. “A fool can throw a stone in a pond that 100 wise men can not get out.” ~ Saul Bellow
  17. “Our society, like decadent Rome, has turned into an amusement society, with writers chief among the court jesters” ~ Saul Bellow
  18. “In every community, there is a class of people profoundly dangerous to the rest. I don’t mean the criminals. For them, we have punitive sanctions. I mean the leaders. Invariably the most dangerous people seek the power. While in the parlors of indignation the right-thinking citizen brings his heart to a boil. (p. 51)” ~ Saul Bellow
  19. “In an age of madness, to expect to be untouched by madness is a form of madness. But the pursuit of sanity can be a form of madness, too” ~ Saul Bellow
  20. “People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned.” ~ Saul Bellow

  21. “I blame myself for not often enough seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary. Somewhere in his journals, Dostoyevsky remarks that a writer can begin anywhere, at the most commonplace thing, scratch around in it long enough, pry and dig away long enough, and lo!, soon he will hit upon the marvelous.” ~ Saul Bellow , Saul Bellow quotes on writer
  22. “We mustn’t forget how quickly the visions of genius become the canned goods of intellectuals.” ~ Saul Bellow
  23. “A plan relieves you of the torment of choice.” ~ Saul Bellow
  24. “…America didn’t have to fight scarcity and we all felt guilty before people who still had to struggle for bread and freedom in the old way … We weren’t starving, we weren’t bugged by the police, locked up in madhouses for our ideas, arrested, deported, slave laborers sent to die in concentration camps. We were spared the holocausts and nights of terror. With our advantages, we should be formulating the new basic questions for mankind. But instead, we sleep. Just sleep and sleep, and eat and play and fuss and sleep again.” ~ Saul Bellow
  25. “A man must have limits and cannot give in to the wild desires to be everything and everyone and everything to everyone.” ~ Saul Bellow
  26. “The spirit knows that its growth is the real aim of existence.” ~ Saul Bellow

  27. Happiness can only be found if you can free yourself of all other distractions.” ~ Saul Bellow
  28. “I want to tell you, don’t marry suffering. Some people do. They get married to it, and sleep and eat together, just as husband and wife. If they go with joy they think it’s adultery.” ~ Saul Bellow
  29. “We are all such accidents. We do not makeup history and culture. We simply appear, not by our own choice. We make what we can of our condition with the means available. We must accept the mixture as we find it – the impurity of it, the tragedy of it, the hope of it.” ~ Saul Bellow
  30. “I’ve never turned over a fig leaf yet that didn’t have a price tag on the other side.” ~ Saul Bellow
  31. “I am money medium. It passes through me- taxes, insurance, mortgage, child support, rent, legal fees. All this dignified blundering costs plenty.” ~ Saul Bellow , Saul Bellow quotes on money
  32. “Live or die but don’t poison everything.” ~ Saul Bellow
  33. “It’s goodbye to reality when love sets in.” ~ Saul Bellow

  34. “Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living. But the over-examined life makes you wish you were dead. Given the alternative, I’d rather be living.” ~ Saul Bellow
  35. “It’s no disgrace to be a private, you know. Socrates was a plain foot soldier, a hoplite.” ~ Saul Bellow
  36. “Bringing people into the here-and-now. The real universe. That’s the present moment. The past is no good to us. The future is full of anxiety. Only the present is real–the here-and-now. Seize the day.” ~ Saul Bellow
  37. “Towards the end of your life you have something like a pain schedule to fill out – a long schedule like a federal document, only it’s your pain schedule. Endless categories. First, physical causes – like arthritis, gallstones, menstrual cramps. New category, injured vanity, betrayal, swindle, injustice. But the hardest items of all have to do with love. The question then is: So why does everybody persist? If love cuts them up so much.” ~ Saul Bellow
  38. “Anxiety destroys scale, and suffering makes us lose perspective.” ~ Saul Bellow

  39. “I love solitude, but I prize it most when plenty of company is available.” ~ Saul Bellow
  40. “Death is the dark backing a mirror needs if we are to see anything” ~ Saul Bellow
  41. “The two real problems in life are boredom and death.” ~ Saul Bellow
  42. “Goodness is achieved not in a vacuum, but in the company of other men, attended by love.” ~ Saul Bellow
  43. “The first undressing of two lovers is a most special event.” ~ Saul Bellow
  44. “People don’t realize how much they are in the grip of ideas. We live among ideas much more than we live in nature.” ~ Saul Bellow
  45. “Boredom is an instrument of social control. Power is the power to impose boredom, to command stasis, to combine this stasis with anguish. The real tedium, deep tedium, is seasoned with terror and with death.” ~ Saul Bellow
  46. “An exchange occurs between man and woman. Love and thought complete each other in the human pair, and something like an exchange of souls takes place, according to the divine plan.” ~ Saul Bellow
  47. “It seems, after all, that there are no non peculiar people.” ~ Saul Bellow

  48. “Art is order, made out of the chaos of life.” ~ Saul Bellow
  49. “Those who have a why to live for can bear almost anyhow. The necessary premise is that a person is somehow more than his or her “characteristics,” all the emotions, strivings, tastes, and constructions which it pleases us to call “My Life.” We have grounds to hope that a Life is something more than a cloud of particles, mere facticity. Go through what is comprehensible and you conclude that only the incomprehensible gives any light.” ~ Saul Bellow
  50. “All human accomplishment has this same origin, identically. Imagination is a force of nature. Is this not enough to make a person full of ecstasy? Imagination, imagination, imagination! It converts to actual. It sustains, it alters, it redeems!” ~ Saul Bellow
  51. “All a writer has to do to get a woman is to say he’s a writer. It’s an aphrodisiac.” ~ Saul Bellow

  52. “The fact that there are so many weak, poor and boring stories and novels written and published in America has been ascribed by our rebels to the horrible squareness of our institutions, the idiocy of power, the debasement of sexual instincts, and the failure of writers to be alienated enough. The poems and novels of these same rebellious spirits, and their theoretical statements, are grimy and gritty and very boring too, besides being nonsensical, and it is evident by now that polymorphous sexuality and vehement declarations of alienation are not going to produce great works of art either.” ~ Saul Bellow
  53. “We take foreigners to be incomplete Americans — convinced that we must help and hasten their evolution.” ~ Saul Bellow
  54. “The late philosopher Morris R. Cohen of CCNY was asked by a student in the metaphysics course, Professor Cohen, how do I know that I exist? The keen old prof replied, And who is asking?” ~ Saul Bellow Quotes
  55. “In the greatest confusion, there is still an open channel to the soul. It may be difficult to find because by midlife it is overgrown, and some of the wildest thickets that surround it grow out of what we describe as our education. But the channel is always there, and it is our business to keep it open, to have access to the deepest part of ourselves.” ~ Saul Bellow
  56. “Take our politicians: they’re a bunch of yo-yos. The presidency is now a cross between a popularity contest and a high school debate, with an encyclopedia of cliches.” ~ Saul Bellow
  57. “The body, she says, is subject to the force of gravity. But the soul is ruled by levity, pure.” ~ Saul Bellow

  58. “You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” ~ Saul Bellow
  59. “He believed that he must, that he could and would recover the good things, the happy things, the easy tranquil things of life. He had made mistakes, but he could overlook these. He had been a fool, but that could be forgiven. The time wasted–must be relinquished. What else could one do about it? Things were too complex, but they might be reduced to simplicity again. Recovery was possible.” ~ Saul Bellow
  60. “We are always looking for the book it is necessary to read next.” ~ Saul Bellow
  61. “I don’t actually take much stock in the collapsing culture bit. I’m beginning to see it instead as the conduct of life without input from your soul.” ~ Saul Bellow
  62. “Boredom is the conviction that you can’t change … the shriek of unused capacities.” ~ Saul Bellow
  63. “Excuse me … but I reject your definitions of me.” ~ Saul Bellow
  64. “In an age of enormities, the emotions are naturally weakened. We are continually called upon to have feelings – about genocide, for instance, or about famine or the blowing up of passenger planes – and we are all aware that we are incapable of reacting appropriately. A guilty consciousness of emotional inadequacy or impotence makes people doubt their own human weight.” ~ Saul Bellow
  65. “In Los Angeles, all the loose objects in the country were collected, as if America had been tilted and everything that wasn’t tightly screwed down had slid into Southern California.” ~ Saul Bellow

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