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Isaac Bashevis Singer (1902 – 1991)


Polish-American writer of short stories and novels in Yiddish; he used his mother's name in devising his penname "Bashevis".
Isaac Bashevis Singer
Take three quarts of duck's milk...
Singer quotes
We must believe in free will — we have no choice.
Singer
I know as a writer how valuable a tool is the wastebasket. Perhaps God throws away many experiments before He finds the right expression. Perhaps we are the discards — or we could be the part He keeps. This mystery is what keeps us all going, to see what happens in the next chapter.




Singer Isaac Bashevis quotes
The storyteller and poet of our time, as in any other time, must be an entertainer of the spirit in the full sense of the word, not just a preacher of social or political ideals. There is no paradise for bored readers and no excuse for tedious literature that does not intrigue the reader, uplift him, give him the joy and the escape that true art always grants. Nevertheless, it is also true that the serious writer of our time must be deeply concerned about the problems of his generation. He cannot but see that the power of religion, especially belief in revelation, is weaker today than it was in any other epoch in human history. More and more children grow up without faith in God, without belief in reward and punishment, in the immortality of the soul and even in the validity of ethics. The genuine writer cannot ignore the fact that the family is losing its spiritual foundation.
Singer Isaac Bashevis
If Moses had been paid newspaper rates for the Ten Commandments, he might have written the Two Thousand Commandments.
Isaac Bashevis Singer quotes
Although I came to doubt all revelation, I can never accept the idea that the Universe is a physical or chemical accident, a result of blind evolution. Even though I learned to recognize the lies, the clichés and the idolatries of the human mind, I still cling to some truths which I think all of us might accept some day. There must be a way for man to attain all possible pleasures, all the powers and knowledge that nature can grant him, and still serve God — a God who speaks in deeds, not in words, and whose vocabulary is the Cosmos.
Isaac Bashevis Singer
I started to "write" even before I knew the alphabet. I would dip a pen in ink and scribble. I also liked to draw — horses, houses, dogs. The Sabbath was an ordeal for me, because it is forbidden to write on that day.
Singer Isaac Bashevis quotes
The analysis of character is the highest human entertainment.
Singer
When I was a little boy, they called me a liar, but now that I am grown up, they call me a writer.
Singer Isaac Bashevis
I don't invent characters because the Almightly has already invented millions… Just like experts at fingerprints do not create fingerprints but learn how to read them.
Isaac Bashevis Singer
Doubt is part of all religion. All the religious thinkers were doubters.




Isaac Bashevis Singer quotes
The Jewish people have been in exile for 2,000 years; they have lived in hundreds of countries, spoken hundreds of languages and still they kept their old language, Hebrew. They kept their Aramaic, later their Yiddish; they kept their books; they kept their faith.
Isaac Bashevis Singer
I have many times resigned myself to never finding a true way out. But a new hope always emerges telling me that it is not yet too late for all of us to take stock and make a decision. I was brought up to believe in free will.
Singer quotes
A story to me means a plot where there is some surprise… Because that is how life is — full of surprises.
Singer Isaac Bashevis
We write not only for children but also for their parents. They, too, are serious children.
Singer Isaac Bashevis quotes
Strange as these words may sound I often play with the idea that when all the social theories collapse and wars and revolutions leave humanity in utter gloom, the poet — whom Plato banned from his Republic — may rise up to save us all.
Isaac Bashevis Singer
Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of nonknowledge.
Isaac Bashevis Singer quotes
Life is God's novel. Let him write it.
Isaac Bashevis Singer
One can find in the Yiddish tongue and in the Yiddish spirit expressions of pious joy, lust for life, longing for the Messiah, patience and deep appreciation of human individuality. There is a quiet humor in Yiddish and a gratitude for every day of life, every crumb of success, each encounter of love. The Yiddish mentality is not haughty. It does not take victory for granted. It does not demand and command but it muddles through, sneaks by, smuggles itself amidst the powers of destruction, knowing somewhere that God's plan for Creation is still at the very beginning.
Singer Isaac Bashevis
I am not ashamed to admit that I belong to those who fantasize that literature is capable of bringing new horizons and new perspectives — philosophical, religious, aesthetical and even social. In the history of old Jewish literature there was never any basic difference between the poet and the prophet. Our ancient poetry often became law and a way of life.


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