Tuesday, June 27, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

William Saroyan (1908 – 1981)


Armenian American author, famous for his novel The Human Comedy (1943), and other works dealing with the comedies and tragedies of everyday existence.
William Saroyan
I had long known that there was something about me that was either violent or frightening for some reason. In certain three-sided clothing store images I had for some years come upon myself, with shock and disbelief, regret, and shame, disappointment and despair, for I am indeed clearly violent, mad, and ugly, all because of intensity of some kind, a tension, an obsession with getting everything that there was to be got, a passion, an insanity.
Saroyan quotes
Be, beget, begone.
Saroyan
One nickel, one secret. No exchanges, no refunds.




Saroyan William quotes
Through the air on the flying trapeze, his mind hummed. Amusing it was, astoundingly funny. A trapeze to God, or to nothing, a flying trapeze to some sort of eternity; he prayed objectively for strength to make the flight with grace.
Saroyan William
I am an estranged man, said the liar: estranged from myself, from my family, my fellow man, my country, my world, my time, and my culture. I am not estranged from God, although I am a disbeliever in everything about God excepting God indefinable, inside all and careless of all.
William Saroyan quotes
In the time of your life, live so that in that good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches. Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding-place and let it be free and unashamed. Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption. Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world. Ignore the obvious, for it is unworthy of the clear eye and the kindly heart. Be the inferior of no man, nor of any man be the superior. Remember that every man is a variation of yourself. No man's guilt is not yours, nor is any man's innocence a thing apart. Despise evil and ungodliness, but not men of ungodliness or evil. These, understand. Have no shame in being kindly and gentle, but if the time comes in the time of your life to kill, kill and have no regret. In the time of your life, live so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.
William Saroyan
Everything is changed for you. But it is still the same, too. The loneliness you feel has come to you because you are no longer a child. But the whole world has always been full of that loneliness. The loneliness does not come from the War. The War did not make it. It was the loneliness that made the War.
Saroyan William quotes
I was never interested in the obvious, or in the details one takes for granted, and everybody seemed to be addicted to the obvious, being astonished by it, and forever harping about the details which I had long ago weighted, measured, and discarded as irrelevant and useless. If you can measure it, don't. If you can weigh it, it isn't worth the bother. It isn't what you're after. It isn't going to get it. My wisdom was visual and as swift as vision. I looked, I saw, I understood, I felt, "That's that, where do we go from here?"
Saroyan
I have read books about the behavior of mobs The Mob by Le Bon, if I remember rightly, was one about the crime in children, and the genius in them, about the greatest bodies of things, and about the littlest of them. I have been fascinated by it all, grateful for it all, grateful for the sheer majesty of the existence of ideas, stories, fables, and paper and ink and print and books to hold them all together for a man to take aside and examine alone. But the man I liked most and the man who seemed to remind me of myself of what I really was and would surely become was George Bernard Shaw.
Saroyan William
The people you hate, well, this is the question about such people: why do you hate them?
William Saroyan
At his best, things do not happen to the artist; he happens to them.




William Saroyan quotes
How did money ever happen? What's it mean? What's it for?
William Saroyan
One need not have been raised in Fresno to appreciate Saroyan, though I suppose it helps. Certainly he, better than anybody, captured the valley's strange texture: the mishmash landscape of farm, town and deserts; the jostling of so many different peoples, all a bit bewildered at finding themselves thrown together ... Certainly Fresnans never forgave Saroyan for his harsher observations about the old hometown. The more political Armenians complained he wasted too many words on the human comedy, and not enough on the tragedy of a lost homeland. That he wrote so personally, and from the heart, gave literary critics their target: He was, they scolded, an undisciplined sentimentalist, mawkish. ... For whatever reasons, Saroyan today is held under book-land quarantine. Few of his titles are in print. He's barely taught in schools. His own plans for literary legacy a writers-in-residence program, posthumous publication of many works have been scrapped or stalled. They did name a theater after him in Fresno, the one thing he expressly requested not be done.
Those who remain under the Saroyan spell can only hope that the world will come around. His work simply seems too extraordinary, and universal, to be cleared from the shelves...
Saroyan quotes
My superficial manners stink and my profound manners are almost as bad.
Saroyan William
I saw rich beggars and poor beggars, proud beggars and humble beggars, fat beggars and thin beggars, healthy beggars and sick beggars, whole beggars and crippled beggars, wise beggars and stupid beggars. I saw amateur beggars and professional beggars. A professional beggar is a beggar who begs for a living.
Saroyan William quotes
All I can do is write my stories for mankind, and rest easy.
William Saroyan
I took to writing at an early age to escape from meaninglessness, uselessness, unimportance, insignificance, poverty, enslavement, ill health, despair, madness, and all manner of other unattractive, natural and inevitable things.
William Saroyan quotes
The end of life evokes the errors of it, and a fellow wishes he had known better.
William Saroyan
There's a pretty woman for ever lucky man in the world: every man in the world is a lucky man if he only knew it, so why waste time?
Saroyan William
All great art has madness, and quite a lot of bad art has it, too.


© 2009–2013Quotes Privacy Policy | Contact