Amos Oz Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Amos Oz. Here they are! All 100 of them:

Every single pleasure I can imagine or have experienced is more delightful, more of a pleasure, if you take it in small sips, if you take your time. Reading is not an exception.
Amos Oz
If you steal from one book you are condemned as a plagiarist, but if you steal from ten books you are considered a scholar, and if you steal from thirty or forty books, a distinguished scholar.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
There are lots of women who are attracted to tyrannical men. Like moths to a flame. And there are some women who do not need a hero or even a stormy lover but a friend. Just remember that when you grow up. Steer clear of the tryant lovers, and try to locate the ones who are looking for a man as a friend, not because they are feeling empty themselves but because they enjoy making you full too. And remember that friendship between a woman and a man is something much more precious and rare than love: love is actually something quite gross and even clumsy compared to friendship. Friendship includes a measure of sensitivity, attentiveness, generosity, and a finely tuned sense of moderation.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
The best way to know the soul of another country is to read its literature.
Amos Oz
A conflict begins and ends in the hearts and minds of people, not in the hilltops.
Amos Oz
I now believe that all journeys are ridiculous: the only journey from which you don't always come back empty-handed is the journey inside yourself.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
When I was little, my ambition was to grow up to be a book. Not a writer. People can be killed like ants. Writers are not hard to kill either. But not books: however systematically you try to destroy them, there is always a chance that a copy will survive and continue to enjoy a shelf-life in some corner on an out-of-the-way library somehwere in Reykjavik, Valladolid or Vancouver.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
Facts have a tendency to obscure the truth.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
Love is a curious mixture of opposites, a blend of extreme selfishness and total devotion. A paradox! Besides which, love, everybody is always talking about love, love, but love isn't something you choose, you catch it like a disease, you get trapped in it, like a disaster.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
If you have no more tears left to weep, then don’t weep. Laugh.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
The whole of reality was just a vain attempt to imitate the world of words.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
There is no freedom about this: the world gives, and you just take what you're given, with no opportunity to choose.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
… 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.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
She had not wanted him to but had let him have his way because ever since she was a child she had generally yielded before anyone with strong willpower, especially if it was a man, not because she was naturally submissive, but because strong male willpower gave her a feeling of safety and trust, together with acceptance and a desire to give in.
Amos Oz
The fact is that all the power in the world cannot transform someone who hates you into someone who likes you. It can turn a foe into a slave, but not into a friend. All the power in the world cannot transform a fanatic into an enlightened man. All the power in the world cannot transform someone thirsting for vengeance into a lover.
Amos Oz (Judas)
And remember that friendship between a woman and a man is something much more precious and rare than love: love is actually something quite gross and even clumsy compared to friendship. Friendship includes a measure of sensitivity, attentiveness, generosity, and a finely tuned sense of moderation.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
everything, every speck of dust, every drop of water continue to exist eternally, albeit in different forms, except for my soul?
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
عملياً هذا الدافع الغريب الذي لازمني عندما كنت صغيراً - الرغبة أن أمنح فرصة أخرى لمن لا توجد و لن تكون لهم فرصة ثانية - هو أحد الدوافع التي مازالت تحركني حتى الآن كلما جلست لكتابة قصة
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
When my father was a young man in Vilna, every wall in Europe said, "Jews go home to Palestine." Fifty years later, when he went back to Europe on a visit, the walls all screamed, "Jews get out of Palestine.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
Feelings are just a fire in a field of stubble: it burns for a moment, and then all that’s left is soot and ashes. Do you know what the main thing is—the thing a woman should look for in her man? She should look for a quality that’s not at all exciting but that’s rarer than gold: decency.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
He had the feeling that he must make a decision, and though he was used to making many decisions every day, this time he was beset with uncertainty; in fact he had no idea what was being asked of him
Amos Oz (Scenes from Village Life)
عندما كنت صغيراً راودني أمل أن أكبر و أن أكون كتاباً لا كاتباً. اذ أن الانسان يمكن أن يُقتل مثل النمل، كذلك الكُتّاب ليس من الصعب قتلهم. أما الكتاب وحتى و ان أبادوه بطريقة منهجية، هناك احتمال لأن تنجو نسخة منه وتبقى حيّة حياة أبدية صامتة على أحد الرفوف المنسية في مكتبة ما نائية .
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
In a short story by Chekhov or a novel by Balzac he found mysteries which, so far as he was aware, did not exist in any spy thriller. 35
Amos Oz (To Know a Woman)
once you have lifted your foot, do not be in a hurry to put it down again: who can tell what menacing nest of vipers you might step on.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
Closing your eyes to the cruelty of life is, in my opinion, both stupid and sinful. There's very little we can do about it. So we have to at least acknowledge it.
Amos Oz (Between Friends)
But there's also an upside-down sort of happiness, a black happiness, that comes from doing evil to others.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
We could talk about totally different things. Like the seasons of the year, for example, or even the star-filled sky of these summer nights: I'm interested in stars and nebulas. Maybe you are, too?
Amos Oz (Between Friends)
have never once in my life seen a fanatic with a sense of humor. AMOS OZ
Jonas Jonasson (The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden)
Precisamos de um senso de justiça, mas precisamos também de senso comum, de imaginação, de uma capacidade profunda de imaginar o outro, às vezes de nos colocarmos na pele do outro. Precisamos da capacidade racional de nos comprometer e, às vezes, de fazer sacrifícios e concessões. p. 53
Amos Oz (How to Cure a Fanatic)
The day life appeared on Earth, death appeared with it.
Amos Oz (Rhyming Life & Death: A Novel)
Judaism and Christianity, and Islam too, all drip honeyed words of love and mercy so long as they do not have access to handcuffs, grills, dominion, torture chambers, and gallows. All these faiths, including those that have appeared in recent generations and continue to mesmerize adherents to this day, all arose to save us and all just as soon started to shed our blood.
Amos Oz (Judas)
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.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
Всеки от нас е полуостров, наполовина свързан със сушата, наполовина обърнат към океана. Едната ни половина е свързана здраво със семейството, приятелите, културата, местната традиция, нацията, пола, езика и много други неща, а другата половина иска свободата да се обърне към океана.
Amos Oz (How to Cure a Fanatic)
The real tragedy of humankind,’ Shealtiel used to say, ‘is not that the persecuted and enslaved crave to be liberated and to hold their heads high. No. The worst thing is that the enslaved secretly dream of enslaving their enslavers. The persecuted yearn to be persecutors. The slaves dream of being masters. As in the book of Esther.
Amos Oz (Judas)
Almost everyone traverses their lifespan, from birth to death, with eyes closed. Even you and I, my dear Shmuel. With eyes closed. If we open our eyes for just a moment, a great and terrible cry will burst forth from us and we shall scream and never stop. And if we don’t cry out day and night, that’s a sign that our eyes are closed.
Amos Oz (Judas)
La tragedia de los hombres, decía Shaltiel, no estriba en que los perseguidos y los oprimidos aspiren a liberarse y a hacerse respetar. No. La maldad está en que los oprimidos, en lo más profundo de sus corazones, realmente sueñan en convertirse en opresores de sus opresores. Los perseguidos anhelan ser perseguidores. Los siervos sueñan con ser amos.
Amos Oz (Judas)
Love is a kind of infection, possessing then releasing you.
Amos Oz (Between Friends)
They taught us always to respect other peoples: every man is made in the image of God, even if he has a tendency to forget it.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
Many a wise man lacks for sense, Many a fool has a heart of gold, Happiness often ends in tears, But what’s inside can never be told.
Amos Oz (Rhyming Life & Death: A Novel)
And in fact that selfsame strange urge I had when I was small - the desire to grant a second chance to something that could never have one - is still one of the urges that set me going today whenever I sit down to write a story.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
The very word ‘disappears’ implies that the universe is, so to speak, finite, and that it is possible to leave it. But no-o-othing” (he deliberately drew the word out) “can ever leave the universe. And nothing can enter it. Not a single speck of dust can appear or disappear. Matter is transformed into energy, and energy into matter,
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
while it was true that books could change with the years just as much as people could, the difference was that whereas people would always drop you when they could no longer get any advantage or pleasure or interest or at least a good feeling from you, a book would never abandon you. Naturally you sometimes dropped them, maybe for several years, or even forever. But they, even if you betrayed them, would never turn their backs on you: they would go on waiting for you silently and humbly on their shelf. They would wait for ten years. They wouldn't complain. One night, when you suddenly needed a book, even at three in the morning, even if it was a book you had abandoned and erased from your heart for years and years, it would never disappoint you, it would come down from its shelf and keep you company in your moment of need. It would not try to get its own back or make excuses or ask itself if it was worth its while or if you deserved it or if you still suited each other, it would come at once as soon as you asked. A book would never let you down.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
And so I learnt the secret of diversity. Life is made up of different avenues. Everything can happen in one of several ways, according to different musical scores and parallel logics. Each of these parallel logics is consistent and coherent in its own terms, perfect in itself, indifferent to all the others. In
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
I believe that if one person is watching a huge calamity, let’s say a conflagration, a fire, there are always three principle options. 1. Run away, as far away and as fast as you can and let those who cannot run burn. 2. Write a very angry letter to the editor of your paper demanding that the responsible people be removed from office with disgrace. Or, for that matter, launch a demonstration. 3. Bring a bucket of water and throw it on the fire, and if you don’t have a bucket, bring a glass, and if you don’t have a glass, use a teaspoon, everyone has a teaspoon. And yes, I know a teaspoon is little and the fire is huge but there are millions of us and each one of us has a teaspoon. Now I would like to establish the Order of the Teaspoon. People who share my attitude, not the run away attitude, or the letter attitude, but the teaspoon attitude – I would like them to walk around wearing a little teaspoon on the lapel of their jackets, so that we know that we are in the same movement, in the same brotherhood, in the same order, The Order of the Teaspoon.
Amos Oz
No man is an island, said John Donne, but I humbly dare to add: No man or woman is an island, but every one of us is a peninsula, half attached to the mainland, half facing the ocean – one half connected to family and friends and culture and tradition and country and nation and sex and language and many other things, and the other half wanting to be left alone to face the ocean. I think we ought to be allowed to remain peninsulas. Every social and political system that turns each of us into a Donnean island and the rest of humankind into an enemy or a rival is a monster. But at the same time every social and political and ideological system that wants to turn each of us into no more than a molecule of the mainland is also a monstrosity. The condition of peninsula is the proper human condition. That's what we are and that's what we deserve to remain.
Amos Oz (How to Cure a Fanatic)
after two thousand years we've established a state so as to have someone to steal from.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
my life too would become a new song, a life as pure and straightforward and simple as a glass of water on a hot day.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
only a woman has the power to choose whether or not to bestow.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
Nasty thoughts are more like worms in the cauliflower!
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
Говоря за тихо, не за безмълвие.
Amos Oz (The Same Sea)
To be honest, I was sometimes even jealous of those starving children in India, because nobody ever told them to finish up everything on their plate.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
a nutshell, the choice is between going through this life awake or in a kind of stupor.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
Thomas Mann writes somewhere that hatred is simply love with a minus sign placed before it.
Amos Oz (Judas)
Faith, coming from the lack of faith: as much as the faith in oneself is demolished, as much the intoxicating faith in the salvation becomes strong and the desperate need to be save grows. The savior is that much great, as you’re small, insignificant and unworthy. Anri Begrson writes: “It’s not true that faith can move mountains. On the contrary, the main thing in faith is the ability not to notice anything, even the moving of the mountain in front of you. It’s like a hermetic screen, fully impregnable to the facts.
Amos Oz (Black Box)
ذلك أننّنى أعتقد اليوم أن كل سفر فى رحلة ما هو إلا حماقة كبيرة : الرحلة الوحيدة التى لا نعود منها دائما صفر اليدين هى الرحلة الداخلية, فى الداخل لا توجد حدود ولا جمارك, يمكن الوصول حتى إلى أبعد النجوم أو التمشّى فى أماكن لم تعد موجودة , وزيارة أشخاص لم يعودوا على ظهر الأرض. وحتى الدخول إلى أماكن لم تكن موجودة فى يوم من الأيام وربما ما كان وجودها ممكنا ولكنى أرتاح فيها أو على الأقل ليس سيئا .
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
As the questions grow harder and more complicated, people yearn for simpler answers, one-sentence answers, answers that point unhesitatingly to a culprit who can be blamed for all our suffering, answers that promise that if we only eradicate the villains, all our troubles will vanish.
Amos Oz (שלום לקנאים)
Иска ми се просто да можех да ви предпиша: "Четете и ще се излекувате от фанатизма".
Amos Oz (How to Cure a Fanatic)
only until the children are born. Your life is your own only for a short time:
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
Просто казвам, че семето на фанатизма никне там, където има безкомпромисна и непоклатима убеденост в собствената правота.
Amos Oz (How to Cure a Fanatic)
He always imagined that silence was somehow directed against him. Or that it was his fault.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
Success flows from perspiration, and inspiration from diligence and effort.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
Power has the power to prevent our annihilation for the time being. On condition that we always remember, at every moment, that in a situation like ours power can only prevent. It can’t settle anything and it can’t solve anything. It can only stave off disaster for a while.
Amos Oz (Judas)
A fanatizmussal való harc nem minden fanatikus elpusztítását jelenti, hanem azt, hogy óvatosan bánjunk azzal a kis fanatikussal, aki szinte mindnyájunk lelkében ott rejtőzik. Hogy kissé kinevessük a saját meggyőződésünket is, legyünk kíváncsiak, és időnként próbáljunk meg nemcsak bekukkantani a szomszéd ablakán, hanem - és ez még fontosabb - vetni egy pillantást az abból az ablakból látható valóságra, ami szükségszerűen más lesz, mint amit a mi ablakunkból látunk.
Amos Oz (שלום לקנאים)
كل هذا كان تشيخوفياً- وكذلك كان الشعور بالنأي \العزلة : هناك في العالم أماكن تتحقق فيها الحياة الحقيقية، بعيداً من هنا، في أوروبا ما قبل هتلر، في كل مساء تضاء مصابيح كثيرة، والسيدات و السادة يلتقون لشرب فنجان قهوة مع الكريما في قاعات مسقوفة بالخشب، يجلسون مرتاحين في مقاهٍ فاخرة تحت نجفات مذهبة، و يذهبون و هم يمسكون بأذرع بعض الى أوبرا او باليه، يرون عن كثب حياة الفنانين الكبار، وقصص الحب المستعر، و انكسارات القلوب، حبيبة الرسام التي عشقت فجاة أقرب أصدقائه،الملحن، و في منتصف الليل ذهبت حاسرة الرأس تحت زخّات المطر لتقف وحيدة على الجسر العتيق الذي يرتجف خياله في ماء النهر.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
with Jewish families: they believed that education was an investment in the future, the only thing that no one can ever take away from your children, even if, heaven forbid, there’s another war, another revolution, another migration, more discriminatory laws—your diploma you can always fold up quickly, hide it in the seams of your clothes, and run away to wherever Jews are allowed to live.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
I wasn't jealous and I wasn't resentful. Maybe it's the people who are the least loved, provided they're not envious or bitter, who find the most love in themselves to give to others. Don't you think?
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
Era talvez meu hábito ‘profissional’ de colocar-me no lugar, ou na pele, dos outros. Isso não significa que sempre justifico esses outros, mas que tenho a capacidade de enxergar seus pontos de vista p. 95.
Amos Oz (How to Cure a Fanatic)
Веднъж, бях на седем-осем, с мама отивахме до магазина за обувки или до поликлиниката, не помня точно, но бяхме седнали на последната седалка на автобуса, и тя ми каза, че с годините книгите се променят точно като хората, н с тази разлика, че хората могат да те изоставят, ако вече нямат полза, интерес или поне някакво чувство към теб, но книгите никога няма да те напуснат. По-скоро ти ги забравяш за няколко години или завинаги, но те никога няма да ти обърнат гръб, дори и да си ги предал, ще чакат тихо и скромно на някой рафт, докато се върнеш при тях. Ще чакат и десет години, няма да се оплакват. И една нощ, когато неочаквано ти се прииска някоя книга, дори и в три през нощта, дори и да си я бил зарязал отдавна, да си я изтрил от съзнанието си, бъди сигурен, че тя няма да те разочарова, ще слезе от рафта и ще бъде с теб в този момент на нужда. Няма да се прави на обидена, да търси претекст да ти откаже, да се пита, дали си заслужава, дали ти заслужаваш, дали все още си подхождате, а ще дойде веднага щом я потърсиш.Книгата никога няма да те разочарова".
Amos Oz
there are places in the world where real life is still happening, far away from here, in a pre-Hitler Europe, where hundreds of lights are lit every evening, ladies and gentlemen gather to drink coffee with cream in oak-panelled rooms, or sit comfortably in splendid coffee-houses under gilt chandeliers, stroll arm in arm to the opera or the ballet, observe from close-up the lives of great artists, passionate love affairs, broken hearts, the painter’s girlfriend falling in love with his best friend the composer, and going out at midnight bareheaded in the rain to stand alone on the ancient bridge whose reflection trembles in the river. *
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
the Jews’ religion. Not money, not gold. The diploma. But behind this faith in the diploma there was something else, something more complicated, more secret, and that is that girls in those days, even modern girls, like us, girls who went to school and then to university, were always taught that women are entitled to an education
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
(My father used to say: "If you steal from one book, you are condemned as a plagiarist, but if you steal from ten books, you are considered a scholar, and if you steal from thirty or forty books, a distinguished scholar.")
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
assemble and disperse, everything changes and is transformed, but no-o-othing can ever change from being to not-being. Not even the tiniest hair growing on the tail of some virus. The concept of infinity is indeed open, infinitely open, but at the same time it is also closed and hermetically sealed. Nothing leaves and nothing enters.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
all the things we think are important really aren’t, and he had no time to think about the things that really are. His whole life was going by and he had never contemplated the big, simple truths: loneliness and longing, desire and death.
Amos Oz (Between Friends)
Sounds of four o’clock in the morning come to him through the window: the swish of a sprinkler on the lawn, broken cries of alarm from a parked car that can no longer bear its loneliness, the low weeping of a man in the next-door apartment, on the other side of the wall, the shriek of a nightbird nearby that can perhaps already see what is hidden from you and me.
Amos Oz (Rhyming Life & Death: A Novel)
Да, признавам си, че като дете и аз бях малък фанатик с промит мозък. Изпълнен с праведен гняв, краен, глух и сляп за всеки глас, който се отличаваше от общия ционистки хор. Бях дете, което хвърля камъни заради идеите си, дете на еврейската интифада.
Amos Oz (How to Cure a Fanatic)
L'amore è una faccenda intima strana e piena di contraddizioni, visto che non di rado amiamo qualcuno solo perchè amiamo noi stessi, per egoismo, avidità, desiderio fisico, brama di dominare l'oggetto d'amore e asservirlo; o al contrario, per desiderio di asservirci e essere dominati dal nostro amante, e in fondo l'amore assomiglia all'odio e gli è più prossimo di quanto non si pensi normalmente.
Amos Oz (Giuda)
Kad sam bio dijete, nadao sam se da ću kad odrastem postati knjiga. Ne književnik, nego knjiga. Ljude se može pobiti kao mrave, pa ni književnike nije teško ubiti. Ali za knjigu, čak i ako je sustavno unište, postoji šansa da se neki primjerak spasio i da će nastaviti živjeti na polici, živjeti nijemim životom na nekoj od zaboravljenih polica u nekoj zabačenoj knjižnici, u Rejkjaviku, Valladolidu ili Vancouveru.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
io, mio caro, non credo nell'amore universale. L'amore esiste in dosi modiche. Si possono amare forse cinque fra uomini e donne, dieci magari, talvolta financo quindici. E anche questo solo assai di rado. Ma se uno arriva e mi dice che ama tutto il Terzo mondo, o ama l'America Latina, o ama il sesso femminile, quello non è amore ma retorica. Pura demagogia. Slogan. Non siamo nati per amare più di una manciata di persone.
Amos Oz (Judas)
And what if ever on some distant day a memory comes to you of an old familiar whiff or the sound of dogs barking far off or a driving hailstorm at dawn and you suddenly fail to grasp what it is you have done, what madness might have possessed you, what devil lured you from your home to the end of the world?
Amos Oz (A Perfect Peace)
Никога не бих излязъл на бойното поле - предпочитам да лежа в затвора - в името на териториалното разширяване на родината ми. Не бих воювал за допълнителна стая за народа ми. Не бих воювал за Светите места, нито пък за така наречените национални интереси. Но бих се борил като лъв за живота, за свободата и за нищо друго.
Amos Oz (How to Cure a Fanatic)
books standing up and other books lying down on top of them; plump, resplendent foreign books stretching themselves comfortably, and other wretched books that peered at you from cramped and crowded conditions, lying like illegal immigrants crowded on bunks aboard ship. Heavy, respectable books in gold-tooled leather bindings, and thin books bound in flimsy paper, splendid portly gentlemen and ragged, shabby beggars, and all around and among and behind them was a sweaty mass of booklets, leaflets, pamphlets, offprints, periodicals, journals, and magazines, that noisy crowd that always congregates around any public square or marketplace.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
Blessed are the dreamers, and cursed be the man who opens their eyes. True, the dreamers cannot save us, neither they nor their disciples, but without dreams and without dreamers the curse that lies upon us would be seven times heavier. Thanks to the dreamers, maybe we who are awake are a little less ossified and desperate than we would be without them.
Amos Oz (Judas)
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.
Amos Oz (To Know a Woman)
That’s how God created us: wealth is a crime and poverty is a punishment, though the punishment is not given to the one who sinned, but to the one who hasn’t got the money to escape the punishment. The woman, naturally, cannot deny that she is pregnant. The man denies it as much as he likes, and what can you do? God gave men the pleasure and us the punishment.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
Why should they love us?Why do you think the Arabs are not entitled to resist strangers who come here suddenly as if from another planet, and take away their land and their soil, fields, villages and towns, the graves of their ancestors and their children’s inheritance? We tell ourselves that we only came to this land “to build and be rebuilt”, “to renew our days of old”, “to redeem our ancestors heritage”, etcetera, but you tell me if there is any other people in this world who would welcome with open arms an incursion of hundreds of thousands of strangers, and then millions of strangers, landing from far away with the weird claim that their holy scripture, which they brought with them also from far away, promise this whole land to them and them alone.
Amos Oz (JUDAS)
„Człowiek podejrzliwy z natury wystawiony jest na nieszczęście. Podejrzliwość jest jak kwas, trawi naczynie, w którym się znajduje, pożera tego, kto ją żywi: dniem i nocą strzec się całego rodzaju ludzkiego, nieustannie głowić się nad tym, jak uniknąć intryg i udaremnić spiski, jakiego użyć fortelu, żeby z daleka dostrzec zastawioną na niego sieć – to wszystko są korzenie wszelkiej szkody. To one nie dają człowiekowi żyć.
Amos Oz (Giuda)
A kiemelkedő izraeli író, Szami Michael egyszer mesélt egy hosszú autóútról, amely során a sofőrje egyszer csak elkezdte fejtegetni, milyen fontos, sőt halaszthatatlan, hogy mi, zsidók "megöljük az összes arabot". Szami Michael udvariasan meghallgatta, és ahelyett, hogy szörnyülködéssel, tagadással vagy undorral reagált volna, feltett a sofőrnek egy ártatlan kérdést: - És a maga véleménye szerint ki ölje meg az összes arabot? - Hát mi! Zsidók! Meg kell tennünk. Vagy ők, vagy mi! Hát nem látja, mit csinálnak velünk? - De pontosan ki ölje meg az összes arabot? A hadsereg? A rendőrség? A tűzoltók? A fehér köpenyes, fecskendős orvosok? A sofőr megvakarta a fejét, eltöprengett a kérdésen, végül azt mondta: - Fel kell osztanunk a feladatot. Minden zsidó férfinak meg kell ölni pár arabot. Michael nem hagyta ennyiben: - Jól van. Tegyük fel, hogy magának mint haifai lakosnak kijelölnek egy lakóépületet Haifában. Ajtóról ajtóra jár, becsönget és udvariasan megkérdezi a lakókat: "Elnézést, ön arab?" Ha a válasz igen, lelövi. Amikor az összes arabot megölte az épületben, elindul haza, de alig tesz pár lépést, hallja, hogy egy kisbaba sír a legfelső emeleten. Mit csinál? Visszafordul? Visszamegy? Fel arra az emeletre és lelövi a babát? Igen vagy nem? Hosszú csend következett. A sofőr töprengett. Végül azt mondta: - Maga nagyon kegyetlen ember, uram!
Amos Oz (שלום לקנאים)
books that Uncle bought in Odessa or acquired in Heidelberg, books that he discovered in Lausanne or found in Berlin or Warsaw, books he ordered from America and books the like of which exist nowhere but in the Vatican Library, in Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, classical and modern Greek, Sanskrit, Latin, medieval Arabic, Russian, English, German, Spanish, Polish, French, Italian, and languages and dialects I had never even heard of, like Ugaritic and Slovene, Maltese and Old Church Slavonic.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
I could imagine his sorrow. My father had a sensual relationship with his books. He loved feeling them, stroking them, sniffing them. He took a physical pleasure in books: he could not stop himself, he had to reach out and touch them, even other people's books. And books then really were sexier than books today: they were good to sniff and stroke and fondle. There were books with gold writing on fragrant, slightly rough leather bindings, that gave you gooseflesh when you touched them, as though you were groping something private and inaccessible, something that seemed to tremble at your touch. And there were other books that were bound in cloth-covered cardboard, stuck with a glue that had a wonderful smell. Every book had its own private, provocative scent. Sometimes the cloth came away from the cardboard, like a saucy skirt, and it was hard to resist the temptation to peep into the dark space between body and clothing and sniff those dizzying smells. Father would generally return
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
A prominent israeli writer, Sami Michael, once told of a long car journey with a driver. At some point, the driver explained to Michael how important, indeed how urgent, it is for us Jews “to kill all the Arabs.” Sami Michael listened politely, and instead of reacting with horror, denunciation, or disgust, he asked the driver an innocent question: “And who, in your opinion, should kill all the Arabs?” “Us! The Jews! We have to! It’s either us or them! Can’t you see what they’re doing to us?” “But who, exactly, should actually kill all the Arabs? The army? The police? Firemen, perhaps? Or doctors in white coats, with syringes?” The driver scratched his head, pondered the question, and finally said, “We’ll have to divvy it up among us. Every Jewish man will have to kill a few Arabs.” Michael did not let up: “All right. Let’s say you, as a Haifa man, are in charge of one apartment building in Haifa. You go from door to door, ring the bells, and ask the residents politely, ‘Excuse me, would you happen to be Arabs?’ If the answer is yes, you shoot and kill them. When you’re done killing all the Arabs in the building, you go downstairs and head home, but before you get very far you hear a baby crying on the top floor. What do you do? Turn around? Go back? Go upstairs and shoot the baby? Yes or no?” A long silence. The driver considers. Finally he says, “Sir, you are a very cruel man!” This story exposes the confusion sometimes found in the fanatic’s mind: a mixture of intransigence with sentimentality and a lack of imagination.
Amos Oz (שלום לקנאים)
I understood where I had come from: from a dreary tangle of sadness and pretense, of longing, absurdity, inferiority and provincial pomposity, sentimental education and anachronistic ideals, repressed traumas, resignation, and helplessness. Helplessness of the acerbic, domestic variety, where small-time liars pretended to be dangerous terrorists and heroic freedom fighters, where unhappy bookbinders invented formulas for universal salvation, where dentists whispered confidentially to all their neighbors about their protracted personal correspondence with Stalin, where piano teachers, kindergarten teachers, and housewives tossed and turned tearfully at night from stifled yearning for an emotion-laden artistic life, where compulsive writers wrote endless disgruntled letters to the editor of Davar, where elderly bakers saw Maimonides and the Baal Shem Tov in their dreams, where nervy, self-righteous trade-union hacks kept an apparatchik's eye on the rest of the local residents, where cashiers at the cinema or the cooperative shop composed poems and pamphlets at night.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
Only today I really don’t think that elevated feelings and suchlike are the main thing in life. Definitely not. Feelings are just a fire in a field of stubble: it burns for a moment, and then all that’s left is soot and ashes. Do you know what the main thing is – the thing a woman should look for in her man? She should look for a quality that’s not at all exciting but that’s rarer than gold: decency. And maybe kindness too. Today, you should know this, I rate decency more highly than kindness. Decency is the bread, kindness is the butter. Or the honey.
Amos Oz
Personally I do not believe in world reform. No. I do not believe in any kind of world reform. Not because I consider that the world is perfect as it is—certainly not, the world is crooked and grim and full of suffering—but whoever comes along to reform it soon sinks in rivers of blood. Now let’s drink a glass of tea and leave aside these obscenities you’ve brought me today. If only all religions and all revolutions vanished from the face of the earth someday, I tell you—all of them, without exception—there would be far fewer wars in the world. (p. 68) Only in one window a feeble light glowed, and he pictured a young rabbinical student sitting there reciting psalms. He said to him in his heart: You and I are both searching for something that has no fixed measure. And for that reason we will not find it even if we search till morning and the next night and every night to come until the day of our death, and maybe after that. (p. 184) “The eyes,” Gershom Wald said, “will never open. Almost everyone traverses their lifespan, from birth to death, with eyes closed. Even you and I, my dear Shmuel. With eyes closed. If we open our eyes for just a moment, a great and terrible cry will burst forth from us and we shall scream and never stop. And if we don’t cry out day and night, that’s a sign that our eyes are closed... ” (p. 192) Anyone willing to change,” Shmuel said, “will always be considered a traitor by those who cannot change and are scared to death of change and don’t understand it and loathe change...” (p. 230)
Amos Oz (Judas)
I have written various words, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, and bits of dismantled sentences, fragments of expressions and descriptions and all kinds of tentative combinations. Every now and again I pick up one these particles, these molecules of texts, hold it up to the light and examine it carefully, turn it in various directions, lean forward and rub or polish it, hold it up to the light again, rub it again slightly, then lean forward and fit it into the texture of the cloth I am weaving. Then I stare at it from different angles, still not entirely satisfied, and take it out again and replace it with another word, or try to fit it into another niche in the same sentence, then remove, file it down a tiny bit more, and try to fit it in again, perhaps at a slightly different angle. Or deploy it differently. Perhaps farther down the sentence. Or at the beginning of the next one. Or should I cut it off and make it into a one-word sentence on its own? I stand up. Walk around the room. Return to the desk. Stare at it for a few moments or longer, cross out the whole sentence or tear up the whole page. I give up in despair. I curse myself aloud and curse writing in general and the language as a whole, despite which I sit down and start putting the whole thing together all over again. [p.268]
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
Niemand weiß nix über den andern. Und am wenigstens weiß man's bei der Liebe. Liebe sei nach ihrer Meinung ein total destruktiver Zustand: Zwei Fremde, die einander plötzlich sehen, oder nicht wirklich sehen, riechen, und in Nullkommanix stärker verbunden sind als Bruder und Schwester. Fangen an, miteinander im selben Bett zu schlafen, obwohl sie nicht zur selben Familie gehören. Oft sind das zwei, die nicht Freunde, nicht Bekannte, nicht Kumpels sind, bloß ineinander verknallt, und wenn die ganze Welt untergeht. Und guck dir doch an, was für ein Desaster. An Liebe sterben vielleicht mehr als an Drogen. Vielleicht müßte man auch dafür eine Entziehungskur schaffen.
Amos Oz
القارىء السيىء يأتي و يطالبني بأن أقشّر من أجله الكتاب الذي كتبته. يجيء إليّ كي يطالبني بأن ألقي أنا بيديّ، من أجله، الى برميل النفايات عنبي و أن أقدم إليه النوى... عودة الى مجموعة المونولوج القديم، المتآكل، المبتذل، الى مجموعة الكليشيهات الجافة التي يعرفها القارىء السيىء كغيره، منذ أمد بعيد و لذلك فهو يرتاح لها و بها فقط: الشخصيات التي في الكتاب هي بكل تأكيد الكاتب نفسه أو جيرانه، و الكاتب او جيرانه كما يظهر ليسوا " حمائم بيضاء"، وهم فاسدون قذرون مثلنا جميعاً. بعد التقشير حتى العظم يتضح دائماً "أنهم جميعا نفس الشيء". وهذا بالضبط ما يبحث عنه القارىء بتلهف و(يجده) في كل كتاب.... متعة القارىء السيىء تنطوي على أن يكون دستوفيسكي المبجّل و المشهور، هو نفسه متهماً بشكل غامض، بميل دنس لسرقة وقتل العجائز، وليام فوكنر بكل تأكيد كان على هذا االنحو أو ذاك، متورطاً قليلاً بغشيان المحارم، ونابوكوف بمضاجعة القاصرات، وكافكا لا شك ان متهم في الشرطة( اذ لا دخان بلا نار) وأ.ب. يهوشواع بحرق أحراش الكيرن كيمت(يوجد دخان و توجد نار)، ناهيك عما فعله سوفوكليس لوالده وعما فعله هو لأمّه،إذ لولا ذلك كيف نجح في وصف كل ذلك بشكل حيّ، لا ليس حيّاً فحسب بل حيّاً أكثر مما يحدث في الحياة الواقعية.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
It is mere wishful thinking to imagine that the persecuted and the oppressed will unite out of solidarity and man the barricades together against a ruthless oppressor. In reality, two children of the same abusive father will not necessarily make common cause, brought close together by their shared fate. Often each sees in the other not a partner in misfortune but in fact the image of their common oppressor. That may well be the case with the hundred-year-old conflict between Arabs and Jews. The Europe that abused, humiliated and oppressed the Arabs by means of Imperialism, colonialism, exploitation and repression is the same Europe that oppressed and persecuted the Jews, and eventually allowed or even helped the Germans to root them out of every corner of the continent and murder almost all of them. But when the Arabs look at us they see not a bunch of half-hysterical survivors but a new offshoot of Europe, with its colonialism, technical sophistication and exploitation, that has cleverly returned to the Middle East - in Zionist guise this time - to exploit, evict and oppress all over again. Whereas when we look at them we do not see fellow victims either, brothers in adversity, but somehow we see pogrom-making Cossacks, bloodthirsty antisemites, Nazis in disguise, as though our European persecutors have reappeared here in the Land of Israel, put keffiyehs on their heads and grown moustaches, but are still our old murderers interested only in slitting Jews' throats for fun
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
АДАЖИО „Светлината си свети навън от сутрин до вечер, без да съзнава, че е светлина. Високите дървета вдишват тишина, без да е нужно да дирят дълбоката същност на дървесината. Пустите степи се излягат по гръб и протягат снага до безкрай, без да се питат за патоса на своята пустота. Подвижни пясъци просто се движат, не мислят за нищо, докога, накъде. Цялото това удивително съществувание е удивително, без то самото да е удивено. Червената луна прилича на разцепено око, прогаря мрака на небето, без да се чувства изненадана от свойта самота. И котка дреме на оградата. Спи, диша. Толкоз. Вятърът не спира нощ след нощ, духа над гори и планини. Вихри се безспир. И духа. Не се замисля и не се оплаква. Само ти, о, тленна плът, пишеш цяла нощ и триеш, търсиш смисъл и причина да поправиш.
Amos Oz (The Same Sea)
Б.Р.: Като лек срещу фанатизма препоръчвате чувството за хумор и четенето на Кафка и Шекспир, развиването на умението да си представиш другия. Не мога да не се запитам дали няма да се намерят хора, които да обявят рецептата ви за нереалистична, а вас – за безнадежден романтик и идеалист. Оз: Провинциалният лекар, за какъвто се мисля, предписва развитието на умението да си представим другия и чувството за хумор не като заместител на разумния компромис, а като необходима подготовка за него. Ние имаме нужда от компромис, имаме нужда от договор, с който да разделим общото ни жилище на отделни апартаменти. Добронамереността и чувството за хумор няма да заместят всичко това, но ще осигурят подходящата атмосфера за пристъпване към тези важни решения. И си мисля, че това не се отнася само до конфликта в Близкия изток. Да си представим другия е не просто естетически призив, а етичен императив. В семейството – не само между нации или между различни общности – пъхането в кожата на другия е морален императив. Искам да споделя с вас една тайна: да си представиш другия е истинско удоволствие. Тайно удоволствие, огромно удоволствие. Представяйки си другия, ние се превръщаме не само в по-добри съседи и по-добри съпрузи, но и в по-добри любовници.
Amos Oz (How to Cure a Fanatic)
What was the secret of Grandpa's charm? I began to understand only years later. He possessed a quality that is hardly ever found among men, a marvelous quality that for many women is the sexiest in a man: He listened. He did not just politely pretend to listen, while impatiently waiting for her to finish what she was saying and shut up. He did not break into his partner's sentence and finish it for her. He did not cut in to sum up what she was saying so as to move on to another subject. He did not let his interlocutress talk into thin air while he prepared in his head the reply he would make when she finally finished. He did not pretend to be interested or entertained, he really was. Nu, what: he had an inexhaustible curiosity. He was not impatient. He did not attempt to deflect the conversation from her petty concerns to his own important ones. On the contrary: he loved her concerns. He always enjoyed waiting for her, and if she needed to take her time he took pleasure in all her contortions. He was in no hurry, and he never rushed her. He would wait for her to finish, and even when she had finished, he did not pounce or grab but enjoyed waiting in case there was something more, in case she was carried along on another wave. He loved to let her take him by the hand and lead him to her own places, at her own pace. He loved to be her accompanist. He loved getting to know her. He loved to understand, to get to the bottom of her. And beyond.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)