I am sensible of the velocity of the moments, and entering that part of my head alert to the motion of the world I am aware that life was never perfect, never absolute. This bestows contentment, even a fearlessness.

— Harold Brodkey

The most bumbling Harold Brodkey quotes to get the best of your day

It is like visiting one's funeral, like visiting loss in its purest and most monumental form, this wild darkness, which is not only unknown but which one cannot enter as oneself.

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I look upon another's insistence on the merits of his or her life - duties, intellect, accomplishment - and see that most of it is nonsense.

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Death and I are head to head in a total collision, pure and mutual distaste.

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I feel sorry for the man who marries you... because everyone thinks you're sweet and you're not.

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Memory, so complete and clear or so evasive, has to be ended, has to be put aside, as if one were leaving a chapel and bringing the prayer to an end in one's head.

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Being ill like this combines shock - this time I will die - with a pain and agony that are unfamiliar, that wrench me out of myself.

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I awake with a not entirely sickened knowledge that I am merely young again and in a funny way at peace, an observer who is aware of time's chariot, aware that some metamorphosis has occurred.

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If you like to read, sometimes it's interesting just to go and see what the reality is, of the word, of the seedy or not so seedy fiction writer, the drunk or sober poet... Sometimes you can go looking for illumination.

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I am in an adolescence in reverse, as mysterious as the first, except that this time I feel it as a decay of the odds that I might live for a while, that I can sleep it off.

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It bothers me that I won't live to see the end of the century, because, when I was young, in St. Louis, I remember saying to Marilyn, my sister by adoption, that that was how long I wanted to live: seventy years.

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In our opposed forms of loneliness and self-recognition and recognition of the other, we touched each other often as we spoke; and on shore in explorations of the past, we strolled with our arms linked.

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Athletes have studied how to leap and how to survive the leap some of the time and return to the ground. They don't always do it well. But they are our philosophers of actual moments and the body and soul in them, and of our maneuvers in our emergencies and longings.

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About Harold Brodkey

Quotes 39 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Author
Birthday October 16

True stories, autobiographical stories, like some novels, begin long ago, before the acts in the account, before the birth of some of the people in the tale.

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I have thousands of opinions still - but that is down from millions - and, as always, I know nothing.

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The disparity between what people said life was and what I knew it to be unnerved me at times, but I swore that nothing would ever make me say life should be anything.

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I can't change the past, and I don't think I would.

I don't expect to be understood. I like what I've written, the stories and two novels. If I had to give up what I've written in order to be clear of this disease, I wouldn't do it.

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Often writing is like a struggle to get back to a kind of belated, quite impure virginity.

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This identity, this mind, this particular cast of speech, is nearly over.

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Me, my literary reputation is mostly abroad, but I am anchored here in New York.

I can't think of any other place I'd rather die than here.

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I'm sixty-two, and it's ecological sense to die while you're still productive, die and clear a space for others, old and young.

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Almost the first thing I did when I became ill was to buy a truly good television set.

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I am startled when people are themselves and are not my thoughts of them.

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It is death that goes down to the center of the earth, the great burial church the earth is, and then to the curved ends of the universe, as light is said to do.

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Nothing I have ever written has been admired as much as the announcement of my death.

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God is an immensity, while this disease, this death, which is in me, this small, tightly defined pedestrian event, is merely and perfectly real, without miracle - or instruction.

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But death's acquisitive instincts will win.

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I often thought men stank of rage; it is why I preferred women, and homosexuals.

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the cold winds of insecurity... hadn't shredded the dreamy chrysalis of his childhood. He was still immersed in the dim, wet wonder of the folded wings that might open if someone loved him; he still hoped, probably, in a butterfly's unthinking way, for spring and warmth. How the wings ache, folded so, waiting; that is, they ache until they atrophy.

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I distrust summaries, any kind of gliding through time, any too great a claim that one is in control of what one recounts; I think someone who claims to understand but is obviously calk, someone who claims to write with emotion recollected in tranquility, is a fool and a liar. To understand is to tremble. To recollect is to re-enter and be riven. ... I admire the authority of being on one's knees in front of the event.

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You really can’t write unless you read. You have to know what the game is all about.

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My protagonists are my mother's voice and the mind I had when I was thirteen.

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Death is not soft-mouthed, vague-footed, nearby. It is in the hall.

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So an autobiography about death should include, in my case, an account of European Jewry and of Russian and Jewish events - pogroms and flights and murders and the revolution that drove my mother to come here.

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In New York one lives in the moment rather more than Socrates advised, so that at a party or alone in your room it will always be difficult to guess at the long term worth of anything.

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I have the sense that if I push too hard or too far into memory I’ll come apart.

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I was always crazy about New York, dependent on it, scared of it - well, it is dangerous - but beyond that there was the pressure of being young and of not yet having done work you really liked, trademark work, breakthrough work.

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I have AIDS. I am surprised that I do. I have not been exposed since1977, which is to say that my experience, myadventures in homosexuality took place largely in the1960s and '70s, and back then I relied on time and abstinence to indicate my degree of freedom from infectionand to protect others and myself.

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Public radio is alive and kicking, it always has been.

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