What distinguishes us one from another is our dreams, and what we do to make them come about.

— Joseph Epstein

The most valuable Joseph Epstein quotes that will be huge advantage for your personal development

Of the seven deadly sins, only envy is no fun at all.

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In recompense, envy may be the subtlest - perhaps I should say the most insidious - of the seven deadly sins.

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The pleasure of jogging and running is rather like that of wearing a fur coat in Texas in August: the true joy comes in being able to take the damn thing off.

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I myself think anti-Semitism is about envy.

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I am not merely a habitual quoter but an incorrigible one.

I am, I may as well face it, more quotatious than an old stock-market ticker-tape machine, except that you can't unplug me.

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A cat is the only domestic animal I know who toilet trains itself and does a damned impressive job of it.

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That wine drinking is more effete than beer drinking? No question.

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I know how many days in which I have just answered e-mail, had three phone calls and a two hour lunch. Poof, gone. They are not infrequent.

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Courage is nine-tenths context. What is courageous in one setting can be foolhardy in another and even cowardly in a third.

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We use books like mirrors, gazing into them only to discover ourselves.

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Culture means, I think, that you have widened your experience enough through reading and through being a little bit thoughtful about these things that it has changed your outlook in some ways. And not necessarily made you a better human being but made you see things.

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What, really, is wanted from a neighborhood? Convenience, certainly, an absence of major aggravation, to be sure. But perhaps mostof all, ideally, what is wanted is a comfortable background, a breathing space of intermission between the intensities of private life and the calculations of public life.

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About Joseph Epstein

Quotes 54 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Writer
Birthday October 16

A writer can get into a vast deal of trouble through misquotation.

If you ever want to receive lots of mail, I recommend you get a Shakespeare quote wrong in a magazine or newspaper.

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Within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live.

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I believe it was Gayelord Hauser, the nutritionist, who said, 'You are what you eat,' but if you happen to be an intellectual, you are what you quote.

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I know from the middle distance I give off the look of being prolific, which is a funny compliment to receive.

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I am basically a complainer and all the grounds for complaint have been swept out from under me.

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One of the pleasures of being a Jew, I don't have to tell you, it allows you anti-Semitism.

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The decisive moment in the defeat of upper class, capital-S, Society may have come when, in newspapers all over the nation, what used to be call the Society page was replaced by the Style section.

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The reason 'closure' is a cliche is that it is used too often, too imprecisely, and doesn't in any case reflect reality. In reality, such closure in broken friendships and much else in life is rarely achieved; only death brings closure and then not always for those still living.

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One serious drawback about letters is that, in order to get them, one must send some out. When it comes to the mail, I feel it is better to receive than to give.

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We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents, or the country of our birth. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessnness, we do choose how we live.

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Envy is never general, but always very particular - at least envy of the kind one feels strongly.

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Generalization, especially risky generalization, is one of the chief methods by which knowledge proceeds... Safe generalizations are usually rather boring. Delete that "usually rather." Safe generalizations are quite boring.

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High standards generally -- about workmanship and creation of objects, about what is owed in friendship, about the quality of art and much else -- far from being snobbish, are required to maintain decency in life.

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I just know so many people who have six or seven foreign languages and have read everything and have musical training and they are still dorks.

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Always seek the general and never quite trust it.

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For me writing is foremost a mode of thinking and when it works well, an act of discovery

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We know the ideal isn't where the action is.

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No one has really ever defined what a friend is.

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I am the heterosexual Truman Capote.

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I know how deeply slothful I am.

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I should prefer to die laughing, and, on more than one occasion, thought I might.

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Many moons ago dictionaries of quotations may have been less needed than they are today. In those good/bad old days, people walked around with entire poems and all the Shakespearean soliloquies in their heads.

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While reading writers of great formulatory power — Henry James, Santayana, Proust — I find I can scarcely get through a page without having to stop to record some lapidary sentence. Reading Henry James, for example, I have muttered to myself, "C’mon, Henry, turn down the brilliance a notch, so I can get some reading done." I may be one of a very small number of people who have developed writer’s cramp while reading.

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I am married to someone I love.

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Someone — Cyril Connolly? Ezra Pound? — once said that anything that can be read twice is literature; I would say that anything that bears saying twice is quotable.

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Political correctness and so many of the political fashions of the day.

..could only be perpetrated in adolescent minds: minds, that is, that are trained to search out one thing and one thing only...Only an adolescent would find it worthwhile to devote his or her attention chiefly to the hunting of offenses, the possibility of slights, real and imagined.

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We do choose how we shall live

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I am afraid I am one of those people who continues to read in the hope of sometime discovering in a book a single—and singular—piece of wisdom so penetrating, so soul stirring, so utterly applicable to my own life as to make all the bad books I have read seem well worth the countless hours spent on them. My guess is that this wisdom, if it ever arrives, will do so in the form of a generalization.

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What all great teachers appear to have in common is love of their subject, an obvious satisfaction in rousing this love in their students, and an ability to convince them that what they are being taught is deadly serious

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We who are quotatious are never truly alone, but always hear the cheerful flow of remarks made by dead writers so much more intelligent than we.

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Food has it over sex for variety. Hedonistically, gustatory possibilities are much broader than copulatory ones.

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The best joke-tellers are those who have the patience to wait for conversation to come around to the point where the jokes in their repertoire have application.

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I think the story is my form.

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My wife who is non-Jewish regrets it all the time that I can say these terrible things about fellow Jews and she can't.

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We do not choose to be born.We do not--most of us, choose to die, or the times or conditions of our death. But within all this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we shall live--Courageously or in cowardice, Honorably or dishonorably, With purpose or adrift. We decide what is important and what is trivial. What makes us significant is what we DO, Or REFUSE TO DO. WE DECIDE and WE CHOOSE--and so we give definition to our lives.

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All men and women are born, live suffer and die;

what distinguishes us one from another is our dreams, whether they be dreams about worldly or unworldly things, and what we do to make them come about... We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose our historical epoch, the country of our birth, or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live.

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I have myself always been terrified of plagiarism - of being accused of it, that is. Every writer is a thief, though some of us are more clever than others at disguising our robberies. The reason writers are such slow readers is that we are ceaselessly searching for things we can steal and then pass off as our own: a natty bit of syntax, a seamless transition, a metaphor that jumps to its target like an arrow shot from an aluminum crossbow.

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