Harold Brodkey Quotes

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Harold Brodkey

Harold Brodkey, by Howard Coale for The New Yorker, 1995
Born October 25, 1930 (1930-10-25)
Staunton, Illinois
Died January 26, 1996 (1996-01-27) (aged 65)
Manhattan, New York City, New York
Other names Weintraub, Aaron Roy (birth name
Occupation Writer

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.
Harold Brodkey
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.
Harold Brodkey
I feel sorry for the man who marries you… because everyone thinks you're sweet and you're not.
Harold Brodkey
But death's acquisitive instincts will win.
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
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.
Harold Brodkey
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.
Harold Brodkey
Death and I are head to head in a total collision, pure and mutual distaste.
Harold Brodkey
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.
Harold Brodkey
Almost the first thing I did when I became ill was to buy a truly good television set.
Harold Brodkey
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.
Harold Brodkey
I have thousands of opinions still – but that is down from millions – and, as always, I know nothing.
Harold Brodkey
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.
Harold Brodkey
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.
Harold Brodkey
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.
Harold Brodkey
This identity, this mind, this particular cast of speech, is nearly over.
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.
Harold Brodkey
Public radio is alive and kicking, it always has been.
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.
Harold Brodkey
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.
Harold Brodkey
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.
Harold Brodkey
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.
Harold Brodkey
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.
Harold Brodkey
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.
Harold Brodkey