Cynthia Ozick Quotes

Most popular Cynthia Ozick Quotes

All pity is self-pity.


Death persecutes before it executes.


The engineering is secondary to the vision.


To want to be what one can be is purpose in life.

purpose of life

Resentment is a communicable disease and should be quarantined.


To imagine the unimaginable is the highest use of the imagination.
— Cynthia Ozick


After a certain number of years, our faces become our biographies.
— Cynthia Ozick
In real life wishing, divorced from willing, is sterile and begets nothing.


If we had to say what writing is, we would define it essentially as an act of courage.


Metaphor relies on what has been experienced before; it transforms the strange into the familiar.


Yiddish is a household tongue, and God, like other members of the family, is sweetly informal in it.


What we remember from childhood we remember forever—permanent ghosts, stamped, imprinted, eternally seen.


After a certain number of years, our faces become our biographies.  We get to be responsible for our faces.
— Cynthia Ozick

biography face years

In the compact between novelist and reader, the novelist promises to lie, and the reader promises to allow it.


The glimmering world is the past.  And everybody inherits a past.  And it glimmers either happily or miserably.

the past

In books as in life, there are no second chances.  On second thought: it's the next work, still to be written, that offers the second chance.
— Cynthia Ozick

books second chances

A writer is someone born with a gift. An athlete can run. A painter can paint. A writer has a facility with words. A good writer can also think.


When something does not insist on being noticed, when we aren't grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull by a presence or an event, we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.