Zitate von William Saroyan

William Saroyan Foto
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William Saroyan

Geburtstag: 31. August 1908
Todesdatum: 18. Mai 1981

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William Saroyan war ein US-amerikanischer Schriftsteller armenischer Herkunft.

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Zitate William Saroyan

„Then swiftly, neatly, with the grace of the young man on the trapeze, he was gone from his body.
For an eternal moment he was still all things at once: the bird, the fish, the rodent, the reptile, and man.“

— William Saroyan
Context: Then swiftly, neatly, with the grace of the young man on the trapeze, he was gone from his body. For an eternal moment he was still all things at once: the bird, the fish, the rodent, the reptile, and man. An ocean of print undulated endlessly and darkly before him. The city burned. The herded crowd rioted. The earth circled away, and knowing that he did so, he turned his lost face to the empty sky and became dreamless, unalive, perfect. "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze"

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„When you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.“

— William Saroyan
Context: The most solid advice for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough. Preface

„He paints for the blind, and we are the blind, and he lets us see for sure what we saw long ago but weren't sure we saw.“

— William Saroyan
Context: He paints for the blind, and we are the blind, and he lets us see for sure what we saw long ago but weren't sure we saw. He paints for the dead, to remind us that — great good God, think of it — we're alive, and on our way to weather, from the sea to the hot interior, to watermelon there, a bird at night chasing a child past flowering cactus, a building on fire, barking dogs, and guitar-players not playing at eight o'clock, every picture saying, "Did you live, man? Were you alive back there for a little while? Good for you, good for you, and wasn't it hot, though? Wasn't it great when it was hot, though?" On painter Rufino Tamayo.

„Jesus never said anything about absurdity, and he never indicated for one flash of time that he was aware of the preposterousness of his theory about himself.“

— William Saroyan
Context: Jesus never said anything about absurdity, and he never indicated for one flash of time that he was aware of the preposterousness of his theory about himself. And he didn't even try to make the theory understandable in terms of the reality and experience of the rest of us. For if everybody else is also not what Jesus said he was, what good is what he said?

„If you can't write a decent short story because of the cold, write something else. Write anything.“

— William Saroyan
Context: If you can't write a decent short story because of the cold, write something else. Write anything. Write a long letter to somebody.

„I have been fascinated by it all, grateful for it all, grateful for the sheer majesty of the existence of ideas, stories, fables, and paper and ink and print and books to hold them all together for a man to take aside and examine alone. But the man I liked most and the man who seemed to remind me of myself — of what I really was and would surely become — was George Bernard Shaw.“

— William Saroyan
Context: I have read books about the behavior of mobs — The Mob by Le Bon, if I remember rightly, was one — about the crime in children, and the genius in them, about the greatest bodies of things, and about the littlest of them. I have been fascinated by it all, grateful for it all, grateful for the sheer majesty of the existence of ideas, stories, fables, and paper and ink and print and books to hold them all together for a man to take aside and examine alone. But the man I liked most and the man who seemed to remind me of myself — of what I really was and would surely become — was George Bernard Shaw.

„There is no such thing as a soldier. I see death as a private event, the destruction of the universe in the brain and in the senses of one man, and I cannot see any man's death as a contributing factor in the success or failure of a military campaign.“

— William Saroyan
Context: I cannot see the war as historians see it. Those clever fellows study all the facts and they see the war as a large thing, one of the biggest events in the legend of the man, something general, involving multitudes. I see it as a large thing too, only I break it into small units of one man at a time, and see it as a large and monstrous thing for each man involved. I see the war as death in one form or another for men dressed as soldiers, and all the men who survived the war, including myself, I see as men who died with their brothers, dressed as soldiers. There is no such thing as a soldier. I see death as a private event, the destruction of the universe in the brain and in the senses of one man, and I cannot see any man's death as a contributing factor in the success or failure of a military campaign.

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„A trapeze to God, or to nothing, a flying trapeze to some sort of eternity; he prayed objectively for strength to make the flight with grace.“

— William Saroyan
Context: Through the air on the flying trapeze, his mind hummed. Amusing it was, astoundingly funny. A trapeze to God, or to nothing, a flying trapeze to some sort of eternity; he prayed objectively for strength to make the flight with grace. "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze"

„Every man alive in the world is a beggar of one sort or another, every last one of them, great and small.“

— William Saroyan
Context: Every man alive in the world is a beggar of one sort or another, every last one of them, great and small. The priest begs God for grace, and the king begs something for something. Sometimes he begs the people for loyalty, sometimes he begs God to forgive him. No man in the world can have endured ten years without having begged God to forgive him. "The Beggars" in The William Saroyan Reader (1958)

„Somewhere among every man's ancestors is a prince or a lord, a priest or a saint, and don't forget it. Wake up!“

— William Saroyan
Context: Somewhere among every man's ancestors is a prince or a lord, a priest or a saint, and don't forget it. Wake up! Inherit the wealth of your ancestors!.. Stop living like a mouse, live like the rich people do.

„Don't bother me, I said. I'm the night manager of this office and when I tell you something it's final.“

— William Saroyan
Context: When, at the age of eighteen, I was the manager of the Postal Telegraph office at 21 Taylor Street in San Francisco, I remember having been asked by the clerk there, a man named Clifford, who the hell I thought I was. And I remember replying very simply and earnestly somewhat as follows: If you have ever heard of George Bernard Shaw, if you have ever read his plays or prefaces, you will know what I mean when I tell you that I am that man by another name. Who is he? I remember the clerk asking. George Bernard Shaw, I replied, is the tonic of the Christian peoples of the world. He is health, wisdom, and comedy, and that's what I am too. How do you figure? The clerk said. Don't bother me, I said. I'm the night manager of this office and when I tell you something it's final.

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„What art needs is greater men, and what politics needs is better men.“

— William Saroyan
Context: Wars, for us, are either inevitable, or created. Whatever they are, they should not wholly vitiate art. What art needs is greater men, and what politics needs is better men.

„I love Armenia and I love America and I belong to both, but I am only this: an inhabitant of the earth, and so are you, whoever you are.“

— William Saroyan
Context: It's all over. We can begin to forget Armenia now. Andranik is dead. The nation is lost. I'm no Armenian. I'm an American. Well, the truth is I am both and neither. I love Armenia and I love America and I belong to both, but I am only this: an inhabitant of the earth, and so are you, whoever you are. I tried to forget Armenia but I couldn't do it.

„I cannot see the war as historians see it.“

— William Saroyan
Context: I cannot see the war as historians see it. Those clever fellows study all the facts and they see the war as a large thing, one of the biggest events in the legend of the man, something general, involving multitudes. I see it as a large thing too, only I break it into small units of one man at a time, and see it as a large and monstrous thing for each man involved. I see the war as death in one form or another for men dressed as soldiers, and all the men who survived the war, including myself, I see as men who died with their brothers, dressed as soldiers. There is no such thing as a soldier. I see death as a private event, the destruction of the universe in the brain and in the senses of one man, and I cannot see any man's death as a contributing factor in the success or failure of a military campaign.

„I believed from the beginning of remembered experience that I was somebody with an incalculable potential for enlargement, somebody who both knew and could find out, upon whom demands could be made with the expectation of having them fulfilled.
I felt at the same time, and pretty much constantly, that I was nothing in relation to Enormity, the Unknown, and the Unknowable.“

— William Saroyan
Context: I believed from the beginning of remembered experience that I was somebody with an incalculable potential for enlargement, somebody who both knew and could find out, upon whom demands could be made with the expectation of having them fulfilled. I felt at the same time, and pretty much constantly, that I was nothing in relation to Enormity, the Unknown, and the Unknowable. I was too vulnerable, too lacking in power, a thing of subtle reality, liable to be blown away without a moment's warning, a migrant with no meaning, no guide, no counsel, an entity in continuous transition, a growing thing whose stages of growth always went unnoticed, a fluid and flawed thing. Thus, there could be no extreme vanity in my recognition of myself, if in fact there could be any at all. I did frequently rejoice in the recognition, but I may have gotten that from some of the Protestant hymns I had heard, and knew, and had sung, such as Joy to the World. The simple fact was that if the song wasn't about me, I couldn't see how it could possibly be about anybody else, including the one I knew it was supposed to be about, and good luck to him, too.

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