"A language is a more ancient and inevitable thing than any state."
"After all, it is hard to master both life and work equally well. So if you are bound to fake one of them, it had better be life."
"Bad literature is a form of treason."
"Cherish your human connections: your relationships with friends and family."
"Every writing career starts as a personal quest for sainthood, for self-betterment. Sooner or later, and as a rule quite soon, a man discovers that his pen accomplishes a lot more than his soul."
"For a writer only one form of patriotism exists: his attitude toward language."
"How delightful to find a friend in everyone."
"I do not believe in political movements. I believe in personal movement, that movement of the soul when a man who looks at himself is so ashamed that he tries to make some sort of change - within himself, not on the outside."
"It is well to read everything of something, and something of everything."
"It would be enough for me to have the system of a jury of twelve versus the system of one judge as a basis for preferring the U.S. to the Soviet Union. I would prefer the country you can leave to the country you cannot."
"Life - the way it really is - is a battle not between Bad and Good but between Bad and Worse."
"Life is a game with many rules but no referee. One learns how to play it more by watching it than by consulting any book, including the holy book. Small wonder, then, that so many play dirty, that so few win, that so many lose."
"Man is what he reads."
"No matter under what circumstances you leave it, home does not cease to be home. No matter how you lived there-well or poorly."
"Poetry is rather an approach to things, to life, than it is typographical production."
"Racism? But isn't it only a form of misanthropy?"
"Robert Frost's triumph was not being at John Kennedy's inauguration ceremony, but the day when he put the last period on "West-Running Brook.""
"The poetic notion of infinity is far greater than that which is sponsored by any creed."
"The real history of consciousness starts with one's first lie."
"This is the generation whose first cry of life was the Hungarian uprising."
"Twentieth-century Russian literature has produced nothing special except perhaps one novel and two stories by Andrei Platonov, who ended his days sweeping streets."
"What I like about cities is that everything is king size, the beauty and the ugliness."
"What should I say about life? That it's long and abhors transparence."
"Who included me among the ranks of the human race?"