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Top 500 J.D. Salinger Quotes (2023 Update)
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J.D. Salinger Quote: “You take a very handsome guy, or a guy that thinks he’s a real hot-shot, and they’re always asking you to do them a big favor. Just because they’re crazy about themself, they think you’re crazy about them, too, and that you’re just dying to do them a favor. It’s sort of funny, in a way.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “Oh, I don’t know. That digression business got on my nerves. I don’t know. The trouble with me is, I like it when somebody digresses. It’s more interesting and all.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “If I were a piano player, I’d play it in the goddam closet.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “It’s one of those places that are supposed to be very sophisticated and all, and the phonies are coming in the window.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “Finally, though, I’d leave the room without even taking a sock at him. I’d probably go down to the can and sneak a cigarette and watch myself getting tough in the mirror. Anyway, that’s what I thought about the whole way back to the hotel. It’s no fun to be yellow. Maybe I’m not all yellow. I don’t know. i think maybe I’m just partly yellow and partly the type that doesn’t give much of a damn if they lose their gloves.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “It’s no fun to be yellow. Maybe I’m not all yellow. I don’t know. I think maybe I’m just partly yellow and partly the type that doesn’t give much of a damn if they lose their gloves. One of my troubles is, I never care too much when I lose something – it used to drive mother crazy when I was a kid. Some guys spend days looking for something they’ve lost. I never seem to have anything that if I lost it I’d care too much. Maybe that’s why I’m partly yellow. It’s no excuse, though. It really isn’t. What you should be is not yellow at all.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “You don’t have to think too hard when you talk to teachers.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “The thing is, it drives me crazy if somebody else gets killed – especially somebody very smart and entertaining and all – and it’s somebody else’s fault.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “I feel overwhelmingly grateful to them, but I don’t know what to do with their invisible gifts.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “You never really get the smell of burning flesh out of your nose entirely, no matter how long you live.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “I know more damn perverts, at schools and all, than anybody you ever met, and they’re always being perverty when I’m around.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “I’d never yell, “Good luck!” at anybody. It sounds terrible, when you think about it.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “Just go to bed, now. Quickly. Quickly and slowly.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “Then all of a sudden, something very spooky started happening. Every time I came to the end of a block and stepped off the goddam curb, I had this feeling that I’d never get to the other side of the street. I thought I’d just go down, down, and nobody’d ever see me again. Boy, did it scare me. You can’t imagine.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “She was not one for emptying her face of expression.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “Yes, I have an ulcer, for Chrissake. This is Kaliyuga, buddy, the Iron Age. Anybody over sixteen without an ulcer’s a goddam spy.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “People never notice anything.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “Get your dirty stinking moron knees off my chest.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “Give me an honest con man any day.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “And yet I still act sometimes like I was only about twelve. Everybody says that, especially my father. It’s partly true, but it isn’t all true. People always think something’s all true. I don’t give a damn, except that I get bored sometime when people tell me to act my age. Sometimes I act a lot older like I am – I really do – but people never notice it. People never notice anything.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “The thing is, if you get very depressed about something, it’s hard as hell to swallow.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “A lot of people, especially this one psychoanalyst guy they have here, keeps asking me if I’m going apply myself when I go back to school next September. It’s such a stupid question, in my opinion. I mean how do you know what you’re going to do till you do it? The answer is, you don’t. I think I am, but how do I know? I swear it’s a stupid question.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “The one ugly one, Laverne, wasn’t too bad a dancer, but the other one, old Marty, was murder. Old Marty was like dragging the Statue of Liberty around the floor.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “We don’t talk, we hold forth. We don’t converse, we expound.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “I took her dress over to the closet and hung it up. It was funny. It made me feel sort of sad when I hung it up. I thought of her going in a store and buying it, and nobody in the store knowing she was a prostitute and all. The salesman probably just thought she was a regular girl when she bought it. It made me feel sad as hell- I don’t know why exactly.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “New York’s terrible when somebody laughs on the street very late at night. You can hear it for miles. It makes you feel so lonesome and depressed.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “New York is terrible when somebody laughs on the street very late at night.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “Listen, I don’t care what you say about my race, creed, or religion, Fatty, but don’t tell me I’m not sensitive to beauty. That’s my Achilles’ heel, and don’t you forget it. To me, everything is beautiful. Show me a pink sunset, and I’m limp, by God. Anything. Peter Pan. Even before the curtain goes up at Peter Pan I’m a goddamn puddle of tears.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “She really started to cry, and the next thing I knew, I was kissing her all over – anywhere – her eyes, her nose, her forehead, her eyebrows, and all, her ears – her whole face except her mouth and all.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “But you don’t have to be a bad guy to depress somebody – you can be a good guy and do it.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “If you’re going to say the Jesus Prayer, at least say it to Jesus, and not to St. Francis and Seymour and Heidi’s grandfather all wrapped up in one.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “Our foyer has a funny smell that doesn’t smell like anyplace else. I don’t know what the hell it is. It isn’t cauliflower and it isn’t perfume – I don’t know what the hell it is – but you always know you’re home.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “But my parents, especially my mother, she has ears like a goddam bloodhound. So I took it very, very easy when I went past their door. I even held my breath, for God’s sake. You can hit my father over the head with a chair and he won’t wake up, but my mother, all you have to do to my mother is cough somewhere in Siberia and she’ll hear you.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “It was lousy in the park. It wasn’t too cold, but the sun still wasn’t out, and there didn’t look like there was anything in the park except dog crap and globs of spit and cigar butts from old men, and the benches all looked like they’d be wet if you sat down on them. It made you depressed, and every once in a while, for no reason, you got goose flesh while you walked. It didn’t seem at all like Christmas was coming soon. It didn’t seem like anything was coming.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “It was the last game of the year and you were supposed to commit suicide or something if old Pencey didn’t win.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “He was rather like a Christmas tree whose lights, wired in series, must all go out if even one bulb is defective.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “My big trouble is, I always sort of think whoever I’m necking is a pretty intelligent person. It hasn’t got a goddam thing to do with it, but I keep thinking it anyway.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “It’s so silly. All you do is get the heck out of your body when you die. My gosh, everybody’s done it thousands of times. Just because they don’t remember, it doesn’t mean they haven’t done it.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “Sex is something I really don’t understand too hot.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “She worries over the way her love for me comes and goes, appears and disappears. She doubts its reality simply because it isn’t as steadily pleasurable as a kitten. God knows it is sad. The human voice conspires to desecrate everything on earth.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “She was there, and she was the whole city, and that’s that.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “What’re you majoring in?” I asked him. “Perverts?” I was only horsing around. “What’re you trying to be – funny?”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “Boy, did he depress me! I don’t mean he was a bad guy- he wasn’t. But you don’t have to be bad guy to depress somebody- you can be a good guy and do it.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “They didn’t act like people and they didn’t act like actors. It’s hard to explain. They acted more like they knew they were celebrities and all. I mean they were good, but they were too good.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “I don’t hate too many guys. What I may do, I may hate them for a little while, like this guy Stradlater I knew at Pencey, and this other boy, Robert Ackley. I hate them once in a while – I admit it – but it doesn’t last too long, is what I mean. After a while, if I didn’t see them, if they didn’t come in the room, or if I didn’t see them in the dining room for a couple of meals, I sort of missed them. I mean I sort of missed them.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “I mean it’s very hard to meditate and live a spiritual life in America. People think you’re a freak if you try to.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “What’s the matter with you, buddy? Where are your brains? If you’ve had a freakish education, at least use it, use it. You can say the Jesus Prayer from now till doomsday, but if you don’t realize that the only thing that counts in the religious life is detachment, I don’t see how you’ll ever even move an inch. Detachment, buddy, and only detachment. Desirelessness.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “He said he talked to Jesus all the time. Even when he was driving his car. That killed me. I just see the big phony bastard shifting into first gear and asking Jesus to send him a few more stiffs.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “I mean they don’t seem able to love us just the way we are. They don’t seem able to love us unless they can keep changing us a little bit. They love their reasons for loving us almost as much as they love us, and most of the time more.”
J.D. Salinger Quote: “Catholics are always trying to find out if you’re Catholic.”
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