317. “Take most people, they’re crazy about cars. They worry if they get a little scratch on them, and they’re always talking about how many miles they get to a gallon, and if they get a brand-new car already they start thinking about trading it in for one that’s even newer. I don’t even like old cars. I mean they don’t even interest me. I’d rather have a goddam horse. A horse is at least human, for God’s sake.”
318. “Maybe I just worried too much about things. Maybe I consistently hesitated to risk letting the thing we had together deteriorate into a romance. I don’t know any more. I used to know, but I lost the knowledge a long time ago. A man can’t go along indefinitely carrying around in his pocket a key that doesn’t fit anything.”
322. “By far the majority of the hundred and eighty-finer poems are immeasurably not light- but high-hearted, and can be read by anyone, anywhere, even aloud in rather progressive orphanages on stormy nights, but I wouldn’t unreservedly recommend the last thirty or thirty-five poems to any living soul who hasn’t died at least twice in his lifetime, preferably slowly.”
326. “If only you’d remember before ever you sit down to write that you’ve been a reader long before you were ever a writer. You simply fix that fact in your mind, then sit very still and ask yourself, as a reader, what piece of writing in all the world Buddy Glass would most want to read if he had his heart’s choice. The next step is terrible, but so simple I can hardly believe it as I write it. You just sit down shamelessly and write the thing yourself. I won’t even underline that. It’s too important to be underlined.”
330. “Anyway, I started bitching one night before the broadcast. Seymour’d told me to shine my shoes just as I was going out the door with Waker. I was furious. The studio audience were all morons, the announcer was a moron, the sponsors were morons, and I just damn well wasn’t going to shine my shoes for them, I told Seymour. I said they couldn’t see them anyway, where we sat. He said to shine them anyway. He said to shine them for the Fat Lady.”
332. “As a matter of simple logic, there’s no difference at all, that I can see, between the man who’s greedy for material treasure – or even intellectual treasure – and the man who’s greedy for spiritual treasure. As you say, treasure’s treasure, God damn it, and it seems to me that ninety percent of all the world-hating saints in history were just as acquisitive and unattractive, basically, as the rest of us are.”
343. “Act, Zachary Martin Glass, when and where you want to, since you feel you must, but do it with all your might. If you do anything at all beautiful on a stage, anything nameless and joy-making, anything above and beyond the call of theatrical ingenuity, S. and I will both rent tuxedos and rhinestone hats and solemnly come around to the stage door with bouquets of snapdragons.”
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