Chaim Potok

Chaim Potok

Biography

Author Profession: Literature & Fiction edit data American author and rabbi.
Born: February 17, 1929
Died: July 23, 0202
Birth Sign: Aquarius

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Chaim Potok quotes

Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.

All of us grow up in particular realities - a home, family, a clan, a small town, a neighborhood. Depending upon how we're brought up, we are either deeply aware of the particular reading of reality into which we are born, or we are peripherally aware of it.

Every man who has shown the world the way to beauty, to true culture, has been a rebel, a 'universal' without patriotism, without home, who has found his people everywhere.

Two hundred or more years ago most people on the planet were never aware of any reality other than the one into which they were brought up.

It is impossible to fuse totally with a culture for which you feel a measure of antagonism.

What I have in advance are people I want to write about and a problem or problems that I see those people encountering and that I want to explore - it all proceeds sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, and scene by scene.

And yet there are some magnificent things from Freud, profound insights into the nature of man.

I think most serious writers, certainly in the modern period, use their own lives or the lives of people close to them or lives they have heard about as the raw material for their creativity.

If I had a plot that was all set in advance, why would I want go through the agony of writing the novel? A novel is a kind of exploration and discovery, for me at any rate.

As a species we are always hungry for new knowledge.

I don't work on my Sabbath. I write five-and-a-half or six days a week.

And these two elements are at odds with one another because Freud is utterly adversary to almost all the ways of structuring the human experience found in Western religions. No Western religion can countenance Freud's view of man.

To the extent that I come from a deeply religious tradition and have been contending with those beginnings all of my life - that constitutes the subject of much of my early fiction.

Each work seems to give me the most trouble at the time I'm working on it.

A book is sent out into the world, and there is no way of fully anticipating the responses it will elicit. Consider the responses called forth by the Bible, Homer, Shakespeare - let alone contemporary poetry or a modern novel.

A non-fiction writer pretty much has the shape of the figure in front of him or her and goes about refining it. A work of non-fiction is not as difficult to write as a work of fiction, but it's not as satisfying in the end.

But today we become aware of other readings of the human experience very quickly because of the media and the speed with which people travel the planet.

I think the hardest part of writing is revising. And by that I mean the following: A novelist has to create the piece of marble and then chip away to find the figure in it.

I'm not altogether certain that a fundamentalism of necessity has to argue that it is the only reading of the human experience in order to stay alive.

Well, in The Chosen, Danny Saunders, from the heart of his religious reading of the world, encounters an element in the very heart of the secular readings of the world - Freudian psychoanalytic theory.

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. Oscar Wilde

My definition of a friend is somebody who adores you even though they know the things you're most ashamed of. Jodie Foster

Most people have a blank slate and can start from nothing. But for me, I had to break a bad habit that I've been doing all of my life, which is freestyle hip-hop. Roshon Fegan

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