William Saroyan

I am an estranged man, said the liar: estranged from myself, from my family, my fellow man, my country, my world, my time, and my culture. I am not estranged from God, although I am a disbeliever in everything about God excepting God indefinable, inside all and careless of all.

Here Comes There Goes You Know Who, 1961

 

He was just a young man who’d come to town on a donkey, bored to death or something, who’d taken advantage of the chance to be entertained by a small-town kid who was bored to death, too. That’s the only way I could figure it out without accepting the general theory that he was crazy.

Locomotive 38, the Ojibway, 1940

 

Everything is changed – for you. But it is still the same, too. The loneliness you feel has come to you because you are no longer a child. But the whole world has always been full of that loneliness. The loneliness does not come from the War. The War did not make it. It was the loneliness that made the War.

The Human Comedy 1943

 

The streets made me, and the streets stink, but I love them, for I was born in them out of flesh and I was born in them out of spirit.

The Bicycle Rider In Beverly Hills 1952

 

I had long known that there was something about me that was either violent or frightening for some reason. In certain three-sided clothing store images I had for some years come upon myself, with shock and disbelief, regret, and shame, disappointment and despair, for I am indeed clearly violent, mad, and ugly, all because of intensity of some kind, a tension, an obsession with getting everything that there was to be got, a passion, an insanity.

Sons Come and Go, Mothers Hang in Forever 1976

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