I'll tell you a terrible secret - Are you listening to me? There isn't anyone out there who isn't Seymour's Fat Lady.
Always, always, always referring every goddam thing that happens right back to our lousy little egos.
The rest, with very little exaggeration, was books. Meant-to-be-picked-up books. Permanently-left-behind books. Uncertain-what-to-do-with books. But books, books. Tall cases lined three walls of the room, filled to and beyond capacity. The overflow had been piled in stacks on the floor. There was little space left for walking, and none whatever for pacing.
I don't know what good it is to know so much and be smart as whips and all if it doesn't make you happy.
Zooey said... It would be very nice to come home and be in the wrong house. To eat dinner with the wrong people by mistake, sleep in the wrong bed by mistake, and kiss everybody good-bye in the morning thinking they were your own family.
I'm not afraid to compete. It's just the opposite. Don't you see that? I'm afraid I will compete - that's what scares me. That's why I quit the Theatre Department. Just because I'm so horribly conditioned to accept everybody else's values, and just because I like applause and people to rave about me, doesn't make it right. I'm ashamed of it. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody. I'm sick of myself and everybody else that wants to make some kind of a splash.
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.
The room was not impressively large, even by Manhattan apartment-house standards, but its accumulated furnishings might have lent a snug appearance to a banquet hall in Valhalla.
I just never felt so fantastically rocky in my entire life.
In the first place, you're way off when you start railing at things and people instead of at yourself.
Did you know, God damn it, that Les was all for bringing a tangerine in to you last night before he went to bed? My God. Even Bessie can't stand stories with tangerines in them. And God knows I can't. If you're going to go on with this breakdown business, I wish to hell you'd go back to college to have it. Where you're not the baby of the family. And where, God knows, nobody'll have any urges to bring you any tangerines. And where you don't keep your goddam tap shoes in the closet.
There isn't anyone out there who isn't Seymour's Fat Lady.
I love you to pieces, distraction, etc.
Just because I'm choosy about what I want - in this case, enlightenment, or peace, instead of money or prestige or fame or any of those things - doesn't mean I'm not as egotistical and self-seeking as everybody else.
Don't you think I have sense enough to worry about my motives for saying the prayer? That's exactly what's bothering me so. Just because I'm choosy about what I want - in this case, enlightenment or peace, instead or money or prestige or game or any of those things, doesn't mean I'm not as egotistical and self-seeking as everybody else. If anything, I'm more so!
This is God's universe, buddy, not yours, and he has the final say about what's ego and what isn't.
I mean not try to analyze everything to death for once, if possible, especially me.
Let's just try to have a marvelous time this weekend. I mean not try to analyze everything to death for once, if possible. Especially me. I love you.
Exactly what don't I think is beautiful? 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. To me, everything is beautiful. Show me a pink sunset and I'm limp, by God. Anything.
We are, all four of us, blood relatives, and we speak a kind of esoteric, family language, a sort of semantic geometry in which the shortest distance between any two points is a fullish circle.
I submit that Zooey's face was close to being a wholly beautiful face. As such, it was of course vulnerable to the same variety of glibly undaunted and usually specious evaluations that any legitimate art object is. I think it just remains to be said that any one of a hundred everyday menaces - a car accident, a head cold, a lie before breakfast - could have disfigured or coarsened his bounteous good looks in a day or a second.
My god, there's absolutely nothing tenth-rate about you, and yet you're up to your neck at this minute in tenth-rate thinking.
For a psychoanalyst to be any good... he'd have to believe that it was through the grace of God that he'd been inspired to study psychoanalysis in the first place.
Why are you breaking down, incidentally? I mean if you're able to go into a collapse with all your might, why can't you use the same energy to stay well and busy?
I'm just sick of ego, ego, ego. My own and everybody else's. I'm sick of everybody that wants to get somewhere, do something distinguished and all, be somebody interesting. It's disgusting.
Nobody who's really using his ego, his real ego, has any time for any goddam hobbies
For joy, apparently, it was all Franny could do to hold the phone, even with both hands.
You can't exist in this world with such strong likes and dislikes.
If I'd wanted this place to fill up with every fat Irish rose that passes by, I'd've said so.
She said she knew she was able to fly because when she came down she always had dust on her fingers from touching the light bulbs.
More J.D. Salinger Quotations (Based on Topics)
People - God - World - Time - Movies - Faces - Place - Books - War & Peace - Life - Thought & Thinking - Joy & Excitement - Man - Family - Mind - Listening - Cars - Horse - Money & Wealth - View All J.D. Salinger Quotations
More J.D. Salinger Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Franny and Zooey
- Nine Stories
- The Catcher in the Rye
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