Isaac Bashevis Singer quotes

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Isaac Bashevis Singer

Birthdate: 21. November 1902
Date of death: 24. July 1991
Other names: ఐజక్ బెషెవిస్ సింగర్

Isaac Bashevis Singer was a Polish-American writer in Yiddish, awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978. The Polish form of his birth name was Icek Hersz Zynger. He used his mother's first name in an initial literary pseudonym, Izaak Baszewis, which he later expanded. He was a leading figure in the Yiddish literary movement, writing and publishing only in Yiddish. He was also awarded two U.S. National Book Awards, one in Children's Literature for his memoir A Day Of Pleasure: Stories of a Boy Growing Up in Warsaw and one in Fiction for his collection A Crown of Feathers and Other Stories .

„We must believe in free will — we have no choice.“

—  Isaac Bashevis Singer

An ironic statement which Singer made in many interviews over many years; here quoted in "Isaac Singer’s Promised City" http://www.city-journal.org/html/7_3_urbanities-isaac.html City Journal (Summer 1997)
Variants or variant translations:
We must believe in free will — we have no other choice.
You must believe in free will; there is no choice.
We have to believe in free will. We’ve got no choice.
This makes more sense if you consider the statement "we must believe in free will; we have no [other logical] choice"

„To be a vegetarian is to disagree — to disagree with the course of things today. Starvation, world hunger, cruelty, waste, wars — we must make a statement against these things. Vegetarianism is my statement. And I think it’s a strong one.“

—  Isaac Bashevis Singer

Preface to Food for the Spirit: Vegetarianism and the World Religions by Steven Rosen (New York: Bala Books, 1987, )
Variant: To be a vegetarian is to disagree - to disagree with the course of things today... starvation, cruelty - we must make a statement against these things. Vegetarianism is my statement. And I think it's a strong one.
Context: Vegetarianism is my religion. I became a consistent vegetarian some twenty-three years ago. Before that, I would try over and over again. But it was sporadic. Finally, in the mid-1960s, I made up my mind. And I've been a vegetarian ever since. When a human kills an animal for food, he is neglecting his own hunger for justice. Man prays for mercy, but is unwilling to extend it to others. Why should man then expect mercy from God? It's unfair to expect something that you are not willing to give. … This is my protest against the conduct of the world. To be a vegetarian is to disagree — to disagree with the course of things today. Nuclear power, starvation, cruelty — we must make a statement against these things. Vegetarianism is my statement. And I think it's a strong one.

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„The storyteller and poet of our time, as in any other time, must be an entertainer of the spirit in the full sense of the word, not just a preacher of social or political ideals. There is no paradise for bored readers and no excuse for tedious literature that does not intrigue the reader, uplift him, give him the joy and the escape that true art always grants.“

—  Isaac Bashevis Singer

Nobel lecture (1978)
Context: The storyteller and poet of our time, as in any other time, must be an entertainer of the spirit in the full sense of the word, not just a preacher of social or political ideals. There is no paradise for bored readers and no excuse for tedious literature that does not intrigue the reader, uplift him, give him the joy and the escape that true art always grants. Nevertheless, it is also true that the serious writer of our time must be deeply concerned about the problems of his generation. He cannot but see that the power of religion, especially belief in revelation, is weaker today than it was in any other epoch in human history. More and more children grow up without faith in God, without belief in reward and punishment, in the immortality of the soul and even in the validity of ethics. The genuine writer cannot ignore the fact that the family is losing its spiritual foundation.

„Not only has our generation lost faith in Providence but also in man himself, in his institutions and often in those who are nearest to him.“

—  Isaac Bashevis Singer

Nobel lecture (1978)
Context: Not only has our generation lost faith in Providence but also in man himself, in his institutions and often in those who are nearest to him. In their despair a number of those who no longer have confidence in the leadership of our society look up to the writer, the master of words. They hope against hope that the man of talent and sensitivity can perhaps rescue civilization. Maybe there is a spark of the prophet in the artist after all.

„I am a vegetarian for health reasons—the health of the chicken.“

—  Isaac Bashevis Singer

Singer was very devoted to the vegetarian cause and was frequently quoted as saying this statement, as reported in Judaism and Vegetarianism by Richard H. Schwartz (New York: Lantern Books, 2001, ISBN 1-930051-24-7), p. 177 https://books.google.it/books?id=zo5TqKQVcEgC&pg=PA177

„Life is God's novel. Let him write it.“

—  Isaac Bashevis Singer

Quoted in Voices for Life (1975) edited by Dom Moraes

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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