The Counterlife Quotes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Counterlife.
This section contains 809 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)

"Henry had expected Nathan to laugh. Of course! He had driven over from Jersey to confess to the mocking author the ridiculous absurdity of his dilemma, and instead he had been indulged by a solicitous brother who was unable any longer to give either advice or offense."
Part 1 Basel, pp. 29-30

"H. phones and for half an hour speaks of nothing but Carol's virtues. Carol is someone whose qualities you can only really know if you've lived with the woman as long as he has. 'She's interesting, dynamic, curious, perceptive . . .' A long and very impressive list. A startling list."
Part 1 Basel, p. 40

"To be the Jew that I was, I told Shuki's father, which was neither more nor less than the Jew I wished to be, I didn't need to live in a Jewish nation any more than he, from what I understood, felt obliged to pray in a synagogue three times a day. My landscape wasn't the Negev wilderness, or the Galilean hills, or the coastal plain of ancient Philistia; it was industrial, immigrant America—Newark where I had been raised, Chicago where I'd been educated, and New York where I was living in a basement apartment on a Lower East Side street among poor Ukrainians and Puerto Ricans."
Part 2 Judea, p. 53

"In there too were pious worshippers, seated with their prayer books only inches from the Wall. Leaning forward, their elbows on their knees, they reminded me of poor souls who'd been waiting all day in a welfare office or on an unemployment line. Low lozenge-like floodlights did not serve to make the place any cozier or more congenial. Religion couldn't come less adorned than this. Those Jews needed nothing but that wall."
Part 2 Judea, p. 88

"But because he couldn't completely follow what I was saying, or because he wanted to harass me and drive my sinfulness from this holy place, or because he wanted to correct the little mistake of my having left the fold, or maybe because he simply needed another pious Jew in the world the way someone who is thirsty needs a glass of water, he wouldn't let me be."
Part 2 Judea, p. 90

"Judea was something had been left just as it had been made; this could have passed for a piece of the moon to which the Jews had been sadistically exiled by their worst enemies rather than the place they passionately maintained was theirs and no one else's from time immemorial."
Part 2 Judea, p. 113

"What purpose is now hidden in what he now calls 'Jew'—or is 'Jew' just something he now hides behind? He tells me that here he is essential, he belongs, he fits in—but isn't it more likely that what he has finally found is the unchallengeable means to escape his hedged-in life?"
Part 2 Judea, p. 119

"If I had nothing to say to Henry right off it was because, following Lippman's seminar, language didn't really seem my domain any longer. I wasn't exactly a stranger to disputation, but never in my life had I felt so enclosed by a world so contentious, where the argument is enormous and constant and everything turns out to be pro or con, positions taken, positions argued, and everything italicized by indignation and rage."
Part 2 Judea, p. 130

"'When is Passover?' I don't even know when Passover is, Nathan. We don't do any of that. We never did, not even when I was at home with my parents. Even my father, who owned a shoe store, was free of that. He didn't care about Passover, he cared about golf, which now appears to put him three thousand rungs up the evolutionary ladder than his stupid son-in-law. Religion! A lot of fanaticism and superstition and wars and death! Stupid, medieval nonsense! If they tore down all the churches and synagogues to make way for more golf courses, the world would be a better place!'"
Part 3 Aloft, p. 153

"Had we met and had a heated affair back before my illness, chances are that we would never have had to do all this talking and it would more than likely be over now, another adultery safely contained by the ordinary impediments."
Part 4 Gloustershire, p. 203

"In the midst of all that was sheer, sadistic, punitive, spiteful, invention, sheer sadistic sorcery, there, copied verbatim from the notebooks, were half the journal entries that Henry had torn out to destroy."
Part 4 Gloustershire, p. 226

"Of course resisting provocation is always an option, but can you really have your sister-in-law calling you a dirty Jew bastard, and someone else saying you're stinking up the place, and then someone you love saying why do you make such a production of these things, without your head starting to explode, no matter what sort of peaceable person you've tried turning yourself into?"
Part 5 Christendom, pp. 307-308

This section contains 809 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
The Counterlife from BookRags. (c)2016 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
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