Bernard Malamud

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I define love for our purpose as the passion of one being for another in the hope of being loved in return.
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Bernard Malamud (1914-04-261986-03-18) was an American novelist and short-story writer. His stories often take the form of moral fables dealing with the struggles of Jewish-American characters.


  • Without heroes, we're all plain people, and don't know how far we can go.
    • The Natural (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1952) p. 154.
  • We have two lives, Roy, the life we learn with and the life we live with after that. Suffering is what brings us toward happiness.
    • The Natural (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1952) p. 158.
  • Levin wanted friendship and got friendliness; he wanted steak and they offered spam.
    • A New Life (1961; repr. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1968) p. 111.
  • If you ever forget you are a Jew a goy will remind you.
    • "Black is My Favorite Color", in Idiots First (1963; repr. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1964) p. 29.
  • "Mourning is a hard business," Cesare said. "If people knew there'd be less death."
    • "Life is Better than Death", in Idiots First (1963; repr. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1964) p. 85.
  • There comes a time in a man's life when to get where he has to – if there are no doors or windows – he walks through a wall.
    • "The Man in the Drawer", in Rembrandt's Hat (1973); cited from Selected Stories (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985) p. 225.
  • I think I said "All men are Jews except they don't know it." I doubt I expected anyone to take the statement literally. But I think it's an understandable statement and a metaphoric way of indicating how history, sooner or later, treats all men.
    • "An Interview with Bernard Malamud", in Leslie A. Field and Joyce W. Field (eds.) Bernard Malamud: A Collection of Critical Essays (London: Prentice-Hall, 1975) p. 11.
  • One can't make pure clay of time's mud. There is no life that can be recaptured wholly; as it was. Which is to say that all biography is ultimately fiction.

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