Life is a grindstone. Whether it grinds us down or polishes us up depends on us.Thomas L. Holdcroft
- Chapter One. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion - er, no, make that: he - he romanticized it all out of proportion. - Yes. - To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin. - Er, tsch, no, missed out something. - Chapter One. He was too romantic about Manhattan, as he was about everything else. He thrived on the hustle bustle of the crowds and the traffic. To him, New York meant beautiful women and street-smart guys who seemed to know all the angles. - No, no, corny, too corny for a man of my taste. Can we ... can we try and make it more profound? - Chapter One. He adored New York City. To him, it was a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. The same lack of individual integrity that caused so many people to take the easy way out was rapidly turning the town of his dreams in ... - no, that's a little bit too preachy. I mean, you know, let's face it, I want to sell some books here. - Chapter One. He adored New York City, although to him it was a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. How hard it was to exist in a society desensitized by drugs, loud music, television, crime, garbage ... - Too angry. I don't want to be angry. - Chapter One. He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Behind his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat. - I love this. - New York was his town, and it always would be ...
- An idea for a short story about ... um ... people in Manhattan who ... er ... are constantly creating these real unnecessary neurotic problems for themselves - because it keeps them from dealing with more unsolvable terrifying problems about ... er ... the universe - Um, tsch -- it's, uh ... well, it has to be optimistic. Well, all right, why is life worth living? That's a very good question. Um. Well, there are certain things I - I guess that make it worthwhile. Uh, like what? Okay. Um, for me ... oh, I would say ... what, Groucho Marx, to name one thing ... uh ummmm and Willie Mays, and um, uh, the second movement of the Jupiter Symphony, and ummmm ... Louie Armstrong's recording of "Potatohead Blues" ... umm, Swedish movies, naturally ... "Sentimental Education" by Flaubert ... uh, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra ... ummm, those incredible apples and pears by Cézanne ... uh, the crabs at Sam Woo's ... tsch, uh, Tracy's face ...
- You rely too much on the brain. The brain is the most overrated organ.
- Talent is luck. The important thing in life is courage.
- You shouldn't ask me for advice. When it comes to relationships with women, I'm the winner of the August Strindberg Award.
- Female Party Guest: I finally had an orgasm, and my doctor told me it was the wrong kind.
- Isaac Davis: Did you have the wrong kind? Really? I've never had the wrong kind, ever. My worst one was right on the money.
- Isaac Davis: Has anybody read that Nazis are gonna march in New Jersey? Ya know? I read it in the newspaper. We should go down there, get some guys together, ya know, get some bricks and baseball bats, and really explain things to 'em.
- Party Guest: There was this devastating satirical piece on that on the op-ed page of the Times, just devastating.
- Isaac Davis: Whoa, whoa. A satirical piece in the Times is one thing, but bricks and baseball bats really gets right to the point of it.
- Party Guest Helen: Oh, but really biting satire is always better than physical force.
- Isaac Davis: No, physical force is always better with Nazis.
- Mary Wilke: I guess I should straighten my life out, huh? I mean, Donnie my analyst is always telling me---
- Isaac Davis: You call your analyst Donnie?
- Mary Wilke: Yeah, I call him Donnie.
- Isaac Davis: Donnie, your analyst? I call mine Dr. Chomsky, you know? Either that or he hits me with a ruler.
- Mary Wilke: Don't psychoanalyze me. I pay a doctor for that.
- Isaac Davis: Hey, you call that guy that you talk to a doctor? I mean, you don't get suspicious when your analyst calls you at home at three in the morning and weeps into the telephone?
- Mary Wilke: Alright, so he's unorthodox. He's a highly qualified doctor.
- Isaac Davis: He done a great job on you, you know? Your self-esteem is a notch below Kafka.
- Isaac Davis: What kind of dog do you have?
- Mary Wilke: The worst. It's a dachshund. You know, it's a penis substitute for me.
- Isaac Davis: I would've thought then in your case it would've been a Great Dane.
- Mary Wilke: I'm honest, what do you want? I say what's on my mind and if you can't take it, well then fuck off!
- Isaac Davis: And I like the way you express yourself too, you know? It's pithy yet degenerate. You get many dates?
- Yale: You are so self-righteous, you know. I mean we're just people. We're just human beings, you know? You think you're God.
- Isaac Davis: I... I gotta model myself after someone.