Talk:Leo Rosten

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  • A writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate. Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be understood. The writer wants to be understood much more than he wants to be respected or praised or even loved. And that perhaps, is what makes him different from others.
  • Acting is a form of deception, and actors can mesmerize themselves almost as easily as an audience.
  • Courage is the capacity to confirm what can be imagined.
  • Dogs are getting bigger, according to a leading dog manufacturer.
  • Every writer is a narcissist. This does not mean that he is vain; it only means that he is hopelessly self-absorbed.
  • First-rate people hire first-rate people; second-rate people hire third-rate people.
  • Good judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgement.
  • For some not to be martyrs is martyrdom indeed.
  • Happiness comes only when we push our brains and hearts to the farthest reaches of which we are capable.
  • Humor is the affectionate communication of insight.
  • Humor is, I think, the subtlest and chanciest of literary forms. It is surely not accidental that there are a thousand novelists, essayists, poets or journalists for each humorist. It is a long, long time between James Thurbers.
  • I never cease being dumbfounded by the unbelievable things people believe.
  • I will never give in to old age until I become old. And I'm not old yet!
  • If at first you don't succeed, before you try again, stop to figure out what you did wrong.
  • If you're going to do something wrong, at least enjoy it.
  • Proverbs often contradict one another, as any reader soon discovers. The sagacity that advises us to look before we leap promptly warns us that if we hesitate we are lost; that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but out of sight, out of mind.
  • Satire is focused bitterness.
  • Some things are so unexpected that no one is prepared for them.
  • The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it.
  • Truth is stranger than fiction; fiction has to make sense.
    • More commonly attributed to Mark Twain, but this might be because of it's resemblence or derivation from his "Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities, truth isn't." A similar remark has also been attributed to Tom Clancy: "The difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make sense."
  • We see things as we are, not as they are.
    • A similar statement "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." is attributed to Anaïs Nin.
  • Words must surely be counted among the most powerful drugs man ever invented.
  • I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.