Quotes by Imre Kertesz

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I refuse to adapt or integrate myself. more...

One cannot start a new life, you can only continue the old one. more...

You just sit there and tolerate it, the same way everything in this country is tolerated. Every deception, every lie, every bullet in the brains. Just as you are already tolerating bullets in the brains that will be implemented only after the bullet is put in your brains. more...

I tried to depict the human face of this history, I wanted to write a book that people would actually want to read. more...

There's just one revolution that I can take seriously, and that's a police revolution. more...

Nonexistence. The society of the nonexistent. In the street yesterday a nonexistent person trod on my foot with his nonexistent foot. more...

Of course, living is another way of killing oneself: its drawback is that it takes so horribly long. more...

I am sick of atrocities, though these are now the natural order of our world. And I would still like to act! more...

Talking is not enough; words don't clarify anything. I'll have to hit upon something, but what? more...

...I would like to live a little bit longer in this beautiful concentration camp. more...

I look on my life as raw material for my novels: that's just the way I am, and it frees me from any inhibitions. more...

The world is not our imagination but our nightmare, full of inconceivable surprises. more...

Writers complete their works, whether those be thousands of pages long or just a few laconic lines. more...

If one takes the path of success, then one ends up either successful or unsuccessful, there is no third alternative. more...

I read somewhere; while God still existed one sustained a dialogue with God, and now that He no longer exists one has to sustain a dialogue with other people, I guess, or, better still, with oneself, that is to say, one talks or mumbles to oneself. more...

I do what I have to do, although I don't know why I have to. more...

I am still here, although I don't know why; accidentally, I guess, as I was born; I am as much or as little accomplice to my staying alive as I was to my birth. more...

Man is always a little at fault, that's all. more...

I stayed alive therefore I am. more...

At any rate I found myself writing because I had to write, although I didn't know why. more...

For me this is a fact, writing is necessity, I don't know why, but it seems it was the only solution offered to me, even if it doesn't solve anything; still it doesn't leave me... more...

What we usually mean by fate is what we least understand, that is to say, ourselves, that subversive, unknown individual constantly plotting against us, whom, estranged and alienated but still bowing with disgust before his might, we call, for the of simplicity, fate. more...

Auschwitz cannot be explained. And yet, it doesn't take a Wittgenstein to notice that the sentence is faulty even from the point of pure linguistic logic; more...

I live and occasionally I look up at the glorious air or the clouds into which I keep digging my grave with my pen, diligently, like a forced laborer, whom they order every day to dig deeper with his spade... more...

The sentence Auschwitz cannot be explained is faulty simply from a formal point of view, for anything that is has an explanation, even if by necessity a merely self-serving faulty, so so explanation. more...

By way of that wretched sentence Auschwitz cannot be explained is the wretched author explaining that we should be silent concerning Auschwitz, that Auschwitz doesn't exist, or, rather, that it didn't, for the only facts that cannot be explained are those that don't or didn't exist. more...

On the other hand, what is really irrational and what truly cannot be explained is not evil but, contrarily, the good. more...

Failure alone remains as the one single accomplishable experience; more...

Nothing upsets me as much as a shop window jammed full of objects; such windows literally depress, sadden, even demoralize me. more...

My body is foreign to me that body that sustains me and will, ultimately, kill me. more...

No - I could never be another person's father, fate, god, No - it should never happen to another child, what happened to me; my childhood. (Auschwitz). more...

How can we do justice even when it concerns truth itself, since for me only one truth exists, my truth, even if it is a delusion, yes, my delusion; my delusion. more...

Auschwitz, I told her, appears to me in the image of a father; yes, the two terms, Auschwitz, and father, resonate the same echoes in me, and if the observation is that God is an exalted father, then God, too is revealed to me in the image of Auschwitz. more...

Let us call our man, the hero of this story, Kingbitter. We imagine a man, and a name to go with him. Or conversely, let us imagine the name, and the man to go with it. more...

For Kingbitter the Hamlet question did not run To be or not to be? but Am I or am I not? more...

Boredom. He takes it with him everywhere, like an angry shaggy terrier that he sets on others from time to time. more...

You just sit here and tolerate it, the same way everything in this country is tolerated. Every deception, every lie, every bullet in the brains. Just as you are already tolerating bullets in the brains that will be implemented only after the bullet is put in your brains. more...

The state is always the same. The only reason it financed literature up till now was in order to liquidate it. Giving state support to literature is the state's sneaky way for the state liquidation of literature. more...

He himself had said near enough exactly what was in the play. The only snag was that by the time that scene was played out in reality, almost word for word, the person who had written the play, and that scene in it, was no longer alive. He had committed suicide. more...

Everyone here makes a botch of his life. That's the local specialty, the genius loci. Anyone who doesn't botch up his life here simply has no talent. more...

He liked the style, that wry gallows humor armed with the semblance of omniscience; a most serviceable style it was, the dialect of the initiated, protecting them from their disillusionments, their fears, their well-concealed childish hopes. more...

Man, when reduced to nothing, or in other words a survivor, is not tragic but comic, because he has no fate. more...

Survivors represent a separate species, just like an animal species. We are all survivors, that is what determines our perverse and degenerate mental world. Auschwitz. more...

Only from our stories can we discover that our stories have come to an end, otherwise we would go on living as if there were still something for us to continue (our stories, for example); that is, we would go on living in error. more...

Good can be done in a life in which Evil is the life principle, but only at the cost of the doer's sacrificing his life. more...

If you're a revolutionary, you shouldn't have started a family. more...

I had gotten into the habit of sleeping late because I had started to see that this was the only sensible way I could kill time. more...

Writers sometimes cast themselves into the most profound depths of despair in order to master it and move on. more...

A person's true means of expression is his life. Living the shame of life and maintaining silence, that was the greatest accomplishment of all. more...

Anyone who wants something else is Jewish. more...

I exist. Is this a life still? No, just vegetating. It seems that only one philosophy can succeed the philosophy of existentialism: nonexistentialism, the philosophy of nonexistent existence. more...

I took a stroll in the city. It was infernally hot. The usual evening hubbub around me. Lovers on the pavements, hurrying to cinemas and other places of amusement as if nothing had happened, nothing. Living their nonexistent lives. Or do they exit, and it's me who doesn't. more...

But there are times when being happy - just happy, nothing else - is simply vile. Why? Jill inquired. Because, Enrique reasoned, one cant be happy in a place where everybody is unhappy. more...

If a person resolves to fight, he ought to know what he is fighting for. Otherwise it makes no sense. A person usually fights against a power in order to gain power himself. Or else because the power in question is threatening his life. more...

There was truth in Diaz's logic, yes: our line of work is like that. Once you have started, the only way back is to go forward. more...


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