J. D. Salinger Quotes


The cards are stacked (quite properly I imagine) against all professional aesthetes and no doubt we all deserve the dark wordy academic deaths we all sooner or later die.

The room was not impressively large even by Manhattan apartment-house standards but its accumulated furnishings might have lent a snug appearance to a banquet hall in Valhalla.

I knew it wasn't too important but it made me sad anyway.

For joy apparently it was all Franny could do to hold the phone even with both hands.

He seemed unaware of the messiness of the arrangement.

If you have something to offer someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.

It's nice when somebody tells you about their uncle. Especially when they start out telling you about their father's farm and then all of a sudden get more interested in their uncle.

Each of his phrases was rather like a little ancient island inundated by a miniature sea of whiskey.

My god there's absolutely nothing tenth-rate about you and yet you're up to your neck at this minute in tenth-rate thinking.

I didn't want any degrees if all the ill-read literates and radio announcers and pedagogical dummies I knew had them by the peck.

Give me an honest con man any day.

It's funny. All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they'll do practically anything you want them to.

People never notice anything.

It is my rather subversive opinion that a writer's feelings of anonymity-obscurity are the second most valuable property on loan to him during his working years.

That's something that annoys the hell out of me-I mean if somebody says the coffee's all ready and it isn't.

Your heart Bessie is an autumn garage.

... even the most sublimely accomplished non-stop talker can't consistently please.

Know your true measurements and dress your mind accordingly

Life is a game boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules.

Ask her if she still keeps all her kings in the back row.

How old are you? I asked her. "Old enough to know better." she said.

I privately say to you old friend... please accept from me this unpretentious bouquet of early-blooming parentheses: (((()))).

In every school I've gone to all the athletic bastards stick together.

I love to write and I assure you I write regularly... But I write for myself for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it.

I just hope that one day - preferably when we're both blind drunk - we can talk about it.

If Death stepped miraculously through the glass and came in after you in all probability you just got up and went along with him ferociously but quietly.

It was that kind of a crazy afternoon terrifically cold and no sun out or anything and you felt like you were disappearing every time you crossed a road.

He had a theory Walt did that the religious life and all the agony that goes with it is just something God sics on people who have the gall to accuse Him of having created an ugly world.

But I was afraid of the questions (much more than the accusations) you might both put to me.

After I go out this door I may only exist in the minds of all my acquaintances"¦I may be an orange peel.

...but don't tell me I'm not sensitive to beauty. That's my Achilles' heel and don't you forget it. To me everything is beautiful. Show me a pink sunset and I'm limp by God...

It was a very stupid thing to do I'll admit but I hardly didn't even know I was doing it.

The world is full of actors pretending to be human

I hate actors. They never act like people. They just think they do

Semuanya tak ada yang berubah. Satu-satunya yang berubah adalah kita sendiri. Bukan karena kita bertambah umur atau apalah. Bukan begitu. Kita hanya menjadi berbeda itu saja

It always smelled like it was raining outside even if it wasn't and you were in the only nice dry cosy place in the world.

I don't really deeply feel that anyone needs an airtight reason for quoting from the works of the writers he loves but it's always nice I'll grant you if he has one.

They love their reasons for loving us almost as much as they love us and most of the time more. It's not so good that way.

He could hear me alright...but he didn't answer me right away. He was the kind of guy that hates to answer you right away.

I'm known as a strange aloof kind of man. But all I'm doing is trying to protect myself and my work.

I've never seen such a bunch of apple-eaters.

I'm sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.

This is God's universe buddy not yours and he has the final say about what's ego and what isn't.

Are all your stars shining?

Give me a story that just makes me unreasonably vigilant. Keep me up till five only because all your stars are out and for no other reason.

I'm not going to bed after all. Somebody around here hath murdered sleep. Good for him.

I ignored the flashes of lightning all around me. They either had your number on them or they didn't.

I do very emphatically believe there is an enormous amount of the androgynous in any all-or-nothing prose writer or even a would-be one.

I felt so lonesome all of a sudden. I almost wished I was dead.

Some of my best friedns are children. In fact all of my best friends are children.

Mothers are all slightly insane.

All mothers are slightly insane...

But you can't always tell - with somebody's mother I mean. Mothers are all slightly insane.

She wasn't doing a thing that I could see except standing there leaning on the balcony railing holding the universe together.

If a body catch a body coming through the rye.

I'll read my books and I'll drink coffee and I'll listen to music and I'll bolt the door.

We are all four of us blood relatives and we speak a kind of esoteric family language a sort of semantic geometry in which the shortest distance between any two points is a fullish circle.

Money always ends up making you blue.

Most stuff that is genuine is better left unsaid.

I never really knew anything about friendship before I was in the Army. Did you Vince? Not a thing. It's the best thing there is. Just About.

In my mind I'm probably the biggest sex maniac you ever saw.

Certain things they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone.

Why's it so sunny?" she repeated. Zooey observed her rather narrowly. "I bring the sun wherever I go buddy " he said.

She said she knew she was able to fly because when she came down she always had dust on her fingers from touching the light bulbs.

He was the tallest thinnest weariest boy I had ever seen in my life. He was brilliant. He had gorgeous brown eyes and he had only two suits. He was completely unhappy and I didn't know why.

Were most of your stars out? Were you busy writing your heart out?

You think of the book you'd most like to be reading and then you sit down and shamelessly write it.

Why are you breaking down incidentally? I mean if you're able to go into a collapse with all your might why can't you use the same energy to stay well and busy?

People never believe you.

Did you see more glass?

Liberate yourself from my vice-like grip!

It isn't very serious I have this tiny little tumor on the brain.

oh this happiness is strong stuff.

Do it for the fat lady!

There isn't anyone out there who isn't Seymour's Fat Lady.

Some people you shouldn't kid even if they deserve it.

She was wearing a canary-yellow two-piece bathing suit one piece of which she would not actually be needing for another nine or ten years.

You take somebody that cries their goddam eyes out over phoney stuff in the movies and nine times out of ten they're mean bastards at heart.

He once told Allie and I that if he'd had to shoot anybody he wouldn't've known which direction to shoot in. He said the Army was practically as full of bastards as the Nazis were.

That's the whole trouble. When you're feeling very depressed you can't even think.

... I was feeling so depressed I didn't even think. That's the whole trouble. When you're feeling very depressed you can't even think

I feel overwhelmingly grateful to them but I don't know what to do with their invisible gifts.

I like it when somebody gets excited about something. It's nice.

Among other things you'll find that you're not the first one who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior.

Hell is the suffering of being unable to love.

The worst thing that being an artist could do to you would be that it would make you slightly unhappy constantly.

It's really too bad that so much crumby stuff is a lot of fun sometimes.

Don't hate me because I can't remember some person immediately. Especially when they look like everybody else and talk and dress and act like everybody else.

Just go to bed now. Quickly. Quickly and slowly.

You take a really sleepy man Esmé and he always stands a chance of again becoming a man with all his fac"?with all his f-a-c-u-l-t-i-e-s intact.

I wouldn't exactly describe her as strictly beautiful. She knocked me out though.

Boy did he depress me! I don't mean he was a bad guy- he wasn't. But you don't have to be bad guy to depress somebody- you can be a good guy and do it.

God I wish you could have been there.

I have so much I want to tell you and nowhere to begin.

And the old horror of being a professional writer and the usual stench of words that goes with it is begining to drive me out of my seat. (Buddy)

Oh it's lovely to see you!' Franny said as the cab moved off. 'I've missed you.' The words were no sooner out than she realized that she didn't mean them at all.

I never seem to have anything that if I lost it I'd care too much about.

Some guys spend days looking for something they lost. I never seem to have anything that if I lost it I'd care too much.

Who in the Bible besides Jesus knew--knew--that we're carrying the Kingdom of Heaven around with us inside where we're all too goddam stupid and sentimental and unimaginative to look?

I don't even like old cars. I'd rather have a goddam horse. A horse is at least human for God's sake.

I'd be the catcher in the rye and all.

The catcher in the rye... that's all I really want to be...

I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy.

All morons hate it when you call them a moron.

I have scars on my hands from touching certain people.

Maybe there's a trapdoor under my chair and I'll just disappear.

Get your dirty stinking moron knees off my chest.

I still think that in a way I can't get past half my childhood dogmas.

The true poet has no choice of material. The material plainly chooses him not he it.

Phooey I say on all white-shoe college boys who edit their campus literary magazines. Give me an honest con man any day.

She was there and she was the whole city and that's that.

People always clap for the wrong reasons.

The goddam movies. They can ruin you. I'm not kidding

If you're not in the mood you can't do that stuff right.

You don't know how to talk to people you don't like. Don't love really. You can't live in the world with such strong likes and dislikes.

If I were a piano player I'd play it in the goddam closet.

I have scars on my hands from touching certain people"¦Certain heads certain colours and textures of human hair leave permanent marks on me.

I was surrounded by phonies...They were coming in the goddam window.

It's not too bad when the sun's out but the sun only comes out when it feels like coming out.

It was the last game of the year and you were supposed to commit suicide or something if old Pencey didn't win.

A community of seriously hip observers is a scary and depressing thing.

I'm not afraid to compete. It's just the opposite. Don't you see that? I'm afraid I will compete - that's what scares me.

An artist's only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection and on his own terms not anyone else's.

Franny was staring at the little blotch of sunshine with a special intensity as if she were considering lying down in it.

If German boys had learned to be contemptuous of violence Hitler would have had to take up knitting to keep his ego warm.

She was a girl who for a ringing phone dropped exactly nothing. She looked as if her phone had been ringing continually ever since she had reached puberty.

We don't talk we hold forth. We don't converse we expound.

But I'm Crazy. I swear to God I am.

I don't suppose a writing man ever really gets rid of his old crocus-yellow neckties. Sooner or later I think they show up in his prose and there isn't a hell of a lot he can do about it.

Pencey was full of crooks. Quite a few guys came from these wealthy families but it was full of crooks anyway. The more expensive a school is the more crooks it has - I'm not kidding.

The more expensive a school is the more crooks it has "? I'm not kidding.

Seymour once said that all we do our whole lives is go from one little piece of Holy Ground to the next. Is he ever wrong?

How do you know you're going to do something untill you do it?

You can't stop a teacher when they want to do something. They just do it.

The little girl on the plane Who turned her doll's head around To look at me.

I'm just sick of ego ego ego. My own and everybody else's. I'm sick of everybody that wants to get somewhere do something distinguished and all be somebody interesting. It's disgusting.

People are mostly hot to have a discussion when you're not.

I love you to pieces distraction etc.

I suspect that money is a far greater distraction for the artist than hunger.

You can't exist in this world with such strong likes and dislikes.

Where do the ducks go in the winter?

who wants flowers when youre dead? nobody.

Sometimes I see me dead in the rain.

I thought what I'd do was I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes.

Dunyada hos seyler de var -hakikaten hos seyler yani. Hepsini birden iskalayacak kadar da salagiz biz. Olup biten her seyi hemen o sefil kucuk egolarimiza gonderiyoruz mutemadiyen.

If there's one thing I hate it's the movies. Don't even mention them to me.

Don't tell people what you are thinking or you will miss them terribly when you are away.

Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do you start missing everybody.

And I can't be running back and fourth forever between grief and high delight.

You asked me how to get out of the finite dimensions when I feel like it. I certainly don't use logic when I do it. Logic's the first thing you have to get rid of.

There are still a few men who love desperately.

I'm sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody. I'm sick of myself and everybody else that wants to make some kind of a splash.

If you sat around there long enough and heard all the phonies applauding and all you got to hate everybody in the world I swear you did.

I don't exactly know what I mean by that but I mean it.

She wrote to him fairly regularly from a paradise of triple exclamation points and inaccurate observations.

Grand. There's a word I really hate. It's a phony. I could puke every time I hear it.

The existence of God the why of life was all that really only a question of glands?

I can't explain what I mean. And even if I could I'm not sure I'd feel like it.

She was not one for emptying her face of expression.

Nobody who's really using his ego his real ego has any time for any goddam hobbies

Always always always referring every goddam thing that happens right back to our lousy little egos.

Look at 'em ' he said. 'Goddam fools.' 'Who?' said Ginnie. 'I don't know. Anybody.

Sometimes you get tired of riding in taxicabs the same way you get tired riding in elevators. All of a sudden you have to walk no matter how far or how high up.

I'm up to my ears in unwritten words.

I just never felt so fantastically rocky in my entire life.

Almost every time somebody gives me a present it ends up making me sad.

Then again you may pick up just enough education to hate people who say 'It's a secret between he and I.'

I'm one of the little foxes that spoil the grapes.

If you're going to say the Jesus Prayer at least say it to Jesus and not to St. Francis and Seymour and Heidi's grandfather all wrapped up in one.

He was one of those guys that think they're being a pansy if they don't break around forty of your fingers when they shake hands with you. God I hate that stuff.

People are always ruining things for you.

I mean it's very hard to meditate and live a spiritual life in America. People think you're a freak if you try to.

Did you ever get fed up?' I said. 'I mean did you ever get scared that everything was going to go lousy unless you did something?

I don't even know what I was running for"?I guess I just felt like it.

If I'd wanted this place to fill up with every fat Irish rose that passes by I'd've said so.

In the first place you're way off when you start railing at things and people instead of at yourself.

The Great Gatsby' [...] was my 'Tom Sawyer' when I was twelve [....]

I don't know what good it is to know so much and be smart as whips and all if it doesn't make you happy.

She gave me a pain in the ass but she was very good looking.

I'd never yell "Good luck!" at anybody. It sounds terrible when you think about it.

You don't always have to get too sexy to get to know a girl.

How long should a man's legs be? Long enough to touch the ground.

A confessional passage has probably never been written that didn't stink a little bit of the writer's pride in having given up his pride.

Bessie: 'Why don't you get married?' Zooey: 'I like riding in trains too much. You never get to sit next to the window anymore when you're married.

Girls. You never know what they're going to think.

Real ugly girls have it tough. I feel so sorry for them sometimes.

Life is a gift horse in my opinion.

God how I still love private readers. It's what we all used to be.

If I were God I certainly wouldn't want people to love me sentimentally. It's too unreliable.

Sex is something I really don't understand too hot.

It's history. It's poetry.

And I have one of those very loud stupid laughs. I mean if I ever sat behind myself in a movie or something I'd probably lean over and tell myself to please shut up.

He said I was unequipped to meet life because I had no sense of humor.

Many many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily some of them kept records of their troubles.

Yet a real artist I've noticed will survive anything. (Even praise I happily suspect.)

I'm a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.

I am a kind of paranoid in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.

You never even worried with Jane whether your hand was sweaty or not. All you knew was you were happy. You really were.

Happiness is a solid and joy is a liquid.

The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.

They didn't act like people and they didn't act like actors. It's hard to explain. They acted more like they knew they were celebrities and all. I mean they were good but they were too good.

This is a people shooting hat " I said. "I shoot people in this hat.

She's quite intelligent in my stupidity.

There is a marvelous peace in not publishing ... I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure.

...publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write.

I'm quite illiterate but I read a lot.

Sex is something I really don't understand too hot. You never know where the hell you are... Sex is something I just don't understand. I swear to God.

I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life.

It happens to be one of those days when I see everybody in the family including myself through the wrong end of a telescope.

How that name comes up. Mixing memory and desire

John Keats / John Keats / John / Please put your scarf on.

I was surrounded by jerks. I'm not kidding.

The fact is always obvious much too late but the most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid.

Sensitive. That killed me. That guy Morrow was about as sensitive as a toilet seat.

I kept picturing all these little kids in this big field of rye... If they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.

You're lucky if you get time to sneeze in this goddam phenomenal world.

Sentimentality is loving something more than God does.

Make sure you marry someone who laughs at the same things you do.

People with red hair are supposed to get mad very easily ... and he had very red hair.

if somebody at least listens it not too bad

I'm sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.

Sleep tight ya morons!

There are nice things in the world - and I mean nice things. We're all such morons to get so sidetracked.

I can be quite sarcastic when I'm in the mood.

That's the terrible part. I swear to God I'm a madman.

If a girl looks swell when she meets you who gives a damn if she's late? Nobody.

Her joke of a name aside her general unprettiness aside she was in terms of permanently memorable immoderately perceptive small-area faces a stunning and final girl.

Listen if you're not going to be a nun or something you might as well laugh.

Oh I don't know. That digression business got on my nerves. I don't know. The trouble with me is I like it when somebody digresses. It's more interesting and all.

If you weren't around I'd probably be someplace way the hell off. In the woods or some goddamn place. You're the only reason I'm around practically.

For a psychoanalyst to be any good... he'd have to believe that it was through the grace of God that he'd been inspired to study psychoanalysis in the first place.

It's partly true too but it isn't all true. People always think something's all true.

That's the whole trouble. You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful because there isn't any.

Poets are always taking the weather so personally. They're always sticking their emotions in things that have no emotions.

Poets are always taking the weather so personally.

the sentence im reading is terrific ...

Its really hard to be roommates with people if your suitcases are much better than theirs.

I know. I'm very hard to talk to. I realize that.

I mean how do you know what you're going to do till you do it? The answer is you don't. I think I am but how do I know? I swear it's a stupid question.

He said you were the only one who was bitter about S.'s suicide and the only one who really forgave him for it. The rest of us he said were outwardly unbitter and inwardly unforgiving.

I told her I loved her and all. It was a lie of course but the thing is I meant it when I said it. I'm crazy. I swear to God I am.

If sentiment doesn't ultimately make fibbers of some people their natural abominable memories almost certainly will.

If you do something too good then after a while if you don't watch it you start showing off. And then you're not as good any more.

You can hit my father over the head with a chair and he won't wake up but my mother all you have to do to my mother is cough somewhere in Siberia and she'll hear you.

People never think anything is anything really. I'm getting goddam sick of it.

It's one of those places that are supposed to be very sophisticated and all and the phonies are coming in the window.

I am always saying "Glad to've met you" to somebody I'm not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive you have to say that stuff though.

The thing with kids is if they want to grab for the gold ring you have to let them do it and not say anything. If they fall off they fall off but it's bad if you say anything to them.

You don't have to think too hard when you talk to teachers.