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Vicki Baum

  • And then, fame always brings loneliness. Success is as ice cold and as lonely as the north pole.

  • A man with money to pay for a meal can talk about hunger without demeaning himself. ... But for a man with no money hunger is a disgrace.

  • People don't speak of hunger when they know what it is to be hungry.

  • ... marriage always demands the greatest understanding of the art of insincerity possible between two human beings.

  • Worries are the most stubborn habits in the world. Even after a poor man has won a huge lottery prize, he will still for months wake up in the night with a start, worrying about food and rent.

  • ... to be a Jew is a destiny.

  • ... Luke got up and followed him on tiptoes, trying to keep his shoes from making that unpleasant noise on the linoleum which fills the corridors of all the hospitals in the world.

  • 'What was her name again?' asked the old lady, whose brain was like a worn-out strainer, very fine in places but with big holes in others.

  • You don't get ulcers from what you eat. You get them from what's eating you.

    • Vicki Baum,
    • in Joseph L. Baron, ed., A Treasury of Jewish Quotations ()
  • ... in the big city nobody has time to make friends. The big city is a big solitude.

  • ... men don't make different mistakes at different periods of their lives. They make the same mistake over and over again and they pay a bigger and bigger price for it.

  • ... cats will be clean in a pigsty while pigs will be dirty in a marble hall.

  • Curious, how each one of us secretly carries his private cemetery around with him and watches it filling up with ever new graves. The last one to be our own ...

  • ... patience is an integral part of talent.

  • I was growing tired of all the fussing and prevaricating, of the stolen hours and the secret rendez-vous; of the small indignities and broad discomfort that are part and parcel of adultery.

  • There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.

  • They clung like barnacles to the sunken keel of the style and tastes of the 'Nineties.

  • ... when we are young our parents run our life; when we get older, our children do.

  • ... the seat of the greatest patriotic loyalties is in the stomach. Long after giving up all attachment to the land of his birth, the naturalized American citizen holds fast to the food of his parents.

  • The most remarkable thing about Hollywood is that it does not exist. ... Hollywood, in a word, has no center, never had one, no city hall, court house, church, square, or rather it probably has some of those but they're so aimlessly thrown in with the general jumble ... that I, for one, never found them.

  • ... serious difficulties don't vanish by themselves, they are standing around your bed when you open the eyes the next morning.

  • Perfection bores me, in art, in music; most of all, in people. Luckily, perfection is rare.

  • To me, writing is not a profession. You might as well call living a profession. Or having children. Anything you can't help doing.

  • I've been in New York only a few days and I have learned only two words of your language: one is Swell, and the other is Lousy. ... 'It's swell to be with you and excuse, please, my lousy English!'

Vicki Baum, Austrian-born U.S. novelist, screenwriter

(1888 - 1960)

Real name: Hedwig Baum Lerf.