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Zelda Popkin

  • New York's the place where you can have a private life. You can do anything, be anything you please. New Yorkers mind their own business. Police cars, ambulances, fire engines — nobody even turns around for them. We go to the movies for excitement.

  • There's no privacy for the violently dead.

  • Each husband gets the infidelity he deserves.

  • Every door opens to something and it is better to go toward that something than to sit staring at the blank wall of time.

  • Inspiration is just one requirement for being a writer. Another is keeping regular working hours.

  • Grandpa ... would not touch cheese unless it could cross the table by its own strength.

  • ... of all the deprivations which afflict humankind, none is more dreadful than loneliness. A corrosive, it eats the heart out. People were meant to live by twos, with someone close with whom to share good and bad, to hear breathing in the dark room at night. Being alone is the one unnatural act.

  • Classroom boredom leads to truancy, truancy to delinquency, delinquency to crime, and crime by the young is our country's horror and shame. We deplore. We pass laws. We scatter blame but never where it belongs, on ourselves, because we have not made our schools good enough. By paying teachers a pittance, we make the profession impossible for many of our brilliant, creative, dedicated young people who would wish to teach. Our highways for pleasure and commerce grow better each year while the schoolhouses where the nation's future is wrought grow shabbier and fatally overcrowded. It is a wicked shortsightedness. Until we make education attractive for teachers and pupils, we shall not solve our problems of crime and security and achieve a responsible, enlightened citizenry.

  • Live and let live is New York. You go your way; I'll go my own. You find your people; I shall find mine. They are here, no matter which language you speak. You need not be lonely in New York. We're crowded, yet we have room for you, not merely space for your body, your household goods, but for your spirit, too. We'll nourish that spirit, with our schools, our books, our galleries, our playgrounds, our parks, yes, with the very air that we breathe, that mixure of ferments and fumes, that hell's brew of our summer streets. It's the air of a volatile city, stirring and doing. No Athens. No Shangri-la. Merely Main Street of the world of ideas ...

  • No war can end war except a total war which leaves no human creature on earth. Each war creates the causes of war: hate, desire for revenge and have-nots, desperate with need.

  • ... I knew what I wanted and what I wanted I had. I was with him and I worked at his side. Our marriage began early in 1918. Our wedding took place in the fall of 1919.

  • ... he did have his own brand of professional integrity. He wouldn't stand for a hoax unless he had invented it.

  • The newer education put stress on culture ... Saturday mornings, the young were brushed and washed, forced into blue cheviot suits, and dragged to children's concerts to learn appreciation. They wriggled, squirmed, counted the light bulbs in the ceiling, dived under seats to gather ticket stubs, stampeded out at intermissions. The weakness of their bladders was astounding.

  • Grief is illness. You cannot breathe; you cannot walk or eat or sleep. The sickness is entire, the body and the spirit.

  • ... pity runs its course. An hour comes when no hand but your own can build your future.

  • Destiny is thrifty. To weave her tapestry, she uses even the tiniest snips of thread.

Zelda Popkin, U.S. writer

(1898 - 1983)

Full name: Zelda Feinberg Popkin.