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SINGER-SPEAK: THROUGH THE YEARS

SINGER-SPEAK: THROUGH THE YEARS

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Reincarnation - ``We have been here more than once. From the point of view of heavenly economy, why should God send a soul only once?'

Prayer - ``Whenever I'm in trouble I pray. And since I'm always in trouble, there is not a day when I don't pray.'Assimilation - ``A form of slavery and always achieved through force - a gentle force, but force. The weaker are always assimilated by the stronger.'

Deprivation - ``Here they say if you grow up in a slum you are a candidate for crime. ... People like me and my brother should not be writers, but criminals. People have grown up in houses without bathrooms for thousands of years.'

Education - ``The call to learning was in our blood. For some strange reason the religion did not allow girls to study. So the girls had one desire - that their husbands should be scholars.'

Writers' wives - ``Wives of writers have the inclination to put a plate of chicken soup down on manuscripts.'

Daughters - ``While humanity tries to go to the moon, nobody has done anything to find a way to marry off his daughters.'

Marriage brokers - ``For thousands of years Jews had matchmakers. Today if you suggest a matchmaker the girl is offended. So you suggest a computer and she thinks it's all right.'

Emotion - ``The philosophers all belittled the emotions, especially a man like Spinoza, who considered all emotions as evil .... Take away the emotions from a human being, and no matter how much logic he will have, he will be a vegetable.'

Citizenship - ``In Poland I always felt that I was a citizen of the second or third or fourth class .... I would not change my (American) citizenship now for any money in the world. I know that many people feel that a man who says this is a reactionary, but I belong to those writers who are grateful to their adopted country.'

Self-editing - ``Never pity your manuscript. The wastepaper basket is a writer's best friend. My wastepaper basket is on a steady diet.'

Age - ``An old man is nothing but an old little boy. I keep making plans as if I would live forever.'

Cosmology - ``The question of whether the world is nothing but a physical accident or whether there is a plan, this is the main question of every human being. Because the only answer to our suffering would be that there is a purpose in it, that there is a spirit behind it. If these would not exist, our life would be ... hopeless.'

Men and women - ``A topic which will never be exhausted. Every man and every woman is different. And every day the same man is a different man and the same woman is a different woman. So here we have a treasure for our imagination without end.'

Everyday miracles - ``A writer once gave me a story about a man with a chopped-off head who talks. I said, 'Isn't it marvelous enough that a man with a head can talk?' '

Social justice - ``I am not far from the Buddhist and Indian way of thinking that the best thing you can do is run away from evil, not fight it. Because the moment you begin to fight evil, you become part of evil yourself.'

Source: Singer's articles, lectures and a 1968 interview with The New York Times

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