Quotations from Joseph Epstein

One of the delights of being an intellectual is that one is expected to have opinions on everything while incurring responsibility for nothing. (Narcissus Leaves the Pool)

Most people, I suspect, must do what I do: hold, on most matters of genuine controversy, an opinion based less on solid information than on hunch, temperament, and one’s general politics and point of view. (Narcissus Leaves the Pool)

I can face the fact that we all grow older, but I prefer to face it only one or two persons at a time. A large room filled with people in this condition is more than I can handle. That is why I shan’t be attending my fiftieth-year class reunion.(Wind Sprints)

I blame the number of beggars in America not on capitalism, but on the great human lottery, which awards less skill, little power of forming good habits, and simple bad luck to a small but, it now seems, not insignificant number of people in every society.(Wind Sprints)

On the Internet anyone can say anything without need of argument or authentication.(Wind Sprints)

The camera, it is said, does not lie, but the man behind it can have his devious subtexts and political agendas. (Wind Sprints)

Gossip, make no mistake, always implies a judgment. (Gossip: the Untrivial Pursuit)

Over the past three or four decades, the university has become something akin to a continuing WPA program by furnishing an ever-larger number of artists—chiefly writers but painters and musicians, too—with jobs. (A Literary Education and Other Essays)