8+ quotes from Marathon Man by William Goldman

Quotes from Marathon Man

William Goldman ·  236 pages

Rating: (17.2K votes)

“What kind of human person has a favorite eraser?”
― William Goldman, quote from Marathon Man

“I don't know that you'll understand this, but once upon a time, long ago, I was a scholar and a marathon man, but that fella's gone now, dead I suppose, but I remember something he thought, which was that if you don't learn the mistakes of the past, you'll be doomed to repeat them. Well we've been making a mistake with people like you, because public trials are bullshit and executions are games for winners - all this time we should have been giving back pain. That's the real lesson. That's the loser's share, just pain, pure and simple, pain and torture, no hotshot lawyers running around trying to see that justice is done. I think we'd have a nice peaceful place here if all you warmakers knew you better not start something because if you lost, agony was just around the bend. That's what I'd like to give you. Agony. Not what you're suffering now. I mean a lifetime of it, 'cause that's the only degree of justice I think we're ready for down here yet, and I know any humanist might disagree with me too, but I don't think you will, because you had a lot to do with educating me, I'm like you now, except I'm better at it, because you're going to die and I've still got a long way to go.”
― William Goldman, quote from Marathon Man

“Groin' is a funny word," Babe said quietly. "I don't know the German for it, but I'm sure you do." He began to talk more quickly then, because he could tell Szell was starting to die. "Oh, maybe you didn't see it in the papers, but they've made this fabulous theological discovery, do you know what they've found? People don't go to heaven or hell, they all go to one spot first, sort of a way station, and that's were things happen, because, you probably won't believe this, but some people on this earth have been known to do bad things to other people, innocent people, and at this way station, the innocent people wait, and then when their savager comes, they get to exact a little portion of revenge. God says revenge is good for the soul. Do you know who's waiting for you, Mr. Szell? All the Jews. They're all there, and you know what else? They've all got drills, like you used on me - remember how you said how wonderful it was, anyone could learn that, how to use them? Well, they have and they're waiting, and I don't know about you, but I think it's gonna be terrific."

Szell was almost dead now, but Babe just had time to get it in.

Have a swell eternity," Babe said...”
― William Goldman, quote from Marathon Man

“he looked as much like Karl as Cuddles Sakall resembled Argentina Rocca.”
― William Goldman, quote from Marathon Man

“The main thing was to know the world, every twenty-five years or so, back for a couple hundred years, and if you had that info handy, always there under your belt, then you could figure out the gaps.”
― William Goldman, quote from Marathon Man

“If you write movies, you never know who the enemy is. Someone is going to fuck you, that’s a given.”
― William Goldman, quote from Marathon Man

“For the pedant, dates are deities, worthy of worship, but for the true social historian, they are minutiae only, a shorthand, convenient reminders and no more. You do not ask a Titanic survivor, ‘Let me see now, just exactly when was that?’ You ask him this: ‘What was it like? How did you feel?’ And that is the job of the social historian: to make the past vibrant for the present; to emotionally involve those of us who were not there. And to make us understand.”
― William Goldman, quote from Marathon Man

“any experience is profitable if you allow it to be, all actions are profitable, no matter how badly you may suffer from them.”
― William Goldman, quote from Marathon Man


About the author

William Goldman
Born place: in Highland Park, Illinois, The United States
Born date August 12, 1931
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