Quotes from My Name Is Asher Lev

Chaim Potok ·  369 pages

Rating: (32K votes)


“Something that is yours forever is never precious”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“It's not a pretty world, Papa.'
'I've noticed,' my father said softly.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“Art is whether or not there is a scream in him wanting to get out in a special way.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“Seeds must be sown everywhere. Only some will bear fruit. But there would not be the fruit from the few had the many not been sown”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“I looked at my right hand, the hand with which I painted. There was power in that hand. Power to create and destroy. Power to bring pleasure and pain. Power to amuse and horrify. There was in that hand the demonic and the divine at one and the same time. The demonic and the divine were two aspects of the same force. Creation was demonic and divine. Creativity was demonic and divine. I was demonic and divine.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev



“For all the pain you suffered, my mama. For all the torment of your past and future years, my mama. For all the anguish this picture of pain will cause you. For the unspeakable mystery that brings good fathers and sons into the world and lets a mother watch them tear at each other’s throats. For the Master of the Universe, whose suffering world I do not comprehend. For dreams of horror, for nights of waiting, for memories of death, for the love I have for you, for all the things I remember, and for all the things I should remember but have forgotten, for all these I created this painting—an observant Jew working on a crucifixion because there was no aesthetic mold in his own religious tradition into which he could pour a painting of ultimate anguish and torment.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“I do not have many things that are meaningful to me. Except my doubts and my fears. And my art.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“A life is measured by how it is lived for the sake of heaven.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“... an artist is a person first. He is an individual. If there is no person, there is no artist.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“Oh, it makes a difference, I thought. And if it doesn't make a difference you will make it make a difference.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev



“But it would have made me a whore to leave it incomplete. It would have made it easier to leave future work incomplete. It would have made it more and more difficult to draw upon that additional aching surge of effort that is always the difference between integrity and deceit in a created work. I would not be the whore to my own existence. Can you understand that? I would not be the whore to my own existence.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“Art is a person's private vision expressed in aesthetic forms.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“… the world will indulge you just so long Asher Lev. Then it will stop. You will simply have to grow accustomed to that truth.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“Millions of people can draw. Art is whether there is a scream in you wanting to get out in a special way.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“My name is Asher Lev... I am a traitor, an apostate, a self-hater, an inflicter of shame upon my family, my friends, my people; also, I am a mocker of ideas sacred to Christians, a blasphemous manipulator of modes and forms revered by Gentiles for two thousand years.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev



“How should a Jew feel? There we went through the seven gates of hell for matzos. Here I stand in matzos over my head. So how should a Jew feel? You are an angel of God, and the Rebbe, he should live and be well, the Rebbe made miracles and wonders for me. At night, I tell myself it is a dream and I am afraid to wake up. If it is a dream, better I should not wake up, better I should die in my sleep.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“I do not know what evil is when it comes to art. I only know what is good art and what is bad art.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“You can do anything you want to do. What is rare is this actual wanting to do a specific thing: wanting it so much that you are practically blind to all other things, that nothing else will satisfy you,.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“Asher Lev, an artist is a person first. He is an individual. If there is no person, there is no artist.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“It was no joy waking up after a dream about that man. He left a taste of thunder in my mouth.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev



“Jestliže se chceš dotknout srdce nějakého člověka, musíš vidět jeho tvář. Do duše se nedostaneš telefonem.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“He should be careful of the influence of those with whom he consorts, and he runs a great risk in becoming a member of a large society, for large bodies tend toward the leveling of individuality to a common consent, the forming and adherence to a creed.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“An artist has got to get acquainted with himself just as much as he can. It is no easy job, for it is not a present-day habit of humanity.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“Every artist is a man who has freed himself from his family, his nation, his race. Every man who has shown the world the way to beauty, to true culture, has been a rebel, a ‘universal’ without patriotism, without home, who has found his people everywhere.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“The fact is that gossip, rumors, mythmaking, and news stories are not appropriate vehicles for the communication of nuances of truth, those subtle tonalities that are often the truly crucial elements in a causal chain.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev



“It’s not a pretty world, Papa.” “I’ve noticed,” my father said softly.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“An artist is a person first.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“I walked the streets and tasted the golden sun that lay across the city.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


“My father's right to shape my life had been taken from him by the same being who gave his own life meaning - the Rebbe.”
― Chaim Potok, quote from My Name Is Asher Lev


About the author

Chaim Potok
Born place: in Buffalo, New York, The United States
Born date February 17, 1929
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