Quotations by Lebowitz, Fran


Life is something to do when you can’t get to sleep.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
“Mars: Living in a Small Way,” Metropolitan Life (1974)
Added on 2-Oct-13 | Last updated 2-Oct-13
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Remember that as a teenager you are in the last stage of your life when you will be happy to hear the phone is for you.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
“Tips for Teens,” Social Studies (1981)
Added on 4-Dec-13 | Last updated 4-Dec-13
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Think before you speak. Read before you think. This will give you something to think about that you didn’t make up yourself — a wise move at any age, but most especially at seventeen, when you are in the greatest danger of coming to annoying conclusions.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
“Tips for Teens,” Social Studies (1981)
Added on 11-Dec-13 | Last updated 11-Dec-13
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If your sexual fantasies were truly of interest to others, they would no longer be fantasies.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Romantic love is mental illness. But it’s a pleasurable one. It’s a drug. It distorts reality, and that’s the point of it. It would be impossible to fall in love with someone that you really saw.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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When dealing with a concept such as “important”, one would be well advised to ask: “To whom?”

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
Metropolitan Life (1978)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Notoriously insensitive to subtle shifts in mood, children will persist in discussing the color of a recently sighted cement mixer long after one’s interest in the topic has waned.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
Metropolitan Life (1978)
Added on 16-Mar-16 | Last updated 16-Mar-16
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Rome is a very loony city in every respect. One needs but spend an hour or two there to realize that Fellini makes documentaries.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
Metropolitan Life, “A World View” (1974)
Added on 16-Oct-13 | Last updated 16-Oct-13
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All of God’s children are not beautiful. Most of God’s children are, in fact, barely presentable.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
Metropolitan Life, “Manners” (1978)
Added on 8-May-17 | Last updated 8-May-17
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There is no such thing as inner peace. There is only nervousness or death.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
Metropolitan Life, “Manners” (1978)
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Added on 15-May-17 | Last updated 15-May-17
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In the Soviet Union, capitalism triumphed over communism. In this country, capitalism triumphed over democracy.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
Social Studies (1981)
Added on 6-Nov-13 | Last updated 6-Nov-13
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Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he’s buying.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
Social Studies, “Parental Guidance” (1981)
Added on 23-Oct-13 | Last updated 23-Oct-13
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Your responsibility as a parent is not as great as you might imagine. You need not supply the world with the next conqueror of disease or a major movie star. If your child simply grows up to be someone who does not use the word “collectible” as a noun, you can consider yourself an unqualified success.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
Social Studies, “Parental Guidance” (1981)
Added on 22-May-17 | Last updated 22-May-17
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The best fame is a writer’s fame: it’s enough to get a table at a good restaurant, but not enough that you get interrupted when you eat.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
In The Observer (30 May 1993)
Added on 5-Aug-14 | Last updated 5-Aug-14
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Money also buys privacy, silence. The less money you have, the noisier it is; the thinner your walls, the closer your neighbors. I’m obsessed with noise — I can’t write when it’s noisy, I can’t sleep when it’s noisy. The first thing you notice when you step into the house or apartment of a rich person is how quiet it is.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
Interview with James Atlas, “What They Look Like to the Rest of Us,” New York Times Magazine (19 Nov 1995)
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Added on 22-Aug-13 | Last updated 22-Aug-13
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Another difference between rich people and poor people is that rich people can have what they want, whereas we usually can’t. When I was a kid growing up in New Jersey, we’d come into New York and go to F.A.O. Schwarz. I must have been 14 years old before I realized that F.A.O. Schwarz wasn’t a museum. I was once in a museum with a rich man who after about 20 minutes said he wanted to leave because it was too irritating to see things that he couldn’t buy. To us the world is a museum; to them it’s a store.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
Interview with James Atlas, “What They Look Like to the Rest of Us,” New York Times Magazine (19 Nov 1995)
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Added on 25-Sep-13 | Last updated 25-Sep-13
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They don’t talk about money — at least not more than anyone else. What they really talk about is work. The thing about rich people who’ve made it themselves is that they work more than anyone else I know. They work almost all the time. And they talk about their work, because that’s what they do all the time. The average person doesn’t want to work on weekends; the average person doesn’t want to work after work. People who make a lot of money work at 2 o’clock in the morning.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
Interview with James Atlas, “What They Look Like to the Rest of Us,” New York Times Magazine (19 Nov 1995)
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On what the rich talk about.
Added on 9-Oct-13 | Last updated 9-Oct-13
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The rich are abstractly interesting to me because they are the only examples of unfettered human nature. In other words, rich people can do more of what they want than anyone else. A rich person behaves well because he’s a well-behaved person. Everyone else behaves well — at least to some people — because they have to: they have a boss. Being poor is like being a child. Being rich is like being an adult: you get to do whatever you want. Everyone is nice when they have to be; rich people are nice when they feel like it.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
Interview with James Atlas, “What They Look Like to the Rest of Us,” New York Times Magazine (19 Nov 1995)
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Added on 30-Oct-13 | Last updated 30-Oct-13
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There are certain men you could put in the middle of the jungle, and they would come out with a million dollars. It’s an aptitude. It’s a kind of combination of character and personality. If I think of a few guys who made a lot of money, if they lost all their money they would make it again. They are moneymakers. They are abstract thinkers. They’re not held back by being interested in real life. I came out of a movie once with a man who’s made a lot of money, and I said, “You know what’s wrong with that movie?” And he said: “Sure, I know what’s wrong with that movie. That movie cost $22 million. For $22 million I could buy an office building in Chicago.” I think that sums it up.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
Interview with James Atlas, “What They Look Like to the Rest of Us,” New York Times Magazine (19 Nov 1995)
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Added on 13-Nov-13 | Last updated 13-Nov-13
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People have become so rigid; their opinions seem to them like themselves. When that happens (and it has happened) people can’t change their minds. If you are identified by your opinions — if that is the very basis of yourself — how can you change your mind?

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
Interview with Susannah McNeely, Ruminator (Aug/Sep 2005)
Added on 20-Nov-13 | Last updated 20-Nov-13
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