Paul Goodman Quotes

Here we have the beautiful British compromise: a man can say anything, he mustn't do anything; a man can listen to anything, but he musn't be roused to do anything. By freedom of speech is meant freedom to talk about; speech is not saying-as-an-action.
Paul Goodman (1911-1972), U.S. literary author, critic. "Censorship and Pornography on the Stage."
There is such a thing as food and such a thing as poison. But the damage done by those who pass off poison as food is far less than that done by those who generation after generation convince people that food is poison.
Paul Goodman (1911-1972), U.S. author, poet, critic. "Ireland, Spring 1958," sct. 2, Five Years (1966).
Comedy deflates the sense precisely so that the underlying lubricity and malice may bubble to the surface.
Paul Goodman (1911-1972), U.S. literary critic, author. repr. In Creator Spirit Come (1977). "Obsessed by Theatre," Nation (New York, Nov. 29, 1958).
What the devil to do with the sentence "Who the devil does he think he's fooling?" You can't write "Whom the devil—"
Paul Goodman (1911-1972), U.S. author, poet, critic. "September to December 1958," sct. 2, Five Years (1966).
When the Devil quotes Scriptures, it's not, really, to deceive, but simply that the masses are so ignorant of theology that somebody has to teach them the elementary texts before he can seduce them.
Paul Goodman (1911-1972), U.S. author, poet, critic. "Spring and Summer 1956," sct. 6, Five Years (1966).
For mankind, speech with a capital S is especially meaningful and committing, more than the content communicated. The outcry of the newborn and the sound of the bells are fraught with mystery more than the baby's woeful face or the venerable tower.
Paul Goodman (1911-1972), U.S. author, poet, critic. "Summer 1957, in Europe," sct. 3, Five Years (1966).