32 Invaluable David Rakoff Quotes

David Rakoff is a Canadian-born American writer based out of New York City. Noted for his humor and non fictional essays, Rakoff died in 2012 from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Here is a look at some of the most notable David Rakoff quotes ever recorded from his life.

“Almost any age is better than twenty-two.”

“Altruism is innate, but it’s not instinctual. Everybody’s wired for it, but a switch has to be flipped.”

“Being a stranger was like being dead, and brought to mind how, in a book he had read that most folks misunderstood one common state: The flip side of love is indifference, not hate.”

“But if one’s dreams having to come true was the only referendum on whether they were beautiful, or worth dreaming, well then, no one would wish for anything. And that would be so much sadder.”

“Central to living a life that is good, is a life that’s forgiving.”

“During the act of making something, I experience a kind of blissful absence of the self and a loss of time. When I am done, I return to both feeling as restored as if I had been on a trip.”


“Everybody’s got something. In the end, what choice does one really have but to understand that truth, to really take it in, and then shop for groceries, get a haircut, do one’s work; get on with the business of one’s life.”

“For most of my life, I would have automatically said that I would opt for conscientious objector status, and in general, I still would. But the spirit of the question is would I ever, and there are instances where I might.”

“Hoped if she kept the dream hidden and frozen She soon would forget that she’d never been chosen. But dreams screams as loud whether thriving or dying and Helen despite herself never stopped trying.”

“I am going to the bad place, as is my wont.”

“I am neither spontaneous nor ready for anything.”

“I am no fun at all. In fact, I am anti-fun. Not as in anti-violence, but as in anti-matter. I am not so much against fun – although I suppose I kind of am – as I am the opposite of fun. I suck the fun out of a room.”

“I have managed to establish an identity that is based on my internal self, and for that I feel tremendously lucky.”

“In my brief glimpse of what is to come I realize how little I care to witness it. I have seen the future and I’m fairly relieved to say, it looks nothing like me.”

“Is there some lesson on how to be friends? I think what it means is that central to living a life that is good is a life that’s forgiving.”

“Just think, the shoes I wouldn’t be caught dead in might actually turn out to be the shoes I am caught dead in.”

“No secrets, no longing, no desperate hoping just reach out and grab from a world cracked open.”

“Not being funny doesn’t make you a bad person. Not having a sense of humor does.”

“One of the marks of a life well lived has to be reaching a state of finally getting it, of not needing more, and of being able to sign off with something approaching peace of mind.”

“People are really trying their best. Just like being happy and sad, you will find yourself on both sides of the equation many times over your lifetime, either saying or hearing the wrong thing.”

“The best=laid plans, one’s most fastidious contingency strategies have revealed themselves in the cold light of day to be laughably inadequate, no match for the happenstance that seems of late only to promise death, mayhem, poverty, flood.”

“The flipside of love is indifference not hate.”

“The only thing that makes one an artist is making art. And that requires the precise opposite of hanging out; a deeply lonely and unglamorous task of tolerating oneself long enough to push something out.”

“There are many things in this world that are an outrage, to be sure, but death at our current life expectancy doesn’t strike me as one of them.”

“There is nothing so cleansing or reassuring as a vicarious sadness.”

“This brings up yet another, far more important misconception: that being comically generative and having a sense of humor are one and the same thing.”

“Unfortunately, there’s no greater rhyme or reason as to why it would be me. And since there is no answer as to why me, it’s not a question I feel really entitled to ask.”

“We’re creatures of contact regardless of whether/ we kiss or we wound. Still, we must come together.”

“Well into adulthood, writing has never gotten easier. It still only ever begins badly, and there are no guarantees that this is not the day when the jig is finally up.”

“What remains of your past if you didn’t allow yourself to feel it when it happened? If you don’t have your experiences in the moment, if you gloss them over with jokes or zoom past them, you end up with curiously dispassionate memories.”

“When you’re making something, you’re in a different state. You go into a deep level of concentration, to the point where you’re not self-conscious anymore, it’s just flowing out of you.”

“Youth is not wasted on the young, it is perpetrated on the young.”

Here is a look at David Rakoff as he performs “The Invisible Made Visible.”

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