E.L. Doctorow Quote

It was as if the wars they were conducting were to be symbolized in their own relationships. I thought how contention makes us human. How every form of it is practiced religiously, from gentlemanly debate to rape and pillage, from dirty political attacks to assassinations. Our nighttime street fights outside of bars, our slapping arguments in plush bedrooms, our murderous mutterings in the divorce courts. We had parents who beat their children, schoolyard bullies, career-climbing killers in ties and suits, drivers cutting one another off, people pushing one another through the subway doors, nations making war, dropping bombs, swarming onto beaches, the daily military coups, the endless disappearances, the dispossessed dying in their tent camps, the ethnic cleansing crusades, drug wars, terrorist murders, and all violence in every form countenanced somewhere by some religion or other … and for its entertainment politicidal, genocidal, suicidal humanity attending its beloved kick-boxing matches, and cockfights, or losing its paychecks on the blackjack felt and then going back to work undercutting the competition, scamming, ponzi-ing, poisoning … and the impassioned lovers of their times contending in their own little universe of sex, one turgidly wanting it, the other wincingly refusing it.

E.L. Doctorow

It was as if the wars they were conducting were to be symbolized in their own relationships. I thought how contention makes us human. How every form of it is practiced religiously, from gentlemanly debate to rape and pillage, from dirty political attacks to assassinations. Our nighttime street fights outside of bars, our slapping arguments in plush bedrooms, our murderous mutterings in the divorce courts. We had parents who beat their children, schoolyard bullies, career-climbing killers in ties and suits, drivers cutting one another off, people pushing one another through the subway doors, nations making war, dropping bombs, swarming onto beaches, the daily military coups, the endless disappearances, the dispossessed dying in their tent camps, the ethnic cleansing crusades, drug wars, terrorist murders, and all violence in every form countenanced somewhere by some religion or other … and for its entertainment politicidal, genocidal, suicidal humanity attending its beloved kick-boxing matches, and cockfights, or losing its paychecks on the blackjack felt and then going back to work undercutting the competition, scamming, ponzi-ing, poisoning … and the impassioned lovers of their times contending in their own little universe of sex, one turgidly wanting it, the other wincingly refusing it.

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About E.L. Doctorow

Edgar Lawrence Doctorow (January 6, 1931 – July 21, 2015) was an American novelist, editor, and professor, best known for his works of historical fiction.
He wrote twelve novels, three volumes of short fiction and a stage drama. They included the award-winning novels Ragtime (1975), Billy Bathgate (1989), and The March (2005). These, like many of his other works, placed fictional characters in recognizable historical contexts, with known historical figures, and often used different narrative styles. His stories were recognized for their originality and versatility, and Doctorow was praised for his audacity and imagination.A number of Doctorow's novels and short stories were also adapted for the screen, including Welcome to Hard Times (1967) starring Henry Fonda, Daniel (1983) starring Timothy Hutton, Billy Bathgate (1991) starring Dustin Hoffman, and Wakefield (2016) starring Bryan Cranston. His most notable adaptations were for the film Ragtime (1981) and the Broadway musical of the same name (1998), which won four Tony Awards.
Doctorow was the recipient of numerous writing awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award for Ragtime, National Book Critics Circle Award for Billy Bathgate, National Book Critics Circle Award for The March, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction. Former President Barack Obama called him "one of America's greatest novelists".