Joseph Epstein

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Joseph Epstein (born January 9, 1937 in Chicago) is an essayist, short story writer, and editor, and from 1974 to 1998 the editor of the Phi Beta Kappa Society's The American Scholar magazine. He was also a lecturer at Northwestern University from 1974 to 2002. He is a Contributing Editor at The Weekly Standard and a long-time contributor of essays and short stories to The New Criterion and ... more »

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  • ''The pleasure of jogging and running is rather like that of wearing a fur coat in Texas in August: the true joy comes in being able to take the damn thing off.''
    Joseph Epstein (b. 1937), U.S. writer. Familiar Territory, "Running and Other Vices," Oxford University Press (1979).
  • What, really, is wanted from a neighborhood? Convenience, certainly, an absence of major aggravation, to be sure. But perhaps most of all, ideally, what is wanted is a comfortable background, a breath...
    Joseph Epstein (b. 1937), U.S. writer. Familiar Territory, "Boutique America," Oxford University Press (1979).
  • ''The best joke-tellers are those who have the patience to wait for conversation to come around to the point where the jokes in their repertoire have application.''
    Joseph Epstein (b. 1937), U.S. writer. Familiar Territory, Oxford University Press (1979).
  • ''I should prefer to die laughing, and, on more than one occasion, thought I might.''
    Joseph Epstein (b. 1937), U.S. writer. Familiar Territory, "Jokes and Their Relation to the Conscious," Oxford University Press (1979).
  • Generalization, especially risky generalization, is one of the chief methods by which knowledge proceeds... Safe generalizations are usually rather boring. Delete that "usually rather." Safe generaliz...
    Joseph Epstein (b. 1937), U.S. writer. The Middle of My Tether, "But I Generalize," W.W. Norton (1983).
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