OPW: Woody Allen on What’s Good in Life

Today’s “Other People’s Words” is both short and unconventional. It’s a quote taken from Woody Allen’s Manhattan, in which his misanthropic character beings to think about what’s good in life.

Technically, it’s the character Isaac Davis who says the line, but with it written by, directed by, and spoken by Woody Allen, I think the attribution is fair. Also, I left all the hesitation and stuttering in tact to make it hard to read–well, and to show the halting way in which he comes to the realization.

An idea for a short story, about, um, people in Manhattan who, uh, are constantly creating these real unnecessary neurotic problems for themselves because it keeps them from dealing with more unsolvable terrifying problems about the… the universe.

Um, let’s see. Well, it has to be optimistic. Wh—alright—Why is life worth living? It’s a very good question. Um, well, there are certain things, I guess, that make it worthwhile. Uh, like what? Okay… um… for me, uh, ooh, I would say, what, Groucho Marx, to name one thing, uh, um, and Wilie Mays, and um, the 2nd movement of the Jupiter Symphony, and uh, Louis Armstrong, recording of Potato Head Blues. Um, Swedish movies, naturally. Sentimental Education by Flaubert. Uh, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra. Um, those incredible apples and pears by Cezanne. Uh, the crabs at Sam Wo’s. Uh… Tracy’s face, hmm…