"The history of all Magazines shows plainly that those which have attained celebrity were indebted for it to articles similar in natureto Berenice--although, I grant you, far superior in style and execution. I say similar in nature. You ask me in what does this nature consist? In the ludicrous heightened into the grotesque: the fearful coloured into the horrible: the witty exaggerated into the burlesque: the singular wrought out into the strange and mystical."
"The existence of good bad literature--the fact that one can be amused or excited or even moved by a book that one's intellect simply refuses to take seriously--is a reminder that art is not the same thing as cerebration."
"For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere connected with other states of being (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstacy) is the norm."
"Either over neither, both over either/or, live-and-let-live over stand-or die, high spirits over low, energy over apathy, wit over dullness, jokes over homilies, good humor over jokes, good nature over bad, feeling over sentiment, truth over poetry, consciousness over explanations, tragedy over pathos, comedy over tragedy, entertainment over art, private over public, generosity over meanness, charity over murder, love over charity, irreplaceable over interchangeable, divergence over concurrence, principle over interest, people over principle."
"Pushkin's composition is first of all and above all a phenomenon of style, and it is from this flowered rim that I have surveyed its seep of Arcadian country, the serpentine gleam of its imported brooks, the miniature blizzards imprisoned in round crystal, and the many-hued levels of literary parody blending in the melting distance."