"It is a good lesson--though it may often be a hard one--for a man who has dreamed of literary fame, and of making for himself a rank among the world's dignitaries by such means, to step aside out of the narrow circle in which his claims are recognized, and to find how utterly devoid of all significance, beyond that circle, is all that he achieves, and all he aims at."
"How simple the writing of literature would be if it were only necessary to write in another way what has been well written. It is because we have had such great writers in the past that a writer is driven far out past where he can go, out to where no one can help him."
"The foot of the heavenly ladder, which we have got to mount in order to reach the higher regions, has to be fixed firmly in every-day life, so that everybody may be able to climb up it along with us. When people then find that they have got climbed up higher and higher into a marvelous, magical world, they will feel that that realm, too, belongs to their ordinary, every-day life, and is, merely, the wonderful and most glorious part thereof."
"It is a great mistake to suppose that clever, imaginative children ... should content themselves with the empty nonsense which is so often set before them under the name of Children's Tales. They want something much better; and it is surprising how much they see and appreciate which escapes a good, honest, well- informed papa."
"People generally will soon understand that writers should be judged, not according to rules and species, which are contrary to nature and art, but according to the immutable principles of the art of composition, and the special laws of their individual temperaments."
"As for the author, he is profoundly unaware of what the classical or romantic genre might consist of.... In literature, as in all things, there is only the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the true and the false."
"It was accepted tacitly that when he spoke of "our" people it was a black speaking for blacks, subtly different from when he used "we" or "us" and this meant an empathy between him and her.... It had come to her that this was the basis that ought to have existed between a man and a woman in general, where it was a question not of a difference of ancestry but of sex."
"One of the proud joys of the man of letters--if that man of letters is an artist--is to feel within himself the power to immortalize at will anything he chooses to immortalize. Insignificant though he may be, he is conscious of possessing a creative divinity. God creates lives; the man of imagination creates fictional lives which may make a profound and as it were more living impression on the world's memory."
"Only that type of story deserves to be called moral that shows us that one has the power within oneself to act, out of the conviction that there is something better, even against one's own inclination."