"In the labyrinth of a difficult text, we find unmarked forks in the path, detours, blind alleys, loops that deliver us back to our point of entry, and finally the monster who whispers an unintelligible truth in our ears."
"I am grown old, and have possibly lost a great deal of that fire, which formerly made me love fire in others at any rate, and however attended with smoke: but now I must have all sense, and cannot, for the sake of five righteous lines, forgive a thousand absurd ones."
"What will you say, when I tell you truly, that I cannot possibly read our countryman Milton through. I acknowledge him to have most sublime passages, some prodigious flashes of light; but then you must acknowledge that light is often followed by darkness visible, to use his own expression."
"I abide by a rule concerning reviews: I will never ask, neither in writing nor in person, that a word be put in about my book.... One feels cleaner this way. When someone asks that his book be reviewed he risks running up against a vulgarity offensive to authorial sensibilities."
"The naturalistic literature of this country has reached such a state that no family of characters is considered true to life which does not include at least two hypochondriacs, one sadist, and one old man who spills food down the front of his vest."