"Among the many gifts I showered on Martin, I was careful not to include talent. How easy it would have been to make him an artist,a writer; how hard not to let him be one, while bestowing on him the keen sensitivity that one generally associates with the creative creature; how cruel to prevent him from finding in art--not an "escape" (which is only a cleaner cell on a quieter floor), but relief from the itch of being."
"We should always remember that the work of art is invariably the creation of a new world, so that the first thing we should do isto study that new world as closely as possible, approaching it as something brand new, having no obvious connection with the worlds we already know. When this new world has been closely studied, then and only then let us examine its links with other worlds, other branches of knowledge."
"And do not pity C. Q. One had to choose between him and H. H., and one wanted H. H. to exist at least a couple of months longer, so as to have him make you live in the minds of later generations. I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita."
"One way to do it might be by making the scenery penetrate the automobile. A polished black sedan was a good subject, especially ifparked at the intersection of a tree-bordered street and one of those heavyish spring skies whose bloated gray clouds and amoeba-shaped blotches of blue seem more physical than the reticent elms and effusive pavement. Now break the body of the car into separate curves and panels; then put it together in terms of reflections."
"I never meant to deny the moral impact of art which is certainly inherent in every genuine work of art. What I do deny and am prepared to fight to the last drop of my ink is the deliberate moralizing which to me kills every vestige of art in a work however skillfully written."
"It is with artworks as it is with wine: it is much better when we do not need either one, when we stick with water, and when out of our own inner fire, the inner sweetness of our own soul, we turn the water over and over again into wine ourselves."
"That life is really so tragic would least of all explain the origin of an art form--assuming that art is not merely imitation of the reality of nature but rather a metaphysical supplement of the reality of nature, placed beside it for its overcoming."
"Imagination could hardly do without metaphor, for imagination is, literally, the moving around in one's mind of images, and such images tend commonly to be metaphoric. Creative minds, as we know, are rich in images and metaphors, and this is true in science and art alike. The difference between scientist and artist has little to do with the ways of the creative imagination; everything to do with the manner of demonstration and verification of what has been seen or imagined."