"Art is a jealous mistress, and if a man have a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture or philosophy, he makes a bad husband and an ill provider, and should be wise in season and not fetter himself with duties which will embitter his days and spoil him for his proper work."
"How often we must remember the art of the surgeon, which, in replacing the broken bone, contents itself with releasing the parts from false position; they fly into place by the action of the muscles. On this art of nature all our arts rely."
"The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. Since man is mortal, the only immortality possible for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal since it will always move. This is the artist's way of scribbling "Kilroy was here" on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must someday pass."
"There are in me, in literary terms, two distinct characters: one who is taken with roaring, with lyricism, with soaring aloft, with all the sonorities of phrase and summits of thought; and the other who digs and scratches for truth all he can, who is as interested in the little facts as the big ones, who would like to make you feel materially the things he reproduces."
"What I would like to write is a book about nothing, a book without exterior attachments, which would be held together by the innerforce of its style, as the earth without support is held in the air--a book that would have almost no subject or at least in which the subject would be almost invisible."
"The finest works of art are those in which there is the least matter. The closer expression comes to thought, the more the word clings to the idea and disappears, the more beautiful the work of art."
"Each dream finds at last its form; there is a drink for every thirst, and love for every heart. And there is no better way to spend your life than in the unceasing preoccupation of an idea--of an ideal."
"In art, one idea is as good as another. If one takes the idea of trembling, for instance, all of a sudden most art starts to tremble. Michelangelo starts to tremble. El Greco starts to tremble. All the Impressionists start to tremble."
"Only passions, and great passions, can raise the soul to great things. Without them there is no sublimity, either in morals or increativity. Art returns to infancy, and virtue becomes small- minded."
"Experiments in the visual arts (the invention of new ways of seeing things), are made because, due to the way the apparatus that makes up the mind is made, old processes and patterns have continually to be broken up in order to make it possible to perceive the new aspects and arrangements of evolving consciousness. The great enemy of intelligence is complacency."
"Women hock their jewels and their husbands' insurance policies to acquire an unaccustomed shade in hair or crêpe de chine. Why then is it that when anyone commits anything novel in the arts he should be always greeted by this same peevish howl of pain and surprise? One is led to suspect that the interest people show in these much talked of commodities, painting, music, and writing, cannot be very deep or very genuine when they so wince under an unexpected impact."
"In a moment when criticism shows a singular dearth of direction every man has to be a law unto himself in matters of theatre, writing, and painting. While the American Mercury and the new Ford continue to spread a thin varnish of Ritz over the whole United States there is a certain virtue in being unfashionable."