"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."
"Feminist art is not some tiny creek running off the great river of real art. It is not some crack in an otherwise flawless stone.It is, quite spectacularly I think, art which is not based on the subjugation of one half of the species. It is art which will take the great human themes--love, death, heroism, suffering, history itself--and render them fully human. It may also, though perhaps our imaginations are so mutilated now that we are incapable even of the ambition, introduce a new theme, one as great and as rich as those others--should we call it "joy"?"
"Art should exhilarate, and throw down the walls of circumstance on every side, awakening in the beholder the same sense of universal relation and power which the work evinced in the artist, and its highest effect is to make new artists."
"Art is the need to create; but in its essence, immense and universal, it is impatient of working with lame or tied hands, and of making cripples and monsters, such as all pictures and statues are. Nothing less than the creation of man and nature is its end."