"The attraction of horror is a mental, or even an intellectual, excitement, but the fascination of the repulsive, so noticeable in contemporary writing, can spring openly from some rotted substance within our civilization ..."
"I have watched ... many literary fashions shoot up and blossom, and then fade and drop.... Yet with the many that I have seen come and go, I have never yet encountered a mode of thinking that regarded itself as simply a changing fashion, and not as an infallible approach to the right culture."
"When this immediate evil power has been defeated, we shall not yet have won the long battle with the elemental barbarities. Another Hitler, it may be an invisible adversary, will attempt, again, and yet again, to destroy our frail civilization. Is it true, I wonder, that the only way to escape a war is to be in it? When one is a part of an actuality does the imagination find a release?"
"Apart from letters, it is the vulgar custom of the moment to deride the thinkers of the Victorian and Edwardian eras; yet there has not been, in all history, another age ... when so much sheer mental energy was directed toward creating a fairer social order."
"Although the primitive in art may be both interesting and impressive, as portrayed in American fiction it is conspicuous for dullness alone. Drab persons living drab lives, observed by drab minds and reported in drab writing ..."
"... beauty, like ecstasy, has always been hostile to the commonplace. And the commonplace, under its popular label of the normal,has been the supreme authority for Homo sapiens since the days when he was probably arboreal."
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