"Men are all right for friends, but as soon as you marry them they turn into cranky old fathers, even the wild ones. They begin to tell you what's sensible and what's foolish, and want you to stick at home all the time. I prefer to be foolish when I feel like it, and be accountable to nobody."
"People can be lovers and enemies at the same time, you know. We were.... A man and woman draw apart from that long embrace, and see what they have done to each other.... In age we lose everything; even the power to love."
"Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthfulis easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is."
"His misfortune was that he loved youth--he was weak to it, it kindled him. If there was one eager eye, one doubting, critical mind, one lively curiosity in a whole lecture-room full of commonplace boys and girls, he was its servant. That ardour could command him. It hadn't worn out with years, this responsiveness, any more than the magnetic currents wear out; it had nothing to do with Time."
"I kept as still as I could. Nothing happened. I did not expect anything to happen. I was something that lay under the sun and feltit, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep."
"...what a thing it is to lie there all day in the fine breeze, with the pine needles dropping on one, only to return to the hotelat night so hungry that the dinner, however homely, is a fete, and the menu finer reading than the best poetry in the world! Yet we are to leave all this for the glare and blaze of Nice and Monte Carlo; which is proof enough that one cannot become really acclimated to happiness."
"One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, atthe world's end somewhere, and hold fast to the days, as to fortune or fame."
"Art is a concrete and personal and rather childish thing after all--no matter what people do to graft it into science and make itsociological and psychological; it is no good at all unless it is let alone to be itself--a game of make-believe, or re-production, very exciting and delightful to people who have an ear for it or an eye for it."
"Every artist knows that there is no such thing as "freedom" in art. The first thing an artist does when he begins a new work is tolay down the barriers and limitations; he decides upon a certain composition, a certain key, a certain relation of creatures or objects to each other. He is never free, and the more splendid his imagination, the more intense his feeling, the farther he goes from general truth and general emotion."
"Art, it seems to me, should simplify. That, indeed, is very nearly the whole of the higher artistic process; finding what conventions of form and what detail one can do without and yet preserve the spirit of the whole--so that all that one has suppressed and cut away is there to the reader's consciousness as much as if it were in type on the page."
"What was any art but an effort to make a sheath, a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining, elusive element which is life itself--life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose?"
"If [the writer] achieves anything noble, anything enduring, it must be by giving himself absolutely to his material. And this giftof sympathy is his great gift; is the fine thing in him that alone can make his work fine."
"Whatever is felt upon the page without being specifically named there--that, one might say, is created. It is the inexplicable presence of the thing not named, of the overtone divined by the ear but not heard by it, the verbal mood, the emotional aura of the fact or the thing or the deed, that gives high quality to the novel or the drama, as well as to poetry itself."
"The higher processes are all processes of simplification. The novelist must learn to write, and then he must unlearn it; just as the modern painter learns to draw, and then learns when utterly to disregard his accomplishment, when to subordinate it to a higher and truer effect."
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