The fatal futility of Fact.
The face of nature and civilization in this our country is to a certain point a very sufficient literary field. But it will yield its secrets only to a really grasping imagination. To write well and worthily of American things one need even more than elsewhere to be a master.
I think I don’t regret a single ‘excess’ of my responsive youth – I only regret, in my chilled age, certain occasions and possibilities I didn’t embrace.
I think patriotism is like charity—it begins at home.
Greville Fane’s French and Italian were droll; the imitative faculty had been denied her, and she had an unequalled gift, especially pen in hand, of squeezing big mistakes into small opportunities. She knew it, but she didn’t care; correctness was the virtue in the world that, like her heroes and heroines, she valued least.
No sovereign, no court, no personal loyalty, no aristocracy, no church, no clergy, no army, no diplomatic service, no country gentlemen, no palaces, no castles, nor manors, nor old country-houses, nor parsonages, nor thatched cottages nor ivied ruins; no cathedrals, nor abbeys, nor little Norman churches; no great Universities nor public schools—no Oxford, nor Eton, nor Harrow; no literature, no novels, no museums, no pictures, no political society, no sporting class—no Epsom nor Ascot! Some such list as that might be drawn up of the absent things in American life.
Experience was to be taken as showing that one might get a five-pound note as one got a light for a cigarette; but one had to check the friendly impulse to ask for it in the same way.
If I were to live my life over again, I would be an American. I would steep myself in America, I would know no other land.
A man who pretends to understand women is ad manners. For him to really to understand them is bad morals.
Live all you can; it’s a mistake not to. It doesn’t so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven’t had that, what have you had?
Topics: Life and Living, Happiness, Life
The power to guess the unseen from the seen, to trace the implications of things, to judge the whole piece by the pattern, the condition of feeling life in general so completely that you are well on your way to knowing any particular corner of it—this cluster of gifts may almost be said to constitute experience.
To read between the lines was easier than to follow the text.
The terrible fluidity of self-revelation.
In art economy is always beauty.
Topics: Authors & Writing
To criticize is to appreciate, to appropriate, to take intellectual possession, to establish in fine a relation with the criticized thing and to make it one’s own.
Topics: Criticism, Critics
It takes an endless amount of history to make even a little tradition.
Deep experience is never peaceful.
For myself I live, live intensely and am fed by life, and my value, whatever it be, is in my own kind of expression of that.
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