There is a time in the life of every boy when he for the first time takes the backward view of life. Perhaps that is the moment when he crosses the line into manhood.
Love is like a wind stirring the grass beneath trees on a black night,' he had said. 'You must not try to make love definite. It is the divine accident of life. If you try to be definite and sure about it and to live beneath the trees, where soft night winds blow, the long hot day of disappointment comes swiftly and the gritty dust from passing wagons gathers upon lips inflamed and made tender by kisses.
When a man publishes a book, there are so many stupid things said that he declares he'll never do it again. The praise is almost always worse than the criticism.
It may be life is only worthwhile at moments. Perhaps that is all we ought to expect.
The fools who write articles about me think that one morning I suddenly decided to write and began to produce masterpieces. There is no special trick about writing, or painting either. I wrote constantly for 15 years before I produced anything with any solidity to it.
You won't arrive. It is an endless search.
You must not become a mere peddler of words. The thing to learn is to know what people are thinking about, not what they say.
I have seldom written a story, long or short, that I did not have to write and rewrite. There are single stories of mine that have taken me ten or twelve years to get written.
I think you know that when an American stays away from New York too long something happens to him. Perhaps he becomes a little provincial, a little dead and afraid.
I go about looking at horses and cattle. They eat grass, make love, work when they have to, bear their young. I am sick with envy of them.
If people did not want their stories told, it would be better for them to keep away from me.
There is within every human being a deep well of thinking over which a heavy iron lid is kept clamped.
Interest in the lives of others, the high evaluation of these lives, what are they but the overflow of the interest a man finds in himself, the value he attributes to his own being?.
There is a kind of shrewdness many men have that enables them to get money. It is the shrewdness of the fox after the chicken. A low order of mentality often goes with it.
The eighteen years he has lived seem but a moment, a breathing space in the long march of humanity. Already he hears death calling. With all his heart he wants to come close to some other human, touch someone with his hands, be touched by the hand of another.
The whole object of education is...to develop the mind. The mind should be a thing that works.
Father was made for romance. For him there was no such thing as a fact.
The thing of course, is to make yourself alive. Most people remain all of their lives in a stupor.
The lives of people are like young trees in a forest. They are being choked by climbing vines. The vines are old thoughts and beliefs planted by dead men.
I think the whole glory of writing lies in the fact that it forces us out of ourselves and into the lives of others.
I wanted to run away from everything but I wanted to run towards something too.
The object of art is not to make salable pictures. It is to save yourself.
Most people are afraid to trust their imaginations and the artist is not.
I am a lover and have not found my thing to love. That is a big point if you know enough to realize what I mean. It makes my destruction inevitable, you see. There are few who understand that.
On the trees are only a few gnarled apples that the pickers have rejected. They look like the knuckles of Doctor Reefy's hands. One nibbles at them and they are delicious. Into a little round place at the side of the apple has been gathered all its sweetness. One runs from tree to tree over the frosted ground picking the gnarled, twisted apples and filling his pockets with them. Only the few know the sweetness of the twisted apples.
In the beginning when the world was young there were a great many thoughts but no such thing as a truth. Man made the truths himself and each truth was a composite of a great many vague thoughts. It was the truths that made the people grotesques. The moment one of the people took one of the truths to himself, called it his truth, and tried to live his life by it, he became a grotesque and the truth he embraced became a falsehood.
Only the few know the sweetness of the twisted apples.
From being quite sure of himself and his future he becomes not at all sure. If he be an imaginative boy a door is torn open and for the first time he looks out upon the world, seeing, as though they marched in procession before him, the countless figures of men who before his time have come out of nothingness into the world, lived their lives and again disappeared into nothingness. The sadness of sophistication has come to the boy.
In that high place in the darkness the two oddly sensitive human atoms held each other tightly and waited. In the mind of each was the same thought. "I have come to this lonely place and here is this other," was the substance of the thing felt.
It is no use. I find it impossible to work with security staring me in the face.
People keep on getting married. Evidently hope is eternal in the human breast.
It was a cold day but the sun was out and the trees were like great bonfires against gray distant fields and hills.
...she thought that something unexpressed in herself came forth and became a part of an unexpressed something in them.
Everyone in the world is Christ and they are all crucified.
Above all avoid taking the advice of men who have no brains and do not know what they are talking about.
Wait and wait. Most people's lives are spent waiting.
The machines men are so intent on making have carried them very far from the old sweet things.
You must try to forget all you have learned," said the old man. "You must begin to dream. From this time on you must shut your ears to the roaring of the voices.
There is this thing called life. We live it, not as we intend or wish, but as we are driven on by forces outside and inside ourselves.
If I can write everything out plainly, perhaps I will myself understand better what has happened.