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.
Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue.
It is, I think, an indisputable fact that Americans are, as Americans, the most self-conscious people in the world, and the most addicted to the belief that the other nations of the earth are in a conspiracy to under value them.
Make (the reader) think the evil, make him think it for himself, and you are released from weak specifications. My values are positively all blanks, save so far as an excited horror, a promoted pity, a created expertnessproceed to read into them more or less fantastic figures.
It was the way the autumn day looked into the high windows as it waned; the way the red light, breaking at the close from under a low sombre sky, reached out in a long shaft and played over old wainscots, old tapestry, old gold, old colour."
Of course what he most intensely dreams of is being taken out on walks, and the more you are able to indulge him the more will he adore you and the more all the latent beauty of his nature will come out.
The faculty of attention has utterly vanished from the Anglo-Saxon mind, extinguished at its source by the big bayad?re of journalism, of the newspaper and the picture magazine which keeps screaming, "Look at me." Illustrations, loud simplifications... bill poster advertising ? only these stand a chance.
We must know, as much as possible, in our beautiful art...what we are talking about and the only way to know is to have lived and loved and cursed and floundered and enjoyed and suffered. 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.
Take the word for it of a man who has made his way inch by inch, and does not believe that we'll wake up to find our work done because we've lain all night a-dreaming of it; anything worth doing is devilish hard to do!
Young men of this class never do anything for themselves that they can get other people to do for them, and it is the infatuation, the devotion, the superstition of others that keeps them going. These others in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred are women.
I don't care about anything but you, and that's enough for the present. I want you to be happy--not to think of anything sad; only to feel that I'm near you and I love you. Why should there be pain? In such hours as this what have we to do with pain? That's not the deepest thing; there's something deeper.
Life being all inclusion and confusion, and art being all discrimination and selection, the latter, in search of the hard latent value with which it alone is concerned, sniffs round the mass as instinctively and unerringly as a dog suspicious of some buried bone.
The "germ," wherever gathered, has ever been for me, "the germ of a story," and most of the stories strained to shape under my hand have sprung from a single small seed, a seed as remote and windblown as a casual hint.
You seemed to me to be soaring far up in the blue - to be sailing in the bright light, over the heads of men. Suddenly some one tosses up a faded rosebud - a missile that should never have reached you - and down you drop to the ground.
If he was not personally loud, however, he was deep, and during these closing days of the Roman May he knew a complacency that matched with slow irregular walks under the pines of the Villa Borghese, among the small sweet meadow-flowers and the mossy marbles.
I could only get on at all by taking nature into my confidence and my account, by treating my monstrous ordeal as a push in a direction unusual, of course, and unpleasant, but demanding, after all, for a fair front, only another turn of the screw of ordinary human virtue.
I should think that to hear such lovely music as that would really make him feel better.The lady gave a discriminating smile. I am afraid there are moments in life when even Beethoven has nothing to say to us. We must admit, however, that they are our worst moments.
I should think that to hear such lovely music as that would really make him feel better."The lady gave a discriminating smile. I am afraid there are moments in life when even Beethoven has nothing to say to us. We must admit, however, that they are our worst moments.
There are moods in which one feels the impulse to enter a tacit protest against too gross an appetite for pure aesthetics in this starving and sinning world. One turns half away, musingly, from certain beautiful useless things.
If I should certainly say to a novice, 'Write from experience and experience only,' I should feel that this was rather a tantalizing monition if I were not careful immediately to add, 'Try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost.'