I believe a man is born first unto himself --for the happy developing of himself, while the world is a nursery, and the pretty things are to be snatched for, and pleasant things tasted; some people seem to exist thus right to the end. But most are born again on entering manhood; then they are born to humanity, to a consciousness of all the laughing, and the never-ceasing murmur of pain and sorrow that comes from the terrible multitudes of brothers.
America does to me what I knew it would do: it just bumps me. The people charge at you like trucks coming down on you -- no awareness. But one tries to dodge aside in time. Bump! bump! go the trucks. And that is human contact.
America is neither free nor brave, but a land of tight, iron-clanking little wills, everybody trying to put it over everybody else, and a land of men absolutely devoid of the real courage of trust, trust in life's sacred spontaneity. They can't trust life until they can control it.
Be a good animal, true to your animal instincts.
We need not feel ashamed of flirting with the zodiac. The zodiac is well worth flirting with.
It is so much more difficult to live with one's body than with one's soul. One's body is so much more exacting: what it won't have it won't have, and nothing can make bitter into sweet.
After all, the world is not a stage -- not to me: nor a theatre: nor a show-house of any sort. And art, especially novels, are not little theatres where the reader sits aloft and watches... and sighs, commiserates, condones and smiles. That's what you want a book to be: because it leaves you so safe and superior, with your two-dollar ticket to the show. And that's what my books are not and never will be. Whoever reads me will be in the thick of the scrimmage, and if he doesn't like it -- if he wants a safe seat in the audience -- let him read someone else.
I can't bear art that you can walk round and admire. A book should be either a bandit or a rebel or a man in the crowd.
One sheds one's sicknesses in books -- repeats and presents again one's emotions, to be master of them.
The upshot was, my paintings must burn that English artists might finally learn.
Towns oftener swamp one than carry one out onto the big ocean of life.
Category: Cities And City Life
Every new stroke of civilization has cost the lives of countless brave men, who have fallen defeated by the ''dragon,'' in their efforts to win the apples of the Hesperides, or the fleece of gold. Fallen in their efforts to overcome the old, half sordid savagery of the lower stages of creation, and win the next stage.
They were evidently small men, all wind and quibbles, flinging out their chuffy grain to us with far less interest than a farm-wife feels as she scatters corn to her fowls.
Category: Colleges And Universities
The human consciousness is really homogeneous. There is no complete forgetting, even in death.
I believe that a man is converted when first he hears the low, vast murmur of life, of human life, troubling his hitherto unconscious self.