I am not good. I am not virtuous. I am not sympathetic. I am not generous. I am merely and above all a creature of intense passionate feeling. I feel—everything. It is my genius. It burns me like fire.
I do not see any beauty in self-restraint.
A genius who does not know that he is a genius is no genius.
There is really no right and wrong. I recognize no right and wrong.
I am lithe, but fragile from constant involuntary self-analysis.
I never give my real self. I have a hundred sides, and I turn first one way and then the other. I am playing a deep game. I have a number of strong cards up my sleeve. I have never been myself, excepting to two friends.
I want to live quietly.
You may think me crude, and probably I am crude, but I am not so crude as I was, for I am clever enough to see that the girl of nineteen who thought herself a genius was only an unusual girl writing her heart out.
I do not sing nor play, but I adore music, particularly Chopin. I like him because I cannot understand him.
I have never read a line of Walt Whitman.
I read of the Kalamazoo girl who killed herself after reading the book. I am not at all surprised. She lived in Kalamazoo, for one thing, and then she read the book.
I want fame more than I can tell. But more than I want fame I want happiness.
I want to write such things as compel the admiring acclamation of the world at large, such things as are written but once in years, things subtle but distinctly different from the books written every day.
I would rather be a fairly happy wife and mother.
It is with pain that I read of the dire effects of my book upon the minds of young girls.
Genius of a kind has always been with me; an empty heart that has taken on a certain wooden quality; an excellent, strong woman's body and a pitiably starved soul.
When I was three years old I was taken with my family to a little town in Western Minnesota, where I lived a more or less vapid and ordinary life until I was ten.
People say of me, 'She's peculiar.' They do not understand me. If they did they would say so oftener and with emphasis.
May I never, I say, become that abnormal, merciless animal, that deformed monstrosity - a virtuous woman.
I consider calmly the question of how much evil I should need to kill off my finer feelings…
I was born to be alone, and I always shall be but now I want to be.
When I wrote my book I wanted to love someone. I wanted to be in love. Now I know that I shall never be in love - and I no longer wish to be.
I am a genius. Then it amused me to keep saying so, but now it does not. I expected to be happy sometime. Now I know I shall never be.
I began to be a woman at twelve, or more properly, a genius.
Just why I sent it to the publishers would be hard to say, but when I had finished it I felt that it was literature, because it is real and because it was well written. And I know that the world wants such things.
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