Short stories can be rather stark and bare unless you put in the right details. Details make stories human, and the more human a story can be, the better.
Writing enlarges the landscape of the mind.
I am under the spell of language, which has ruled me since I was 10.
The present has its élan because it is always on the edge of the unknown and one misunderstands the past unless one remembers that this unknown was once part of its nature.
I felt the beginning of a passion, hopeless in the long run, but very nourishing, for identifying myself with people who were not my own, and whose lives were governed by ideas alien to mine.
It's all in the art. You get no credit for living.
The State, that cawing rookery of committees and subcommittees.
The difference between farce and humour in literature is, I suppose, that farce strums louder and louder on one string, while humour varies its note, changes its key, grows and spreads and deepens until it may indeed reach tragic depths.
Among the masked dandies of Edwardian comedy, Max Beerbohm is the most happily armored by a deep and almost innocent love of himself as a work of art.
A touch of science, even bogus science, gives an edge to the superstitious tale.
How extraordinary it is that one feels most guilt about the sins one is unable to commit.
Sooner or later, the great men turn out to be all alike. They never stop working. They never lose a minute. It is very depressing.
The wrongs of childhood and upbringing have made a large and obsessional contribution to autobiography and the novel.
Queen Victoria - a mixture of national landlady and actress.
The mark of genius is an incessant activity of mind. Genius is a spiritual greed.
There is more magic in sin if it is not committed.
The novel...creates a bemusing effect. The short story, on the other hand wakes the reader up. Not only that, it answers the primitive craving for art, the wit, paradox and beauty of shape, the longing to see a dramatic pattern and significance in our experience.
On one plane, the very great writers and the popular romancers of the lower order always meet. They use all of themselves, helplessly, unselectively. They are above the primness and good taste of declining to give themselves away.
It is less the business of the novelist to tell us what happened than to show how it happened.
I shall never be as old as I was between 20 and 30.
Those mausoleums of inactive masculinity are places for men who prefer armchairs to women.
A natural New Yorker is a native of the present tense.
The profoundly humorous writers are humorous because they are responsive to the hopeless, uncouth, concatenations of life.
Well, youth is the period of assumed personalities and disguises. It is the time of the sincerely insincere.
The Canadian spirit is cautious, observant and critical where the American is assertive.
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