“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.”—Mary MacLane,I Await the Devil’s Coming (via thatkindofwoman)
“We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world.”—Jack Gilbert, from “A Brief Defense.” (via literarymiscellany)
“I’m sick to loathing of people who don’t care for the master-work, who set out as artists with no intention of producing it, who make no effort toward the best, who are content with publicity and the praise of reviewers. I think the worst betrayal you could make is to pretend for a moment that you are content with a parochial standard. You’re subsidized, you don’t have to placate the public at once…If one is going to print opinions that the public already agrees with, what is the use of printing ‘em at all? Good art can’t possibly be palatable all at once.”—Ezra Pound in a letter to Harriet Monroe, 1913 (via literarymiscellany)
“You go on and learn everything. I can’t. I’m limited. But I’m going to know about fucking and fighting and eating and drinking and begging and stealing and living and dying.”—Ernest Hemingway, from a letter to Ezra Pound (via violentwavesofemotion)
“I read in a poem:
to talk is divine.
But the gods don’t speak:
they make and unmake worlds
while men do the talking.
They play frightening games
without words.”—Octavio Paz, from “Flame, Speech” (via literarymiscellany)
“There are books, that one has for twenty years without reading them, that one always keeps at hand, that one takes along from city to city, from country to country, carefully packed, even when there is very little room, and perhaps one leafs through them while removing them from a trunk; yet one carefully refrains from reading even a complete sentence. Then after twenty years, there comes a moment when suddenly, as though under a high compulsion, one cannot help taking in such a book from beginning to end, at one sitting: it is like a revelation. Now one knows why one made such a fuss about it. It had to be with one for a long time; it had to travel; it had to occupy space; it had to be a burden; and now it has reached the goal of its voyage, now it reveals itself, now it illuminates the twenty bygone years it mutely lived with one. It could not say so much if it had not been there mutely the whole time, and what idiot would dare to assert that the same things had always been in it.”—Elias Canetti, c. 1980 (via reads)