You don't want to love - your eternal and abnormal craving is to be loved. You aren't positive, you're negative. You absorb, absorb, as if you must fill yourself up with love, because you've got a shortage somewhere.
Creation destroys as it goes, throws down one tree for the rise of another. But ideal mankind would abolish death, multiply itself million upon million, rear up city upon city, save every parasite alive, until the accumulation of mere existence is swollen to a horror.
The novel is the highest form of human expression so far attained. Why? Because it is so incapable of the absolute.
The day of the absolute is over, and we're in for the strange gods once more.
California is a queer place in a way, it has turned its back on the world, and looks into the void Pacific. It is absolutely selfish, very empty, but not false, and at least, not full of false effort.
The mind can assert anything and pretend it has proved it. My beliefs I test on my body, on my intuitional consciousness, and when I get a response there, then I accept.
Reason is a supple nymph, and slippery as a fish by nature. She had as leave give her kiss to an absurdity any day, as to syllogistic truth. The absurdity may turn out truer.
My whole working philosophy is that the only stable happiness for mankind is that it shall live married in blessed union to woman-kind - intimacy, physical and psychical between a man and his wife. I wish to add that my state of bliss is by no means perfect.
A man has no religion who has not slowly and painfully gathered one together, adding to it, shaping it; and one's religion is never complete and final, it seems, but must always be undergoing modification.
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.
The great living experience for every man is his adventure into the woman. The man embraces in the woman all that is not himself, and from that one resultant, from that embrace, comes every new action.
Men and women should stay apart, till their hearts grow gentle towards one another again.
One sheds one's sicknesses in books - repeats and presents again one's emotions, to be master of them.
Oh literature, oh the glorious Art, how it preys upon the marrow in our bones. It scoops the stuffing out of us, and chucks us aside. Alas!
The only history is a mere question of one's struggle inside oneself. But that is the joy of it. One need neither discover Americas nor conquer nations, and yet one has as great a work as Columbus or Alexander, to do.
For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive.
Only in a novel are all things given full play.
Do not allow to slip away from you freedoms the people who came before you won with such hard knocks.
Since obscenity is the truth of our passion today, it is the only stuff of art - or almost the only stuff.