What is good?- All that heightens the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man
-Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher. The Anti-Christ, aph. 2 (1895).
Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand- a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods- or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values.
I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.
There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.
The miracles of the church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.
Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin. Economics and art are strangers.
Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is.
The condition every art requires is, not so much freedom from restriction, as freedom from adulteration and from the intrusion of foreign matter.
The irregular and intimate quality of things made entirely by the human hand.
Art, it seems to me, should simplify . . . finding what conventions of form and what detail one can do without and yet preserve the spirit of the whole- so that all that one has suppressed and cut away is there to the reader's consciousness as much as if it were in type on the page.
Only solitary men know the full joys of friendship. Others have their family- but to a solitary and an exile his friends are everything.
The dead might as well try to speak to the living as the old to the young.
Nearly all the Escapists in the long past have managed their own budget and their social relations so unsuccessfully that I wouldn't want them for my landlords, or my bankers, or my neighbors. They were valuable, like powerful stimulants, only when they were left out of the social and industrial routine.
When kindness has left people, even for a few moments, we become afraid of them as if their reason had left them. When it has left a place where we have always found it, it is like shipwreck; we drop from security into something malevolent and bottomless
-Willa Cather (1873-1947), U.S. author. My Mortal Enemy (1926; repr. 1963, p. 62).
Color possesses me. I don't have to pursue it. It will possess me always, I know it. That is the meaning of this happy hour: Color and I are one. I am a painter
-Paul Klee (1879-1940), Swiss artist. The Diaries of Paul Klee 1898-1918 (1957: tr. 1965), entry for 16 April 1914, written in Tunisia.
What I like in a good author isn't what he says, but what he whispers
-Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946), U.S. essayist, aphorist. Afterthoughts, "Art and Letters" (1931).