Once you become successful, people know where you live, the type of house you live in, the kind of car you drive, the clothes you wear, and so it would be patronising to go and talk like a welder. Welding's a mystery to me now. You can't go back, your life changes every day.
When writers meet they are truculent, indifferent, or over-polite. Then comes the inevitable moment. A shows B that he has read something of B s. Will B show A? If not, then A hates B, if yes, then all is well. The only other way for writers to meet is to share a quick pee over a common lamp-post.
Civilization is an active deposit which is formed by the combustion of the present with the past. Neither in countries without a Present nor in those without a Past is it to be encountered. Proust in Venice, Matisse's birdcages overlooking the flower market at Nice, Gide on the seventeenth-century quais of Toulon, Lorca in Granada, Picasso by Saint-Germain-des-Pr?s: there lies civilization and for me it can exist only under those liberal regimes in which the Present is alive and therefore capable of assimilating the Past.
When I contemplate the accumulation of guilt and remorse which, like a garbage-can, I carry through life, and which is fed not only by the lightest action but by the most harmless pleasure, I feel Man to be of all living things the most biologically incompetent and ill-organized. Why has he acquired a seventy years life-span only to poison it incurably by the mere being of himself? Why has he thrown Conscience, like a dead rat, to putrefy in the well?
I review novels to make money, because it is easier for a sluggard to write an article a fortnight than a book a year, because the writer is soothed by the opiate of action, the crank by posing as a good journalist, and having an air hole. I dislike it. I do it and I am always resolving to give it up.
Danger lies in the writer becoming the victim of his own exaggeration, losing the exact notion of sincerity, and in the end coming to despise truth itself as something too cold, too blunt for his purpose -- as, in fact, not good enough for his insistent emotion. From laughter and tears the descent is easy to sniveling and giggles.
You can t, in sound morals, condemn a man for taking care of his own integrity. It is his clear duty. And least of all can you condemn an artist pursuing, however humbly and imperfectly, a creative aim. In that interior world where his thought and his emotions go seeking for the experience of imagined adventures, there are no policemen, no law, no pressure of circumstance or dread of opinion to keep him within bounds. Who then is going to say Nay to his temptations if not his conscience?
A mighty monarch in the days of oldMade offer of high honour, wealth and gold,To one who should produce in form conciseA motto for his guidance, terse yet wise---A precept, soothing in his hours forlorn,Yet one that in his prosperous days would warn.Many the maxims sent the king, men say.The one he chose: This too shall pass away.Oh, jewel sentence from the mine of truth!What riches it contains for age or youth.No stately epic, measured and sublime,So comforts, or so counsels, for all timeAs these few words. Go write them on your heartAnd make them of your daily life a part.Has some misfortune fallen to your lot?This too will pass away--absorb the thought.And wait; your waiting will not be in vain,Time gilds with gold the iron links of pain.The dark to-day leads into light to-morrow;There is no endless joy, no endless sorrow.Are you upon earth's heights? No cloud in view?Go read your motto once again: This tooShall pass away; fame, glory, place and power,They are but little baubles of the hour,Flung by the ruthless years down in the dust.Take warning and be worthy of God's trust.Use well your prowess while it lasts; leave bloom,Not blight, to mark your footprints to the tomb.The truest greatness lies in being kind,The truest wisdom in a happy mind.He who desponds, his Maker's judgment mocks;The gloomy Christian is a paradox.Only the sunny soul respects its God.Since life is short we need to make it broad;Since life is brief we need to make it bright.Then keep the old king's motto well in sight,And let its meaning permeate each day.Whatever comes, This too shall pass away.
When I face an issue of great import that cleaves both constituents and colleagues, I always take the same approach. I engage in deep deliberation and quiet contemplation. I wait to the last available minute and then I always vote with the losers. Because, my friend, the winners never remember and the losers never forget.
A belief, however necessary it may be for the preservation of a species, has nothing to do with truth. The falseness of a judgment is not for us necessarily an objection to a judgment. The question is to what extent it is life-promoting, life-preserving, species preserving, perhaps even species cultivating. To recognize untruth as a condition of life--that certainly means resisting accustomed value feelings in a dangerous way; and a philosophy that risks this would by that token alone place itself beyond good and evil.
What is good? All that enhances the feeling of power, the Will to Power, and the power itself in man. What is bad? All that proceeds from weakness. What is happiness? The feeling that power is increasing--that resistance has been overcome. Not contentment, but more power; not peace at any price, but war; not virtue, but competence. The first principle of our humanism: The weak and the failures shall perish. They ought even to be helped to perish.
Science is the search for truth - it is not a game in which one tries to beat his opponent, to do harm to others. We need to have the spirit of science in international affairs, to make the conduct of international affairs the effort to find t he right solution, the just solution of international problems, not the effort by each nation to get the better of other nations, to do harm to them when it is possible.