''Doesn't all experience crumble in the end to mere literary material?''
''... the novel, as a living force, if not as a work of art, owes an incalculable debt to what we call, mistakenly, the new psychology, to Freud, in his earlier interpretations, and more truly, I think, to Jung.''
''Insolent youth rides, now, in the whirlwind. For those modern iconoclasts who are without culture possess, apparently, all the courage.''
''Nothing is more consuming, or more illogical, than the desire for remembrance.''
''My first reading of Tolstoy affected me as a revelation from heaven, as the trumpet of the judgment. What he made me feel was not the desire to imitate, but the conviction that imitation was futile.''
''I would write of the universal, not the provincial, in human nature.... I would write of characters, not of characteristics.''
''I waited and worked, and watched the inferior exalted for nearly thirty years; and when recognition came at last, it was too late to alter events, or to make a difference in living.''
''No matter how vital experience might be while you lived it, no sooner was it ended and dead than it became as lifeless as the piles of dry dust in a school history book.''
''... so long as the serpent continues to crawl on the ground, the primary influence of woman will be indirect ...''
''I haven't much opinion of words.... They're apt to set fire to a dry tongue, that's what I say.''
''I had no place in any coterie, or in any reciprocal self-advertising. I stood alone. I stood outside. I wanted only to learn. I wanted only to write better.''
''A tragic irony of life is that we so often achieve success or financial independence after the chief reason for which we sought it has passed away.''
''The world of the egotist is, inevitably, a narrow world, and the boundaries of self are limited to the close horizon of personality.... But, within this horizon, there is room for many attributes that are excellent....''
''Mediocrity would always win by force of numbers, but it would win only more mediocrity.''
''I was always a feminist, for I liked intellectual revolt as much as I disliked physical violence. On the whole, I think women have lost something precious, but have gained, immeasurably, by the passing of the old order.''
''No idea is so antiquated that it was not once modern. No idea is so modern that it will not someday be antiquated.''
''Nothing ... is so ungrateful as a rising generation; yet, if there is any faintest glimmer of light ahead of us in the present, it was kindled by the intellectual fires that burned long before us.''
''The attraction of horror is a mental, or even an intellectual, excitement, but the fascination of the repulsive, so noticeable in contemporary writing, can spring openly from some rotted substance within our civilization ...''
''Women like to sit down with trouble as if it were knitting.''
''... in the nineteen-thirties ... the most casual reader of murder mysteries could infallibly detect the villain, as soon as there entered a character who had recently washed his neck and did not commit mayhem on the English language.''
''... the ordinary is simply the universal observed from the surface, that the direct approach to reality is not without, but within. Touch life anywhere ... and you will touch universality wherever you touch the earth.''
''What I hated even more than the conflict was the lurid spectacle of a world of unreason.''
''The worst thing about war is that so many people enjoy it.''