Tragedy is like strong acid - it dissolves away all but the very gold of truth.
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.
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.
Sex and beauty are inseparable, like life and consciousness. And the intelligence which goes with sex and beauty, and arises out of sex and beauty, is intuition.
The war is dreadful. It is the business of the artist to follow it home to the heart of the individual fighters - not to talk in armies and nations and numbers - but to track it home.
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.
The novel is the highest form of human expression so far attained. Why? Because it is so incapable of the absolute.
It's bad taste to be wise all the time, like being at a perpetual funeral.
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.
Literature is a toil and a snare, a curse that bites deep.
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.
Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.
Design in art, is a recognition of the relation between various things, various elements in the creative flux. You can't invent a design. You recognize it, in the fourth dimension. That is, with your blood and your bones, as well as with your eyes.
My great religion is a belief in the blood, the flesh, as being wiser than the intellect. We can go wrong in our minds. But what our blood feels and believes and says, is always true. The intellect is only a bit and a bridle.
One could laugh at the world better if it didn't mix tender kindliness with its brutality.
Ethics and equity and the principles of justice do not change with the calendar.
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.
Men are freest when they are most unconscious of freedom. The shout is a rattling of chains, always was.