Ethics is a dream.
What's agitating about solitude is the inner voice telling you that you should be mated to somebody, that solitude is a mistake. The inner voice doesn't care about who you find. It just keeps pestering you, tormenting you--if you happen to be me--with homecoming queens first, then girls next door, and finally anybody who might be pleased to see you now and then at the dinner table and in bed on occasion. You look up from reading the newspaper and realize that no one loves you, and no one burns for you.
If you want to see the consequences of ideas, write a story. If you want to see the consequences of belief, write a story in which somebody is acting on the ideas or beliefs that she has.
The twentieth century has built up a powerful set of intellectual shortcuts and devices that help us defend ourselves against moments when clouds suddenly appear to think.
When I'm writing, I'm waiting to see somebody, and I'm waiting to hear them. It's almost like conjuring spirits out of the air, using your own imaginative instability.
When all the details fit in perfectly, something is probably wrong with the story.