You that read all of this in a year that I will never see will think me wretched, perhaps... But know this: The best and happiest of my hours you know nothing about. I have seen days like gold.
My whole life experience feeds into my writing. I think that must be true for every writer. Clearly the Army and combat were major influences; just the same, you need to understand that many of the writers we have now couldn't load a revolver.
You believe me wise because I taught you once, but I have not been north, as you have. You have seen (what) I have never seen...You flatter me by asking my opinion.
There is no magic. There is only knowledge, more or less hidden.
Hope is a psychological mechanism unaffected by external realities.
And what of the dead? I own that I thought of myself, at times, almost as dead. Are they not locked below ground in chambers smaller than mine was, in their millions of millions? There is no category of human activity in which the dead do not outnumber the living many times over. Most beautiful children are dead. Most soldiers, most cowards. The fairest women and the most learned men – all are dead. Their bodies repose in caskets, in sarcophagi, beneath arches of rude stone, everywhere under the earth. Their spirits haunt our minds, ears pressed to the bones of our foreheads. Who can say how intently they listen as we speak, or for what word?