You know: in a foolish, undiscriminating way, I've been happy these last few months. I don't know why. I just am. I love my friends; I love my pupils; I love what I read; I -- dammit -- love my thoughts. I love the taste of oranges.
Thornton Wilder in a letter to Gertrude Stein, Aug 14, 1936

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Yes, I set up safeguards, the first day's dictating taking this position: that an Autobiography is the truest of all books; for while it inevitably consists mainly of extinctions of the truth, shirkings of the truth, partial revealments of the truth, with hardly an instance of plain straight truth, the remorseless truth is there, between the lines, where the author's cat is raking dust upon it which hides from the disinterested spectator neither it nor its smell ... the result being that the reader knows the author despite his wily diligence.

Samuel Clemens in a letter to William Dean Howells, 14 March, 1949

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