When the first-rate author wants an exquisite heroine or a lovely morning, he finds that all the superlatives have been worn shoddy by his inferiors. It should be a rule that bad writers must start with plain heroines and ordinary mornings, and, if they are able, work up to something better.
Vulgarity is a necessary part of a complete author’s equipment; and the clown is sometimes the best part of the circus.
Mostly, we authors must repeat ourselves — that’s the truth. We have two or three great and moving experiences in our lives — experiences so great and moving that it doesn’t seem at the time that anyone else has been so caught up and pounded and dazzled and astonished and beaten and broken and rescued and illuminated and rewarded and humbled in just that way ever before.
In books we never find anything but ourselves. Strangely enough, that always gives us great pleasure, and we say the author is a genius.
I have no illusions concerning the precarious status of my tales, and do not expect to become a serious competitor of my favourite weird authors.
An author ought to write for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmaster of ever afterwards.