In books we never find anything but ourselves. Strangely enough, that always gives us great pleasure, and we say the author is a genius.
A real pleasure is a pleasure that one enjoys by one’s self, without a companion, and without a single argument.
Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.
I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have perilled life and reputation and reason. It has been in the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories – memories of wrong and injustice and imputed dishonor – from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.