It's no good trying to get rid of your own aloneness. You've got to stick to it all your life. Only at times, at times, the gap will be filled in. At times! But you have to wait for the times. Accept your own aloneness and stick to it, all your life. And then accept the times when the gap is filled in, when they come. But they've got to come. You can't force them.
When we get out of the glass bottles of our ego, and when we escape like squirrels turning in the cages of our personality and get into the forests again, we shall shiver with cold and fright but things will happen to us so that we don't know ourselves. Cool, unlying life will rush in, and passion will make our bodies taut with power, we shall stamp our feet with new power and old things will fall down, we shall laugh, and institutions will curl up like burnt paper.
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We are so overwhelmed with quantities of books, that we hardly realize any more that a book can be valuable, valuable like a jewel, or a lovely picture, into which you can look deeper and deeper and get a more profound experience very time. It is far, far better to read one book six times, at intervals, than to read six several books.
I WANT her though, to take the same from me. She touches me as if I were herself, her own. She has not realized yet, that fearful thing, that I am the other, she thinks we are all of one piece. It is painfully untrue. I want her to touch me at last, ah, on the root and quick of my darkness and perish on me, as I have perished on her. Then, we shall be two and distinct, we shall have each our separate being. And that will be pure existence, real liberty. Till then, we are confused, a mixture, unresolved, unextricated one from the other. It is in pure, unutterable resolvedness, distinction of being, that one is free, not in mixing, merging, not in similarity. When she has put her hand on my secret, darkest sources, the darkest outgoings, when it has struck home to her, like a death, "this is _him!_" she has no part in it, no part whatever, it is the terrible _other_, when she knows the fearful _other flesh_, ah, dark- ness unfathomable and fearful, contiguous and concrete, when she is slain against me, and lies in a heap like one outside the house, when she passes away as I have passed away being pressed up against the _other_, then I shall be glad, I shall not be confused with her, I shall be cleared, distinct, single as if burnished in silver, having no adherence, no adhesion anywhere, one clear, burnished, isolated being, unique, and she also, pure, isolated, complete, two of us, unutterably distinguished, and in unutterable conjunction. Then we shall be free, freer than angels, ah, perfect. VIII AFTER that, there will only remain that all men detach themselves and become unique, that we are all detached, moving in freedom more than the angels, conditioned only by our own pure single being, having no laws but the laws of our own being. Every human being will then be like a flower, untrammelled. Every movement will be direct. Only to be will be such delight, we cover our faces when we think of it lest our faces betray us to some untimely fiend. Every man himself, and therefore, a surpassing singleness of mankind. The blazing tiger will spring upon the deer, un-dimmed, the hen will nestle over her chickens, we shall love, we shall hate, but it will be like music, sheer utterance, issuing straight out of the unknown, the lightning and the rainbow appearing in us unbidden, unchecked, like ambassadors. We shall not look before and after. We shall _be_, _now_. We shall know in full. We, the mystic NOW. (From the poem the Manifesto)
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She was only really a female to him. But perhaps that was better. And after all, he was kind to the female in her, which no man had ever been. Men were very kind to the person she was, but rather cruel to the female, despising her or ignoring her altogether. Men were awfully kind to Constance Reid or to Lady Chatterley; but not to her womb they weren't kind. And he took no notice of Constance or of Lady Chatterley; he just softly stroked her loins or her breasts.
But that is how men are! Ungrateful and never satisfied. When you don't have them they hate you because you won't; and when you do have them they hate you again, for some other reason. Or for no reason at all, except that they are discontented children, and can't be satisfied whatever they get, let a woman do what she may.
Democracy in America was never the same as Liberty in Europe. In Europe Liberty was a great life-throb. But in America Democracy was always something anti-life. The greatest democrats, like Abraham Lincoln, had always a sacrificial, self-murdering note in their voices. American Democracy was a form of self-murder, always. Or of murdering somebody else... The love, the democracy, the floundering into lust, is a sort of by-play. The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.
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She turned, and saw a great white moon looking at her over the hill. And her breast opened to it, she was cleaved like a transparent jewel to its light. She stood filled with the full moon, offering herself. Her two breasts opened to make way for it, her body opened wide like a quivering anemone, a soft, dilated invitation touched by the moon.
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Mr Hemingway does it extremely well. Nothing matters. Everything happens. One wants to keep oneself loose. Avoid one thing only: gettng connected up. Don't get connected up. If you get held by anything, break it. Don't be held. Break it, and get away. Don't get away with the idea of getting somewhere else. Just get away, for the sake of getting away. Beat it! 'Well, boy, I guess I'll beat it.' Ah, the pleasure in saying that
The artist usually sets out - or used to - to point a moral and adorn a tale. The tale, however, points the other way, as a rule. Two blankly opposing morals, the artist's and the tale's. Never trust the artist. Trust the tale. The proper functions of a critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it.
It was not the passion that was new to her, it was the yearning adoration. She knew she had always feared it, for it left her helpless; she feared it still, lest if she adored him too much, then she would lose herself, become effaced, and she did not want to be effaced, a slave, like a savage woman. She must not become a slave. She feared her adoration, yet she would not at once fight against it.
She lived a good deal by herself, to herself, working, passing on from day to day, and always thinking, trying to lay hold on life, to grasp it in her own understanding. Her active living was suspended, but underneath, in the darkness, something was coming to pass. If only she could break through the last integuments!
Why, oh why must one grow up, why must one inherit this heavy, numbing responsibility of living an undiscovered life? Out of the nothingness and the undifferentiated mass, to make something of herself! But what? In the obscurity and pathlessness to take a direction! But whither? How take even one step? And yet, how stand still? This was torment indeed, to inherit the responsibility of one's own life.
And dimly she realised one of the great laws of the human soul: that when the emotional soul receives a wounding shock, which does not kill the body, the soul seems to recover as the body recovers. But this is only appearance. It is really only the mechanism of the resumed habit. Slowly, slowly the wound to the soul begins to make itself felt, like a bruise, which only slowly deepens its terrible ache, till it fills all the psyche. And when we think we have recovered and forgotten, it is then that the terrible after-effects have to be encountered at their worst.
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Was his life nothing? Had he nothing to show, no work? He did not count his work, anyone could have done it. What had he known, but the long, marital embrace with his wife. Curious, that this was what his life amounted to! At any rate, it was something, it was eternal. He would say so to anybody, and be proud of it. He lay with his wife in his arms, and she was still his fulfillment, just the same as ever. And that was the be-all and the end-all. Yes, and he was proud of it.
And Clifford the same. All that talk! All that writing! All that wild struggling to push himself forwards! It was just insanity. And it was getting worse, really maniacal. Connie felt washed-out with fear. But at least, Clifford was shifting his grip from her on to Mrs Bolton. He did not know it. Like many insane people, his insanity might be measured by the things he was not aware of, the great desert tracts in his consciousness.
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The world is supposed to be full of possibilities, but they narrow down to pretty few in most personal experience. There's lots of good fish in the sea... maybe... but the vast masses seem to be mackerel or herring, and if you're not mackerel or herring yourself, you are likely to find very few good fish in the sea.
Literary criticism can be no more than a reasoned account of the feeling produced upon the critic by the book he is criticizing. Criticism can never be a science: it is, in the first place, much too personal, and in the second, it is concerned with values that science ignores. The touchstone is emotion, not reason. We judge a work of art by its effect on our sincere and vital emotion, and nothing else. All the critical twiddle-twaddle about style and form, all this pseudoscientific classifying and analysing of books in an imitation-botanical fashion, is mere impertinence and mostly dull jargon.
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So he was always in the town at one place or another, drinking, knocking about with the men he knew. It really wearied him. He talked to barmaids, to almost any woman, but there was that dark, strained look in his eyes, as if he were hunting something. Everything seemed so different, so unreal. There seemed no reason why people should go along the street, and houses pile up in the daylight. There seemed no reason why these things should occupy the space, instead of leaving it empty. His friends talked to him: he heard the sounds, and he answered. But why there should be the noise of speech he could not understand.
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Humanity is a huge aggregate lie, and a huge lie is less than a small truth. Humanity is less, far less than the individual because the individual may sometimes be capable of truth, and humanity is a tree of lies. And they say that love is greatest thing, they persist in saying this, the foul liars, and just look at what they do (... It's a lie to say that love is greatest, what people want is hate - hate, and nothing but hate. And in the name of righteousness and love they get it... If we want hate, let us have it - death, murder, torture, violent destruction- let us have it: but not in the name of love.
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The last year of her college career was wheeling slowly round. She could see ahead her examination and her departure. She had the ash of disillusion gritting under her teeth. Would the next move turn out the same? Always the shining doorway ahead; and then, upon approach, always the shining doorway was a gate into another ugly yard, dirty and active and dead. Always the crest of the hill gleaming ahead under heaven: and then, from the top of the hill only another sordid valley full of amorphous, squalid activity.
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