I have a piece on H.L. Mencken — “saving the Sage of Baltimore from conventional wisdom” — in the current (December 27) issue of the Weekly Standard. Pick it up on newsstands or read it here if you have a subscription.
By the last gleams of twilight I could see the glitter of her eyes, full of tears -- of tears that would not fall. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
One realizes that human relationships are the tragic necessity of human life; that they can never be wholly satisfactory, that every ego is half the time greedily seeking them, and half the time pulling away from them. Willa Cather
For some reason, audiences always find anyone frozen or doing very little on stage utterly riveting, despite the best efforts of the main protagonists who are giving their all in another part of the stage. Alan Ayckbourn, The Crafty Art of Playmaking
Everett played intelligently and with that sympathetic comprehension which seems peculiar to that lovable class of men who never accomplished anything in particular. Willa Cather, "A Death in the Desert"
There is a common quality in all art; in a sense that really good paintings, sculpture, music, writing have. I can’t name it. It has something to do with God-given spirit, going beyond oneself. I think it’s possible to write something, for me to write something, that even God might like. It’s possible for me to hit a note, to get in a mood, to write something that is worthy even of God’s attention. Not as a soul seeking salvation, but just as entertainment for God. J.F. Powers