Each memory was brought to life before me and within me. I could not avoid them. Neither could I rationalize, explain away. I could only re-experience with total cognizance, unprotected by pretense. Self delusion was impossible, truth exposed in this blinding light. Nothing as I thought it had been. Nothing as I hoped it had been. Only as it had been.
He thought about that visionary lady. To die, he thought, never knowing the fierce joy and attendant comfort of a loved one's embrace. To sink into that hideous coma, to sink then into death and, perhaps, return to sterile, awful wanderings. All without knowing what it was to love and be loved.That was a tragedy more terrible than becoming a vampire.
But are his needs any more shocking than the needs of any other animals and men? Are his deeds more outrageous than the deeds of the parent who drained the spirit from his child? The vampire may foster quickened heartbeats and levitated hair. But is he worse than the parent who gave to society a neurotic child who became a politician? Is he worse than the manufacturer who set up belated foundations with the money he made by handing bombs and guns to suicidal nationalists? Is he worse than the distiller who gave bastardized grain juice to stultify further the brains of those who, sober, were incapable of progressive thought? (Nay, I apologize for this calumny; I nip the brew that feeds me.) Is he worse, then, than the publisher who filled ubiquitous racks with lust and death wishes? Really, no, search your soul, lovie--is the vampire so bad?
How shall I typify what happened? Passion play? Somewhat. Weird tale? Indubitably. Horror story? Pretty close. Grotesque melodrama? Certainly. Black comedy? Your point of view will determine that. Perhaps it was a combination of them all... So, to the story. A chronicle of greed and cruelty, horror and rapacity, sadism and murder. Love, American style.
Very well then! I'll write, write write. He let the words soak into his mind and displace all else. A man had a choice, after all. He devoted his life to his work or to his wife and children and home. It could not be combined; not in this day and age. In this insane world where God was second to income and goodness to wealth. (Mad House)
Then he went into the dining room, consulting his watch. It was ten thirty already. More than half the morning was gone. More than half the time for sitting and trying to write the prose that would make people sit up and gasp. It happened that way more often now than he would even admit to himself. Sleeping late, making up errands, doing anything to forestall the terrible moment when he must sit down before his typewriter and try to wrench some harvest from the growing desert of his mind. (Mad House)
In less than an hour I have to hold class for a group of idiot freshmen. And, on a desk in the living room, is a mountain of midterm examinations with essays I must suffer through, feeling my stomach turn at their paucity of intelligence, their adolescent phraseology. And all that tripe, all those miles of hideous prose, had been would into an eternal skein in his head. And there it sat unraveling into his own writing until he wondered if he could stand the thought of living anymore. I have digested the worst, he thought. Is it any wonder that I exude it piecemeal? (Mad House)
It was a fairy tale, no fooling. It was unreality becoming real. This frightened her. Because people don't care for unreality becoming real. It pricks their well-fed minds, you see, with something like a hunger pang. They prefer the logical stuffiness of expectancy. It is only at certain times that they weaken, letting imagination in. That's the time to get them. (The Disinheritors)
They think of suicide as a quick route to oblivion, an escape. Far from it. It merely alters a person from one form to another. Nothing can destroy the spirit. Suicide only precipitates a darker continuation of the same conditions from which escape was sought. A condition under circumstances so much more painful.