Good art can come out of thieves, bootleggers, or horse swipes. People really are afraid to find out just how much hardship and poverty they can stand. They are afraid to find out how tough they are. Nothing can destroy the good writer. The only thing that can alter the good writer is death. Good ones don't have time to bother with success or getting rich. Success is feminine and like a woman; if you cringe before her, she will override you. So the way to treat her is to show her the back of your hand. Then maybe she will do the crawling.
The writer's only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. It anguishes him so much he must get rid of it. He has no peace until then. Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' is worth any number of old ladies.
Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error. The good artist believes that nobody is good enough to give him advice. He has supreme vanity. No matter how much he admires the old writer, he wants to beat him.
And George Farr had the town, the earth, the world to himself and his sorrow. Music came faint as a troubling rumor beneath the spring night, sweetened by distance: a longing knowing no ease. (Oh God, oh God!) At last George Farr gave up trying to see her. He had 'phoned vainly and time after time, at last the telephone became the end in place of the means: he had forgotten why he wanted to reach her. Finally he told himself that he hated her, that he would go away; finally he was going to as much pains to avoid her as he had been to see her. So he slunk about the streets like a criminal, avoiding her, feeling his his very heart stop when he did occasionally see her unmistakable body from a distance. And at night he lay sleepless and writhing to think of her, then to rise and don a few garments and walk past her darkened house, gazing in slow misery at the room in which he knew she lay, soft and warm, in intimate slumber, then to return to home and bed to dream of her brokenly.