Everyone wants to understand art. Why not try to understand the song of a bird? Why does one love the night, flowers, everything around one, without trying to understand them? But in the case of a painting people have to understand. If only they would realize above all that an artist works of necessity, that he himself is only a trifling bit of the world, and that no more importance should be attached to him than to plenty of other things which please us in the world, though we can't explain them. People who try to explain pictures are usually barking up the wrong tree.
The pleasures of being a novelist are many. ? But the greatest by far is the manner in which I live through my characters; experiencing every detail of their story as it unfolds gradually and personally within my own creative psyche. ? I'm like a cat with untold lives, because each new book is my rebirth.
Erase from your vocabulary the word someday. Do not save things for special occasions. Take into account the fact that every day is special. Every day is a gift that we must appreciate and be thankful for. Wear your attractive clothes, wear your nice perfume, use your fine silverware and dishes, and drink from your expensive crystal glasses just because. Live every day to the fullest and savor every minute of it.
Voll Blüten steht der Pfirsichbaum nicht jede wächst zur Frucht sie schimmern hell wie Rosenschaum durch Blau und Wolkenflucht. Wie Blüten geh'n Gedanken auf hundert an jedem Tag -- lass' blühen, lass' dem Ding den Lauf frag' nicht nach dem Ertrag! Es muss auch Spiel und Unschuld sein und Blütenüberfluss sonst wär' die Welt uns viel zu klein und Leben kein Genuss.
The main question to a novel is -- did it amuse? were you surprised at dinner coming so soon? did you mistake eleven for ten? were you too late to dress? and did you sit up beyond the usual hour? If a novel produces these effects, it is good; if it does not -- story, language, love, scandal itself cannot save it. It is only meant to please; and it must do that or it does nothing.