„The odds on any intelligent person having an unhappy childhood are better than fair, and the odds on a sad ending are practically off the board.“

—  Wilfrid Sheed, "The Wit of George S. Kaufman and Dorothy Parker" (1973) p. 159
Wilfrid Sheed49
English-American novelist and essayist 1930 - 2011
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—  Gertrude Stein American art collector and experimental writer of novels, poetry and plays 1874 - 1946
Quoted by Thornton Wilder, interview (December 14-15, 1956) with Richard Goldstone, The Paris Review: Writers at Work, First Series (1958)

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Context: A situation has occurred wherein a premium is put on any work qualifying for the term "progressive"… The idea of progress in the arts; the notion that we move forward from one good thing to another in a simple progression and in a single direction... Baudelaire dealt so profoundly with this... But this can be said: if there were such a thing as a direct and simple progression from the work of one generation to the next the historical difficulty of the Progressive Artist could not exist... the popular notion of the Progressive and the New Art may not after all be the last word on a complex subject. That there may be, even to-day... such a thing as the absolutely modern. That as before it may be something unexpected, and not completely accounted for in the arrangements for encouraging the arts... For to be contemporary is not necessarily to be part of any movement, to be included in the official representations of national and international art. History shows that it may well be the opposite. It may be that it is the odd, the personal, the curious, the simply honest, that at this moment, when everyone looks to the extreme and flamboyant, constitutes the most interesting manifestation of the spirit of art... It may be necessary to be absolutely modern.

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„Find a man who takes prostitutes off the streets as a personal vocation, and he'll probably have a set of neat jars with his childhood collection of dissected rats.“

—  Lindsey Davis English novelist 1949
Context: Petronius once told me that pathological murderers tend to start their killing sprees while they are children. Find a man who takes prostitutes off the streets as a personal vocation, and he'll probably have a set of neat jars with his childhood collection of dissected rats.

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