— H.P. Lovecraft American author 1890 - 1937
Context: Frankly, I cannot conceive how any thoughtful man can really be happy. There is really nothing in the universe to live for, and unless one can dismiss thought and speculation from his mid, he is liable to be engulfed by the very immensity of creation. It is vastly better that he should amuse himself with religion, or any other convenient palliative to reality which comes to hand. … There is much relief from the burden of life to be derived from many sources. To the man of high animal spirits, there is the mere pleasure of being alive; the Joi de vivre, as our Gallick friends term it. To the credulous there is religion and its paradisal dreams. To the moralist, there is a certain satisfaction in right conduct. To the scientist there is the joy in pursuing truth which nearly counteracts the depressing revelations of truth. To the person of cultivated taste, there are the fine arts. To the man of humour, there is the sardonic delight of spying out pretensions and incongruities of life. To the poet there is the ability and privilege to fashion a little Arcadia in his fancy, wherein he may withdraw from the sordid reality of mankind at large. In short, the world abounds with simple delusions which we may call "happiness", if we be but able to entertain them.
Letter to "The Keicomolo"—Kleiner, Cole, and Moe (October 1916), in Selected Letters I, 1911-1924 edited by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei, pp. 26-27