the artist is engaged, eternally and infernally, but also joyously—even ecstatically—in a creative process that cannot recognize itself. It is a process [...] that in one sense is of the world but in another draws its maker out of this world. The artist is drawn into a state of intensely anxious scrutiny of both self and world that, if the conditions are right, may give rise to a voice, a narrative, a vision, that hails from somewhere far beyond the artist's ken.
by working two hours a week, in five or six months, you will understand [the] matter better than anyone in the world
I recognized [the subject] as a crucial contact to be explored as carefully and slowly as a new friendship. I had time to read everything [the writer] had written, to build [them] into my bones and blood.
there are advantages in having escaped a formal college education. One has the excitement of the explorer, who, although a million people before him may have stood on the same peak, experiences it in the full force of his innocence, discovers it for himself.