I wanted to explore cancer not just biologically, but metaphorically. The idea that tuberculosis in the 19th century possessed the same kind of frightening and decaying quality was very interesting to me, and it seemed that one could explore the idea that every age defined its own illness.
I know of no American who starts from a higher level of aspiration than the journalist. . . . He plans to be both an artist and a moralist -- a master of lovely words and merchant of sound ideas. He ends, commonly, as the most depressing jackass of his community -- that is, if his career goes on to what is called a success.
The more readily we admit the possibility of our own cherished convictions being mixed with error, the more vital and helpful whatever is right in them will become; and no error is so conclusively fatal as the idea that God will not allow us to err, though He has allowed all other men to do so.
Atheists are often charged with blasphemy, but it is a crime they cannot commit. . . When the Atheist examines, denounces, or satirises the gods, he is not dealing with persons but with ideas. He is incapable of insulting God, for he does not admit the existence of any such being. . . We attack not a person but a belief, not a binge but an idea, not a fact but a fancy.