Quotation by H.L. Mencken

His moving impulse is no flabby yearning to teach, to expound, to make simple; it is that "obscure inner necessity" of which Conrad tells us, the irresistible creative passion of a genuine artist, standing spell-bound before the impenetrable enigma that is life, enamoured by the strange beauty that plays over its sordidness, challenged to a wondering and half-terrified sort of representation of what passes understanding.
H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880–1956), U.S. journalist, critic. Originally published in A Book of Prefaces (1916). The Vintage Mencken, ch. 7, p. 56, ed. Alistair Cooke, Vintage (1956).

In an essay on Theodore Dreiser.
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