Quotation by H.L. Mencken

The art of writing, like the art of love, runs all the way from a kind of routine hard to distinguish from piling bricks to a kind of frenzy closely related to delirium tremens. Nearly all the whole of everyday journalism belongs to the former category; it is, in its customary aspects, no more than the reduction of vivid and recent impressions to banal sequences of time-worn words and phrases.... But consider the case of a man sitting down to write something genuinely original—to pump an orderly flow of ideas out of the turbid pool of his impressions, feelings, vague thoughts, dimly sensed instincts. He works in a room alone. Every jangle of the telephone cuts him like a knife; every entrance of a visitor blows him up. Solitary, lonely, tired of himself, wrought up to an abnormal sensitiveness, he wrestles abominably with abnormal complexities.
H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880–1956), U.S. journalist, critic. Minority Report, no. 24, Knopf (1956).
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