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Be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work.

Never touch your idols: the gilding will stick to your fingers.
Madame Bovary

An author in his book must be like God in the universe: present everywhere and visible nowhere.

At other times, at the edge of a wood, especially at dusk, the trees themselves would assume strange shapes: sometimes they were arms rising heavenwards, , or else the trunk would twist and turn like a body being bent by the wind. At night, when I woke up and the moon and the stars were out, I would see in the sky things that filled me simultaneously with dread and longing. I remember that once, one Christmas Eve, I saw a great naked women, standing erect, with rolling eyes; she must have been a hundred feet high, but along she drifted, growing ever longer and ever thinner, and finally fell apart, each limb remaining separate, with the head floating away first as the rest of her body continued to waver.

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