Citáty Theodore Dreiser

„Literature, outside of the masters, has given us but one idea of the mistress, the subtle, calculating siren who delights to prey on the souls of men. The journalism and the moral pamphleteering of the time seem to foster it with almost partisan zeal. It would seem that a censorship of life had been established by divinity, and the care of its execution given into the hands of the utterly conservative. Yet there is that other form of liaison which has nothing to do with conscious calculation. In the vast majority of cases it is without design or guile. The average woman, controlled by her affections and deeply in love, is no more capable than a child of anything save sacrificial thought—the desire to give; and so long as this state endures, she can only do this. She may change—Hell hath no fury, etc.—but the sacrificial, yielding, solicitous attitude is more often the outstanding characteristic of the mistress; and it is this very attitude in contradistinction to the grasping legality of established matrimony that has caused so many wounds in the defenses of the latter. The temperament of man, either male or female, cannot help falling down before and worshiping this nonseeking, sacrificial note. It approaches vast distinction in life. It appears to be related to that last word in art, that largeness of spirit which is the first characteristic of the great picture, the great building, the great sculpture, the great decoration—namely, a giving, freely and without stint, of itself, of beauty.“

—  Theodore Dreiser
The Financier (1912), Ch. XXIII


„Oh, the moon is fair tonight along the Wabash,
From the fields there comes the breath of new-mown hay;
Through the sycamores the candle lights are gleaming
On the banks of the Wabash, far away.“

—  Theodore Dreiser
On the Banks of the Wabash (1896), chorus; this song as a whole was written by Dreiser's brother Paul (known as Paul Dresser); but Dreiser stated that "I wrote the first verse and chorus", in A Hoosier Holiday (1916) Ch. XLIII: "The Mystery of Coincidence".

„I acknowledge the Furies. I believe in them. I have heard the disastrous beating of their wings.“

—  Theodore Dreiser
"The First Voyage Over," The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine (August 1913); later published in A Traveler at Forty (1913), ch. I: "Barfleur Takes Me in Hand"

„Shakespeare, I come!“

—  Theodore Dreiser
Intended last words, as told to H. L. Mencken. "When Dreiser wrote that he had already framed his last words — 'Shakespeare, I come!' — and asked Mencken what his would be, Mencken replied acidly, 'I regret that I have but one rectum to leave to my country.'" - William Manchester, Disturber of the Peace: H. L. Mencken (1951) University of Michigan Press, digitized (28 January 2007), pp. 109-110

„Parents are frequently inclined, because of a time-flattered sense of security, to take their children for granted. Nothing ever has happened, so nothing ever will happen. They see their children every day, and through the eyes of affection; and despite their natural charm and their own strong parental love, the children are apt to become not only commonplaces, but ineffably secure against evil. […] The astonishment of most parents at the sudden accidental revelation of evil in connection with any of their children is almost invariably pathetic. […] But it is possible. Very possible. Decidedly likely. Some, through lack of experience or understanding, or both, grow hard and bitter on the instant. They feel themselves astonishingly abased in the face of notable tenderness and sacrifice. Others collapse before the grave manifestation of the insecurity and uncertainty of life—the mystic chemistry of our being. Still others, taught roughly by life, or endowed with understanding or intuition, or both, see in this the latest manifestation of that incomprehensible chemistry which we call life and personality, and, knowing that it is quite vain to hope to gainsay it, save by greater subtlety, put the best face they can upon the matter and call a truce until they can think. We all know that life is unsolvable—we who think. The remainder imagine a vain thing, and are full of sound and fury signifying nothing.“

—  Theodore Dreiser
The Financier (1912), Ch. XXVI

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