E. T. A. Hoffmann Quotes (displaying: 1 - 18 of 18 quotes)
But if, like a bold painter, you had first sketched in a few audacious strokes the outline of the picture you had in your own soul, you would then easily have been able to deepen and intensify the colors one after the other, until the varied throng of living figures carried your friends away and they, like you, saw themselves in the midst of the scene that had proceeded out of your own soul.
Why should not a writer be permitted to make use of the levers of fear, terror and horror because some feeble soul here and there finds it more than it can bear? Shall there be no strong meat at table because there happen to be some guests there whose stomachs are weak, or who have spoiled their own digestions?
There are... otherwise quite decent people who are so dull of nature that they believe that they must attribute the swift flight of fancy to some illness of the psyche, and thus it happens that this or that writer is said to create not other than while imbibing intoxicating drink or that his fantasies are the result of overexcited nerves and resulting fever. But who can fail to know that, while a state of psychical excitement caused by the one or other stimulant may indeed generate some lucky and brilliant ideas, it can never produce a well-founded, substantial work of art that requires the utmost presence of mind.
With the confidence and peace of mind native to true genius, I lay my life story before the world, so that the reader may learn how to educate himself to be a great tomcat, may recognize the full extent of my excellence, may love, value, honour and admire me- and worship me a little. Should anyone be audacious enough to think of casting doubt on the sterling worth of this remarkable book, let him reflect that he is dealing with a tomcat possessed of intellect, understanding, and sharp claws. Berlin, May 18