Ransacking the past. [ A good title for an autobiography.]
Nature scarcely seems capable of giving us any but quite short illnesses. But medicine has developed the art of prolonging them.
Love is too strong a word, but pleasure that is at all rooted in the flesh, is helpful to literary work because it cancels all other pleasures, for instance, the pleasures of society, those which are the same for everyone. And even if this love leads to disillusionment, it does at least stir, even by so doing, the surface of the soul which otherwise would be in danger of becoming stagnant. Desire is therefore not without its value to the writer in detaching him first of all from his fellow men and from conforming to their standards, and afterwards in restoring some degree of movement to a spiritual machine which, after a certain age, tends to come to a standstill.