A politician or political thinker who calls himself a political realist is usually boasting that he sees politics, so to speak, in the raw; he is generally a proclaimed cynic and pessimist who makes it his business to look behind words and fine speeches for the motive. This motive is always low.
Mary McCarthy (1912-1989) American author, critic, political activist
“American Realist Playwrights,” On the Contrary (1961)
That sort of thing wears thin — for when one’s cynicism becomes perfect and absolute, there’s no longer anything amusing in the stupidity and hypocrisy of the herd. It is all to be expected — what else could human nature produce? — so irony annuls itself by means of its own victories!
H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) American fabulist [Howard Phillips Lovecraft]
Letter to August W. Derleth (Jan 1928)
I don’t want to be bitter about life — about love and friendship and all the human emotional entanglements. I’ve had more than my share of human disappointments, deprivations, disillusionment. I want to love people and life above all; I want to be able to say always, “if you feel bitter or disillusioned, there is something wrong with yourself, not with people, not with life.”
Henry Miller (1891-1980) American novelist
Letter to Anaïs Nin (24 May 1933)