When a little child hears a pleasant sound, it cries, “Again! again!” But soon mere repetition fails to satisfy. The child imitates the sound, and that fails, too. At last it achieves happiness in the creation of a new sound. Older children always sit down to paint or write after they have seen a picture or read a story that appeals to them, and attempt to create. So life ought to be a struggle of desire towards adventures whose nobility will fertilise the soul and lead to the conception of new, glorious things. To avoid the ordeal of emotion that leads to the conception is the impulse of death. Sterility is the deadly sin.

Rebecca West (1892-1983) British author, journalist, literary critic, travel writer [pseud. for Cicily Isabel Fairfield]
“The Gospel According to Granville-Parker,” The Freewoman (7 Mar 1912)

Re-published in The Young Rebecca: Writings of Rebecca West, 1911-17 (1982).

Added on 15-Feb-21 | Last updated 15-Feb-21
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