03 February 2012

My Ideas, Take Them or Leave Them

am far luckier than most men, for I have been able since boyhood to make a good living doing precisely what I have wanted to do—what I would have done for nothing, and very gladly, if there had been no reward for it. Not many men, I believe, are so fortunate. Millions of them have to make their livings at tasks which really do not interest them.

As for me, I have had an extraordinarily pleasant life, despite the fact that I have had the usual share of woes. For in the midst of these woes I still enjoyed the immense satisfaction which goes with free activity. I have done, in the main, exactly what I wanted to do. Its possible effects on other people have interested me very little.

I have not written and published to please other people, but to satisfy myself, just as a cow gives milk, not to profit the dairyman, but to satisfy herself. I like to think that most of my ideas have been sound ones, but I really don’t care. The world may take them or leave them. I have had my fun hatching them.

—H.L. Mencken, Letter to Will Durant

Painting: Salvador Dali (1904 - 1989), Apparition of the Visage of Aphrodite


  1. Isn't that what we all aspire to?

  2. Richard, it certainly is a great life for those who are blessed this way.

  3. I love Salvador Dali. You know, I come over here not just for the writing snippets, but for the pictures, too!

  4. Thanks for visiting Lara. Dali sure gives one something to think about, love him or hate him. And the more reasons you have for stopping by, the better off we all are.


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