What I’d say is, there is a certain joy just in the act of creation, which is always there just by its very nature. But certainly, when I started with the Contortions, the main thing that was driving me was hatred. This hating the world so much and wanting to show them what I thought of them and make them like it. That is a really strong driving force.
“One’s own free unfettered choice, one’s own caprice, however wild it may be, one’s own fancy worked up at times to frenzy - is that very “most advantageous advantage” which we have overlooked, which comes under no classification and against which all systems and theories are continually being shattered to atoms. And how do these wiseacres know that man wants a normal, a virtuous choice? What has made them conceive that man must want a rationally advantageous choice? What man wants is simply independent choice, whatever that independence may cost and wherever it may lead. And choice, of course, the devil only knows what choice.”—Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes From The Underground
“There is the grand truth about Nathaniel Hawthorne. He says NO! in thunder; but the Devil himself cannot make him say yes. For all men who say yes, lie; and all men who say no — why, they are in the happy condition of judicious, unincumbered travellers in Europe; they cross the frontiers into Eternity with nothing but a carpet-bag — that is to say, the Ego. Whereas those yes-gentry, they travel with heaps of baggage, and, damn them! they will never get through the Custom House.”—Herman Melville, in a letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne
“That’s what art does, that’s what it’s for — to show you that what you think can be erased, cancelled, turned on its head by something you weren’t prepared for — by a work, by a play, a song, a scene in a movie, a painting, a collage, a cartoon, an advertisement — something that has the power that reaches you far more strongly than it reaches the person standing next to you, or even anyone else on Earth — art that produces a revelation that you might not be able to explain or pass on to anyone else, a revolution that you desperately try to share in your own words, in your own work.”—Greil Marcus
“The parts that embarrass you the most are usually the most interesting poetically, are usually the most naked of all, the rawest, the goofiest, the strangest and most eccentric and at the same time, most representative, most universal… That was something I learned from Kerouac, which was that spontaneous writing could be embarrassing… The cure for that is to write things down which you will not publish and which you won’t show people. To write secretly… so you can actually be free to say anything you want…”—Allen Ginsberg, City Lights Anthology, 1974
“By the force and power of the artist’s vision the static, synthetic whole which is called the world is destroyed. The artist gives back to us a vital, singing universe, alive in all its parts.”—Henry Miller, The Wisdom of The Heart
“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. The great creators - the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors - stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.”—Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead