He told me that all the good simple people in his novels (like Little Nell) are what he wanted to have been, and his villains were what he was (or rather, what he found in himself), his cruelty, his attacks of causeless enmity towards those who were helpless and looked to him comfort, his shrinking from those whom he ought to love, being used up in what he wrote. There where two people in him, he told me: one who feels as he ought to feel and one who feels the opposite. From the one who feels the opposite I make my evil characters, from the one who feels as a man ought to feel I try to live my live.
Charles Dickens, in an interview with Fiodor Dostoevsky in 1862.
“Oh, Brancepeth”, said the girl, her voice trembling, “why haven’t you any money? If you only has the merest pittance – enough for a flat in Mayfair and a little weekend place in the country somewhere and a couple of good cars and a villa in the South of France and a bit of trout fishing on some decent river, I would risk all for love”.
P. G. Wodehouse, Lord Emsworth and Others, 1937.
“Last night’s dreams. I am skiing on a white slope, beneath a white sky. I look down at my feet and they are also white, and my skis are engulfed by the powder. I am exhilarated. Then the dream transfers me to an interior, a ski hut where the white walls merge into the doomed ceiling indishtinguishably. There is an Eskimo maiden, muscular, brown, naked. I am dressed like a doctor, but more stiffly, in large white cards. I awaken, inmensely ashamed”.
“In the negative print of this dream I am sitting on a white bowl and my excrement overflows, unstoppably, unwipably, engulfing my feet, my thighs in patches I try to scape. I awaken and am relieved to be in bed, between clean sheets. Then I look at my arms in the half-light of dawn and an ineluctable horror sweeps over me. This is real. This skin is me, I can’t get out.”
John Updike, from The Journal of a Leper, in Self-Consciousness, USA, 1975.