"I've always been backward on morals, but I do know how to dress appropriately for any given occasion, and that's more than half the battle."
--The Stray Lamb by Thorne Smith
"Without so much as turning a hair I freely admit that I am one of America's greatest realists. And I'm not at all sure that this calm statement of facts does not take in all other nations, including the Scandinavian.
"Like life itself my stories have no point and get absolutely nowhere. And like life they are a little mad and purposeless. They resemble those people who watch with placid concentration a steam shovel digging a large hole in the ground. They are almost as purposeless as a dignified commuter shaking an impotent fist after a train he has just missed. They are like the man who dashes madly through traffic only to linger aimlessly on the opposite corner watching a fountain pen being demonstrated in a shop window.
"Quite casually I wander into my plot, poke around with my characters for a while, then amble off, leaving no moral proved and no reader improved.
"The more I think about it the more am I convinced that I'm a trifle cosmic. My books are as blindly unreasonable as nature. They have no more justification than a tiresomely high mountain or a garrulous and untidy volcano. Unlike the great idealists and romancers who insist on a beginning and a middle and an ending for their stories mine possess none of these definite parts. You can open them at any page. It does not matter at all. You will be equally mystified if not revolted. I am myself."