what he said

I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we love more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.
— Franz Kafka

via written correspondence, months after her suicide attempt

Sylvia Plath:  How much freelancing will you be doing when there are three kids around the house wanting, respectively, to be diapered, fed and have the funnies read to them?

Eddie Cohen:  And will your husband, whoever he may be, find contentment in talking to you or making love to you while you are banging on a typewriter? You can't plan your life out on paper and expect it to behave that way. I suspect that this tendency of yours contributed to your trouble. You didn't know what to do when something happened that wasn't in the blueprint.