Genius of a kind has always been with me; an empty heart that has taken on a certain wooden quality; an excellent, strong woman's body and a pitiably starved soul.
I want to write such things as compel the admiring acclamation of the world at large, such things as are written but once in years, things subtle but distinctly different from the books written every day.
I never give my real self. I have a hundred sides, and I turn first one way and then the other. I am playing a deep game. I have a number of strong cards up my sleeve. I have never been myself, excepting to two friends.
The book, you understand, was not written for publication. It was the portrayal of my emotions, the analysis of my own soul life during three months of my nineteenth year. I wrote then all the time, just as I do now, but, though the book is in diary form, it is not a diary.
I read of the Kalamazoo girl who killed herself after reading the book. I am not at all surprised. She lived in Kalamazoo, for one thing, and then she read the book.
My intention to lecture is as vague as my intention is to go on the stage. I will never consider an offer to lecture, not because I despise the vocation, but because I have no desire to appear on the public rostrum.
You may think me crude, and probably I am crude, but I am not so crude as I was, for I am clever enough to see that the girl of nineteen who thought herself a genius was only an unusual girl writing her heart out.
When I was three years old I was taken with my family to a little town in Western Minnesota, where I lived a more or less vapid and ordinary life until I was ten.
Just why I sent it to the publishers would be hard to say, but when I had finished it I felt that it was literature, because it is real and because it was well written. And I know that the world wants such things.
Well, if I am not vulgar, neither is my book. I wrote myself. Suggestiveness is always vulgar. But truth never. My book is not even remotely suggestive. I call things by their names. That is all.
The only joy I had was writing what was. That book was. It no longer amuses me to be all the things I was when I wrote that. But it is my story as I was then.