We're buying this, but why do you sing the same sad songs all women sing?
(Katharine S. White (1892-1977), U.S. editor and book reviewer. As quoted in Onward and Upward, Prologue, by Linda H. Davis (1986).
White, Fiction Editor of the New York Times, sent this note to Phyllis McGinley in the 1940s, along with a check, when buying a skillful, but conventional, story she had submitted. According to McGinley's daughter, she later said "repeatedly" that this had "changed the direction of her whole career.")
This is a catastrophic universe, always; and subject to sudden reversals, upheavals, changes, cataclysms, with joy never anything but the song of substance under pressure forced into new forms and shapes.
(Doris Lessing (b. 1919), British novelist. Johor, in Shikasta, "Johor reports," p. 3, Knopf (1979).)