--John Glassco, Memoirs of Montparnasse
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Enjoyment and Achievement
"It was a matter of choosing between enjoyment and achievement, between the demands of life and art. The choice is presented several times to everyone at a very early period in his life, and after he has chosen one or the other a few times in succession his course is almost irrevocably determined. Such apparently random and unimportant decisions are much more serious than they appear; for, alas, the direction of one's life does not wait on maturity or wisdom, but is settled in the most offhand manner by emotion, appetite, and caprice. It was Balzac, I think, who said it was vital for a young man to decide very early on his ambition in life, simply because he was bound to attain it. But I did not know this, and telling myself once again that I could always return to the toilsome life of art, I chose once more the primrose path of present enjoyment. The important thing in life was to have a good time."