A copy of the universe is not what is required of art; one of the damned things is ample.

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More from Rebecca West

All good biography, as all good fiction, comes down to the study of original sin, of our inherent disposition to choose death when we ought to choose life.

Time and Tide (1941)

International relationships are … preordained to be clumsy gestures based on imperfect knowledge.

The Strange Necessity, ch. 10 (1928).

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.


The main difference between men and women is that men are lunatics and women are idiots.

Motherhood is the strangest thing, it can be like being one’s own Trojan horse.

letter, Aug. 20, 1959. quoted in Victoria Glendinning, Rebecca West: A Life, pt. 5, ch. 8 (1987).