Translated by Frances L. Phillips and Jacob S. Fassett, Jr. Introduction by H.L. Mencken.
appear ill- advised to the reader; it may be that he will find his opinions ridiculous and beside the mark on every page. I have merely sought to sun my vanity and egotism, to bring them forth into the air, so that my aesthetic susceptibilities might not be completely smothered.
This book has been a work of mental hygiene.
Egotism resembles cold drinks in summer; the more you take, the thirstier you get. It also distorts the vision, producing an hydropic effect, as has been noted by Calderon in his Life is a Dream.
An author always has before him a keyboard made up of a series of I's. The lyric and satiric writers play in the purely human octave; the critic plays in the bookman's octave; the historian in the octave of the investigator. When an author writes of himself, perforce he plays upon his own "I," which is not exactly that contained in the octave of the sentimentalist nor yet in that of the curious investigator. Undoubtedly at times it must be a most immodest "I," an