April 6, 2003

     George Sand to Gustave Flaubert, November 29th, 1866:

     "I have never ceased to wonder at the way you torment
     yourself over your writing.  Is it just fastidiousness on
     your part?  There is so little to show for it... As to
     style, I certainly do not worry myself, as you do, over
     that.  The wind bloweth as it listeth through my old
     harp.  _My_ style has its ups and downs, its sounding
     harmonies, and its failures.  I do not, fundamentally,
     much mind, so long as the _emotion_ comes through.  But
     it is no use my trying to screw it out of myself.  It is
     the other who sings through me, well or badly, as the
     case may be.  When I begin to think of all that, I get
     frightened, and tell myself that I count for nothing, for
     nothing at all... let the wind blow a little through
     _your_ strings.  I think you fret about it all much more
     than you should, and that you ought to let the _other_
     have his say more often.  Everything would work out all
     right, and it would be a great deal less exhausting for

     George Sand: Correspondance, Volume V, p. 253

                         -- page 428 of
                           "Lélia, The Life of Geroge Sand"
                           by André Maurois
                           (translated by Gerard Hopkins)
                           (1954) Harper