July 20, 2016
... And yet, perhaps I was not wrong in sacrificing the pleasures not only of society but of friendship to that of spending the whole day in this green garden. People who have the capacity to do so - it is true that such people are artists, and I had long been convinced that I should never be that - also have a duty to live for themselves. And friendship is a dispensation from this duty, an abdication of self. Even conversation, which is friendship's mode of expression, is a superficial digression which gives us nothing worth acquiring. We may talk for a lifetime without doing more than indefinitely repeating the vacuity of a minute, whereas the march of thought in the solitary work of artistic creation proceeds in depth, in the only direction that is not closed to us, along which we are free to advance - though with more effort, it is true - towards a goal of truth. And friendship is not merely devoid of virtue, like conversation, it is fatal to us as well. For the sense of boredom which those of us whose law of development is purely internal cannot help but feel in a friend's company (when, that is to say, we must remain on the surface of ourselves, instead of pursuing our voyage of discovery into the depths) - that first impression of boredom our friendship impels us to correct when we are alone again, to recall with emotion the words which our friend said to us, to look upon them as a valuable addition to our substance, when the fact is that we are not like buildings to which stones can be added from without, but like trees which draw from their own sap the next knot that will appear on their trunks, the spreading roof of their foliage.