“I haven’t read the article in PR or the beat writers themselves. That seems about the most appalling thing you could set yourself to do — read them. But reading about them and reading what they have to say about themselves makes me think there is a lot of ill-directed good in them. Certainly some revolt against our exagerrated materialism is long overdue.” — June 21, 1959, letter to Dr. T.R. Spivey
“Did I understand you right that you are writing from 5000 to 7000 words of bad prose a day? By my calculations this is about 20 pages. Girl, it couldn’t be anything else but bad. That is too much prose to write in one day. It must be automatic writing. Slow down for pity sake.” — August 21, 1959, letter to Maryat Lee
“My book has received considerable attention, most all of it simple-minded — a revolting review in Time, worse from Orville Prescott, the usual snide paragraph in the New Yorker & some very funny items from newspapers. The funniest to date was in the Savannah paper, Savannah where I was brought up & have lots of kin. It was highly favorable, called the hero ‘Tarbutton’ throughout and said he was nine years old.” — April 23, 1960, letter to Elizabeth Bishop
“I don’t think much of the traditional association of insanity with the Divine. That’s for romantics. Quincy State Hospital is actually two miles out of Milledgeville, the same only bigger. A five minute stroll through the grounds would only dampen any enthusiasm you might have for the traditional association.” — June 22, 1961, letter to John Hawkes
“It has always seemed necessary to me to throw the weight of circumstance against the character I favor. The friends of God suffer, etc. The priest is right, therefore he can carry the burden of a certain social stupidity. This may be something I learned from Graham Greene and that whiskey priest of his, or it may just be instinct.” — December 8, 1955, letter to A.