Octave Mirbeau, Calvary
I took a notion to make a sketch of her: with what love, it would be impossible for you to imagine. When the statue had taken on a semblance of crude form on the paper, it gave me joy without end. All the energy in me that I could put forward I employed in this work, which I thought admirable and superhuman. More than twenty times I started the drawing over again, incensed with the crayon for not conforming to the delicacy of the lines, incensed with the paper upon which the image would not appear as live and real as I should have liked to see it. I was rabid on this point. My will was bent upon this unique goal. At length I succeeded in giving more or less exact substance to my idea of the plaster Virgin—but how naive an idea it was. And immediately thereafter I stopped thinking of it. An inner voice had told me that nature was more beautiful, more moving, more splendid, and I began to notice the sun which caressed the trees, which played upon the pentiles of the roof, covered the grass with gold, illumined the rivers; and I began to listen to all the palpitations of life, whose puffed up creatures scourge the earth like a body of flesh.
We, my associates and myself, are in a line of business that surpasses all rational understanding.