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Katrina Repka

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from Lost Illusions by Honore de Balzac

It costs a lot to become a great man. The works of genius are watered with its tears. Talent is a living organism whose infancy, like that of all creatures, is liable to malady. Society rejects defective talent as Nature sweeps away weak or misshapen creatures. Whoever wishes to rise above the common level must be prepared for a great struggle and recoil before no obstacle. A great writer is just simply a martyr whom the stake cannot kill…If at heart you have not the willpower and the seraphic patience needed; if, while the caprice of destiny keeps you still far from your goal, you do not continue on your path towards the infinite, as a tortoise in any country follows the path leading it back to its beloved ocean, give up this very day.