The whole youth-idolatry oh-god-not-another-birthday thing has to be the most sure-fire way to be unhappy about the way things are progressing in your life.
When you have committed an action that you cannot bear to think about, that causes you to writhe in retrospect, do not seek to evade the memory: make yourself relive it, confront it repeatedly over and over, till finally, you will discover, through sheer repetition it loses its power to pain you. It works, I guarantee you, this sure-fire guilt-eradicator, like a homeopathic medicine — like in small doses applied to like. It works, but I am not sure that it is a good thing.mary mccarthy
A hack writer who would not have been considered a fourth rate in Europe , who tricked out a few of the old proven "sure-fire" literary skeletons with sufficient local color to intrigue the superficial and the lazy .