"Oh something'll happen. If not tonight, then some other night. Because if it don't happen, he'll lose interest, and quit coming around, and you wouldn't like that. And when it happens, it's Sin. It's Sin, because you're a grass widow, and fast. And he's all paid up, because he bought your dinner, and that makes it square. ...
"But — if you cook his dinner, and cooked it for him the way only you can cook, and you just happened to look cute in that little apron, and something just happened to happen, then it's Nature. Old Mother Nature, baby, and we all know she's no bum."
- James M. Cain, Mildred Pierce (1941)
"If I've bet my life's work on a suspicion that we live at least as much in our wishes and dreams, our constructions and projections, as we do in any real waking life the existence of which we can demonstrate by rapping it with our knuckles, perhaps my non-utilization of the live nude models helped me place the bet. How could I ever be astonished to see how we human animals slid into the vicarious at the faintest invitation, leaving vast flaming puddings of the Real uneaten? I did."
- Jonathan Lethem, "Live Nude Models," in The Ecstasy of Influence, 2011