Cain, writer of “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” “Double Indemnity” and “Mildred Pierce,” on the pros and cons of living in Southern California in the 1930s:

There is no reward for aesthetic virtue here, no punishment for aesthetic crime; nothing but a vast cosmic indifference, and that is the one thing the human imagination cannot stand. It withers, or else, frantic to make itself felt, goes off into feverish and idiotic excursions that have neither reason, rhyme, nor point, and that even fail in their one, purpose, which is to attract notice.

Now, in spite of the foregoing, when you come to consider the life that is encountered here, you have to admit that there is a great deal to be said for it.

“Paradise.” — James M. Cain, Los Angeles Times, March 1, 1933

See also: “Sweatpants in Paradise.” — Molly Young, The Believer, Sept. 1, 2010