I do not think there is anyone who takes quite such a fierce pleasure in things being themselves as I do. The startling wetness of water excites and intoxicates me: the fieriness of fire, the steeliness of steel, the unutterable muddiness of mud. It is just the same with people. . . When we call a man “manly” or a woman “womanly” we touch the deepest philosophy.
– Letter to Frances [later his wife] (1899).