The default mode of modern writing about art is to despise any notion of singularity as so much overheated genius-fetishism.
I have this magpie instinct for the next glittering object. There are one or two things I know I can’t write about, though: DIY, cricket, automobile repair. I could study it for a lifetime and not produce a word on the carburettor.
Somehow, the words don’t have any vitality, any life to them, unless I can feel it marking on a paper. That’s how I start. Once I’m off, then I switch to the laptop. I think it would all just be prose if it started on a laptop – not that what I do is poetry.
Sculptures created from found materials like ice and thorns, driftwood, and even bleached kangaroo bones all presuppose that artistic design will yield to the cycles of time and climate, whether over an hour or a decade.
I would want the British reader to feel that religion in America isn’t an absurd thing – a sign of a pin head athwart a gigantic body.
You are not thinking hard enough if you are sleeping well. And you would have to be unhinged to take on a subject like the French Revolution, or Rembrandt, and not feel some trepidation. There is always the possibility that you will crash and burn, and the whole thing will be a horrible, vulgar, self-indulgent mess.
The British who arrived in the United States in the eighteen-thirties and forties had imagined the young republic as a wide-eyed adolescent, socially ungainly and politically gauche, but with some hint of promise.
I am strongly of the opinion that chronology is very important. The great arc of time is what children are wired for.
I am somebody who has never been able to give up ’60s habits. I am the inevitable old codger on the dance floor.
I find it very hard to write about Jewish history.