America’s revolutionary deists saw themselves as – and they were – participants in an international movement that drew on most of the same literary sources across the civilized world.
The idea of a pseudonym had been flitting around my brain for a long time, along with its cognate, disappearance. In the 1980s, I published some poems under a pen name in a literary magazine to see what it would feel like. It was fun. It was even a little thrilling.
Literary imagination is an aesthetic object offered by a writer to a lover of books.
There is a great discovery still to be made in literature, that of paying literary men by the quantity they do not write.
A risk for a poet-novelist is imbalance: The poems can flatten into prose or lose their intensity of focus; the novels can stall amid lofty writing or literary preciousness and ignore the engine of plot and character.
The real literary editors have mostly been fired. Those that remain are all ‘bottom line’ editors; everything depends on the money.
When I was a teenager, just about the only thing I could do right was play music. In my graduating class, I was certainly not voted ‘Most Literary Boy.’ I can assure you I was not voted ‘Mostly Likely to Succeed.’ I was voted ‘Most Musical Boy.’ And the music led to the poetry.
One learns little more about a man from the feats of his literary memory than from the feats of his alimentary canal.
Any poet, if he is to survive beyond his 25th year, must alter; he must seek new literary influences; he will have different emotions to express.
I use the language I use to my friends. They wouldn’t believe me if I used some high-flown literary language. I want them to believe me.