Life in cities is not a spring but a river, or rather, a water main. It progresses like a novel, artificially.
I shall not be satisfied unless I produce something which shall for a few days supersede the last fashionable novel on the tables of young ladies.
In 1965, when I was fourteen, I read my first adult novel; it was a historical novel about Katherine of Aragon, and I could not put it down. When I finished it, I had to find out the true facts behind the story and if people really carried on like that in those days. So I began to read proper history books, and found that they did!
I even feel guilty if I’m reading a novel, because I think I should be reading Homer again. I don’t really know what free time is, because I don’t have something to measure it against.
Hemingway is terribly limited. His technique is good for short stories, for people who meet once in a bar very late at night, but do not enter into relations. But not for the novel.
Everyone thinks they’re going to write one book of poems or one novel.
Systematic philosophical and practical anti-intellectualism such as we are witnessing appears to be something truly novel in the history of human culture.
For a Jewish Puritan of the middle class, the novel is serious, the novel is work, the novel is conscientious application why, the novel is practically the retail business all over again.
In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part to invent is the end.
I enjoy research; in fact research is so engaging that it would be easy to go on for years, and never write the novel at all.