I’m a writer who likes to be influenced.
Easy reading is damn hard writing. But if it’s right, it’s easy. It’s the other way round, too. If it’s slovenly written, then it’s hard to read. It doesn’t give the reader what the careful writer can give the reader.
Four years earlier I had been selected, with Kay Boyle, the writer, and a number of others, to go to Cambodia and come back and prove that there were no sanctuaries in that country.
I don’t like scaring people off. When I tell people I’m a writer, they look kind of interested. Then I tell them that I write poetry, and they think I’m weird.
Literary imagination is an aesthetic object offered by a writer to a lover of books.
No honest writer today can possibly avoid being influenced by Freud through his pioneering work into the Unconscious and by the influence of those discoveries on the scientific, philosophic, and artistic work of his contemporaries: but not, by any means, necessarily through Freud’s own writing.
I would eventually leave the business in 1999 to work full-time as a writer, but during the previous decade, I would advise French businessmen on how to succeed in Germany; tell Americans what to do in Eastern Europe; show the Spanish how to become more like the Americans. I spent one particularly haunting year advising bankers in Mexico.
The obituaries shot up to the top of my list when I discovered Robert McG. Thomas, the ‘Times’ obit writer who redesigned its traditional form and added a measure of stylistic elegance.
When I was little, my parents really only wanted me to be a scientist or a doctor; they had never even heard of law school. I think even these days if you were to tell your mother you want to be a fashion designer, or an artist or a writer, a lot of Asian parents would be alarmed because they don’t think that’s a secure career.
The number one secret of being a successful writer is this: marry an English major.