Roberto Bolaño on writing short stories
I think I have forgotten how.
Reading Munro puts me in that state of quiet reflection in which I think about my own life: about the decisions I’ve made, the things I’ve done and haven’t done, the kind of person I am, the prospect of death. She is one of the handful of writers, some living, most dead, whom I have in mind when I say that fiction is my religion. For as long as I’m immersed in a Munro story, I am according to an entirely make-believe character the kind of solemn respect and quiet rooting interest that I accord myself in my better moments as a human being.
Jonathan Franzen on Alice Munro
Novelist Enright writes books in different places
I don’t write two books in the same place. I seem to have settled on a chair that I write. I’m very happy with it.
Anne Enright, interview with The Independent (London, UK), May 5, 2012.
Choose a favourite author, and say why you admire her/him
Alice Munro. It’s difficult to sum up why in one sentence. She’s the kind of writer who lasts for a lifetime. I’ve been reading her for 30 years and she is as relevant, or more relevant, as she was when I started out.
I want to write something
Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it—don’t cheat with it.
or about pain
as you are reading
you feel it
and as you read
you keep feeling it
and though it be my story
it will be common,
though it be singular
it will be known to you
so that by the end
you will think—
no, you will realize—
that it was all the while
yourself arranging the words,
that it was all the time
words that you yourself,
out of your heart
had been saying.
The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.
Gertrude Stein (Woody Allen) - ‘Midnight In Paris’ (via para-doxical
And as of now, what do you ask from a story?
The two things I want are interesting language and genuine feeling. And one other thing: Years and years ago I knew a very wise woman who was tremendously accomplished and who had excelled at many things, a lifetime achievement for anybody else, and I asked what was her goal now? And she didn’t hesitate for a second. “To love deeply.” A lesson there.