I am notorious for always having two beagles with me, in any and all circumstances.
The memoir industry is, what’s the word? Under regulated. I think it needs to be pruned. If there are too many books right now and the market for readers is shrinking, I think we can get rid of many of the memoirs. Another memoir should be awfully well justified before it gets published.
I’m an aesthetic empiricist. If you like something, it doesn’t matter who made it. There really is no objective standard other than your own taste. You develop your own tastes, you find things that do or do not fit your tastes, and therefore are or are not ‘good.’ Whether they have been labeled as produced by the right person is another matter.
I do worry that it’s impossible to write something original, that there’s nothing that a human hasn’t already thought of. But I can put it out of my mind and get on with what I’m doing.
I like Shakespeare. I like some of his work a lot.
When a character bears the same name as the author it’s just an invitation to have some fun.
Fiction is able to do one thing better than any other art form: it is able to convey a convincing sense of what is going on in someone else’s head. To me, that is the great mystery of life: what is everyone else thinking?
Fiction isn’t memoir and memoir isn’t fiction.
As a rule, I am lazy and prefer to avoid anything resembling work, and research feels like work, as opposed to my strong suit, which is sitting around making things up.
Write. Enjoy writing. Then, and only then, worry about the business end of it. Start loving your hobby, and then you can’t go too wrong.
It would be hard to exaggerate Ernest Hemingway’s influence over American literature, but his influence on our lives is probably larger still.