Writing is a voice that calls us from dreams that peeks out of the corner of our eyes when we think no one is looking the longing that breaks our hearts even when we think we should be happiest and to which we cannot give a name.
To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself…Anybody can have ideas–the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.
Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.
I was born to be an editor, I always edit everything. I edit my room at least once a week. Hotels are made for me. I can change a hotel room so thoroughly that even its proprietor doesn’t recognize it…. I edit people’s clothes, dressing them infallibly in the right lines…. I change everyone’s coiffure — except those that please me — and these I gaze at with such satisfaction that I become suspect, I edit people’s tones of voice, their laughter, their words. I change their gestures, their photographs. I change the books I read, the music I hear … It’s this incessant, unavoidable observation, this need to distinguish and impose, that has made me an editor. I can’t make things. I can only revise what has been made.
What a blessed thing it is that nature, when she invented, manufactured and patented her authors, contrived to make critics out of the chips that were left!
I don’t think you get to good writing unless you expose yourself and your feelings. Deep songs don’t come from the surface; they come from the deep down. The poetry and the songs that you are suppose to write I believe are in your heart.
When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet. . . indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.
Living gives you a better understanding of life. I would hope that my characters have become deeper and more rounded personalities. Wider travels have given me considerably greater insight into how cultural differences affect not only people, but politics and art.