Fantastic collection of interviews with authors in the Paris Review, exposing them in their native elements, comfortably ensconced on sofas amidst their library, papers piled everywhere, legs crossed and arms behind their heads. And thus relaxed they spill their secrets about how to write, to just pour it all out until nothing is left, to meter it out in small bits, to never stop writing at the end of a chapter, but continue on so that you have a hook when you come back to it the next day.
Hemingway writes standing up, Saul Bellow “art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction”. Robert Gottlieb is simply genius, all of his writers attesting to his precise ear. Joan Didion always rereading Conrad’s Victory before starting a novel because it “opens up the possibilities… makes it seem worth doing.”
Writers bemoan the unknown and forgotten writers (Rebecca West mentions A.L. Barker, who has disappeared from the local library and is virtually impossible to find in bookstores).