I long for the raised voice, the howl of rage or love.
There are things in American culture that want to wipe the class distinction. Blue jeans. Ready-made clothes. Coca-Cola.
The reason Saul Bellow doesn't talk to me anymore is because he knows his new novels are not worth reading.
Faulkner turned out to be a great teacher. When a student asked a question ineptly, he answered the question with what the student had really wanted to know.
Critics? How do they happen? I know how it happened to me. I would send a poem or story to a magazine and they would say this doesn't suit our needs precisely but on the other hand you sound interesting. Would you be interested in doing a review?
Gertrude Stein really thought of Hemingway as frail. He almost married Stein.
Foucault was the one person I met in France that I could talk to. He was a mensch. You know whether you agree with him or not because you know what he is saying.
Hemingway seems to be in a funny position. People nowadays can't identify with him closely as a member of their own generation, and he isn't yet historical.
I admire Ginsberg as a poet, despite the fact that he seems not to know when he is being good and when he is bad. But he will last, or at least those poems will last.
DeLillo never seems committed to me to what he is writing. Very nice surfaces, but he's got nothing underneath.
Cooper wrote a novel which is absolutely indistinguishable from Austen, completely from a female point of view, completely English, no sense that he was an American.
Anybody in the next centuries wanting to know what it was like to be a poet in the middle of the 20th century should read Kaddish.
Jane Austen is at the end of the line that begins with Samuel Richardson, which takes wonder and magic out of the novel, treats not the past but the present.
I've been writing about James Fenimore Cooper. He was not a writer. Here was a man who was 30 years old and had never put anything more than his signature on paper.
I like that people who are not experts can not only understand but get engaged by my work. I like that Joe Paterno can read me. Bill Bradley.
I liked Camille Paglia. I liked her even better when I heard her talk.
I gave up writing blurbs because you make one friend and 200 enemies.
The text is merely one of the contexts of a piece of literature, its lexical or verbal one, no more or less important than the sociological, psychological, historical, anthropological or generic.
Unless criticism refuses to take itself quite so seriously or at least to permit its readers not to, it will inevitably continue to reflect the finicky canons of the genteel tradition and the depressing pieties of the Culture Religion of Modernism.
The novel doesn't come into existence until certain methods of reproducing fiction come along.
I think Henry Miller has had huge influence not because he wrote about sex, but because the memoir or the nonfiction novel has become such a monumental force in American publishing, if not in literature.
If there's one thing I can't stand, it's somebody doing something because I pushed them in that direction.
My assignment is what every writer's assignment is: tell the truth of his own time.
One more recent novelist to come along is Cormac McCarthy. Him, I like.
Saul Bellow never took my advice when he was my friend.
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