One book I certainly cannot overlook at anytime I travel is the Paris Review Interviews. I have read the first two volumes of this book and I seem not to have enough of them.
Over the weekend, I travelled to the eastern parts of Ghana and the second volume found its way into my luggage. I think I have not yet had enough of reading the interviews and I would keep rereading them until perhaps – thy kingdom come! They are in fact, a real source of inspiration as you get to read the minds of some of the most accomplished writers the world has ever produced. What I may be doing, from time to time, would be putting up some of the interviews and responses that strike me.
The following below is a question and response (The author in question is William Faulkner):
Interviewer: You mentioned economic freedom. Does the writer need it?
Faulkner: No. The writer doesn’t need economic freedom. All he needs is a pencil and some paper. I’ve never known anything good in writing to come from having accepted any free gift of money. The good writer never applies to a foundation. He’s too busy writing something. If he isn’t first rate he fools himself by saying he hasn’t got time or economic freedom. Good art can come out of thieves, bootleggers, or horse swipes. People really are afraid to find out just how much hardship and poverty they can stand. They are afraid to find out how tough they are. Nothing can destroy the good writer. The only thing that can alter the good writer is death. Good one’s don’t have time to bother with success or getting rich. Success is feminine and like a woman; if you cringe before her, she will override you. So the way to treat her is to show her the back of your hand. Then maybe she will do the crawling.
What do you make of Faulkner’s response? I would be delighted to hear your thoughts.