There can be no better grounding..
There can be no better grounding for a lifetime as an author than to see humanity in all its various guises through the lens of the reporter for the town.
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I can't complain that I've had a public all through my writing life, but people don't quite know what I've written. People don't read you too closely. Perhaps, after I've died, they'll look at my stuff, and read it through, and find there's more in it. That may be wrong, but that's what I comfort myself with.
My peers, lately, have found companionship through means of intoxication - it makes them sociable. I, however, cannot force myself to use drugs to cheat on my loneliness - it is all that I have - and when the drugs and alcohol dissipate, will be all that my peers have as well.
As we go through this transition where a lot more people will be reading on devices, nobody is paying enough attention to make sure it's a smooth transition. I believe we still need places where people can go to handle, hold and talk about books, get information about what books are out there, and so on.
You need a great idea, but then you've got to carry it through. If you get it right, you're going to be a critical success. But not everyone who works hard gets it right, or has the success they deserve: there's an element of luck.
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.
I didn't care for most of the books I was being asked to read in school. I started reading like crazy right after high school when I got a job in a mental hospital. I was working my way through college, and I did a lot of night shifts, and there was nothing to do. So I read like crazy, serious stuff, all the classics.
When I'm writing, I won't know whodunnit until maybe two thirds of the way through. Until then, I know as little as my detective. I just make it up as I go along. It's nerve-wracking, actually. You'll be half through and not know your conclusion. You worry one of these days the ending won't come. I'll be left with only two-thirds of a novel.
To my mind, it is the duty of the younger Negro artist, if he accepts any duties at all from outsiders, to change through the force of his art that old whispering 'I want to be white,' hidden in the aspirations of his people, to 'Why should I want to be white? I am a Negro - and beautiful!'
It's extremely difficult to get these jobs because you can't get a job on a ship unless you have seaman's paper's, and you can't get seaman's papers unless you have a job on a ship. There had to be a way to break through the circle, and he was the one who arranged it for me.
After a prosperous, but to me very wearisome, voyage, we came at last into port. Immediately on landing I got together my few effects; and, squeezing myself through the crowd, went into the nearest and humblest inn which first met my gaze.
He learned through the way that my father and I felt about his songs, his country songs, that they were great songs. And then he went out and sang them for the audiences that we found, and he found a tremendous reaction to that.
Most people read poetry listening for echoes because the echoes are familiar to them. They wade through it the way a boy wades through water, feeling with his toes for the bottom: The echoes are the bottom.
Experience, already reduced to a group of impressions, is ringed round for each one of us by that thick wall of personality through which no real voice has ever pierced on its way to us, or from us to that which we can only conjecture to be without.
The way of the Creative works through change and transformation, so that each thing receives its true nature and destiny and comes into permanent accord with the Great Harmony: this is what furthers and what perseveres.