V.S. Naipaul on writing

The late Philip Larkin — original and very grand, especially in his later work — thought that form and content were indivisible. He worked slowly, he said. “You’re finding out what to say as well as how to say it, and that takes time.” It sounds simple; but it states a difficult thing. Literature is not like music; it isn’t for the young; there are no prodigies in writing. The knowledge or experience a writer seeks to transmit is social or sentimental; it takes time, it can take much of a man’s life, to process that experience, to understand what he has been through; and it takes great care and tact, then, for the nature of the experience not to be lost, not to be diluted by the wrong forms. The other man’s forms served the other man’s thoughts.

in the NY Review of Books

[x]#414 fan woensdag 18 februari 2004 @ 17:55:07