The best thing that ever happened to me as a would-be writer was reading Infinite Jest. I was also twenty-four and spent my days sitting in front of an empty screen, full of a sense of duty and despair. That book cured me. It said all the things I'd have wanted my novel to say—things I'd never have dreamt up on my own in a million years. Keep reading and you will find the book that lets you off the hook. The world doesn't need your fiction. The question is whether you need it, and over time that question will answer itself without interference from you.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Paragraph of the Week
Lorin Stein, writing on the excellent The Paris Review Daily blog: