What I felt then I feel now: the inexorable, unchanging interior hum of doubt and hope.
To listen acutely is to be powerless, even if you sit on a throne.
I was so mad at my agent. I had polished and polished and polished [the play], and he referred to it as a draft. I wrote him a bitter letter: How can you call this a draft? I don’t do drafts! By now I’ve done 18, and its turning, in the rehearsal room, into a 19th.
If ideas are what feed serious literature and arresting language, who today is writing a novel of ideas (which can often mean comedy)? I think of Joshua Cohen. Who else?
Traveling is seeing; it is the implicit that we travel by.
Two things remain irretrievable: time and a first impression.
It isn’t the instrument that influences High-Minded or Low-Minded; it’s the quality of Mind itself.
If we had to say what writing is, we would have to define it essentially as an act of courage.
The power of language, it seems to me, is the only kind of power a writer is entitled to.
Comedy springs from the ludicrous; but the ludicrous is stuck in the muck of reality, resolutely hostile to what is impossible.
He who cries, ‘What do I care about universality? I only know what is in me,’ does not know even that.
When something does not insist on being noticed, when we aren’t grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull by a presence or an event, we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.