The world is so unpredictable. Things happen suddenly, unexpectedly. We want to feel we are in control of our own existence. In some ways we are, in some ways we're not. We are ruled by the forces of chance and coincidence.
We are continually shaped by the forces of coincidence.
Everything can change at any moment, suddenly and forever.
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.
Changing your mind is probably one of the most beautiful things people can do. And I've changed my mind about a lot of things over the years.
I like the sound a typewriter makes.
If I could write directly on a typewriter or a computer, I would do it. But keyboards have always intimidated me. I've never been able to think clearly with my fingers in that position. A pen is a much more primitive instrument. You feel that the words are coming out of your body and then you dig the words into the page.
Children, I mean, think of your own childhood, how important the bedtime story was. How important these imaginary experiences were for you. They helped shape reality, and I think human beings wouldn't be human without narrative fiction.
I've always written by hand. Mostly with a fountain pen, but sometimes with a pencil - especially for corrections.
You can't put your feet on the ground until you've touched the sky.
I really, truly believe that writing comes out of the body; of course, the mind is working as well, but it's a double thing and that doubleness is united. I mean, you can't separate persona from psyche; you just can't do it.
Those of us who can remember our childhoods will recall how ardently we relished the moment of the bedtime story, when our mother or father would sit down beside us in the semi-dark and read from a book of fairy tales.
You have to protect it too, you can't let just any stupid person take it and do something demoralizing with it. At the same time, I don't believe in being so rigid about controlling what happens either.
I can never say 'why' about anything I do. I suppose I can say 'how' and 'when' and 'what.' But 'why' is impenetrable to me.
We construct a narrative for ourselves, and that's the thread that we follow from one day to the next. People who disintegrate as personalities are the ones who lose that thread.
With a computer, you make your changes on the screen and then you print out a clean copy. With a typewriter, you can't get a clean manuscript unless you start again from scratch. It's an incredibly tedious process.
I'm living in the present, thinking about the past, hoping for the future.
If you're not ready for everything, you're not ready for anything.
The book that convinced me I wanted to be a writer was 'Crime and Punishment'. I put the thing down after reading it in a fever over two or three days... I said, 'If this is what a book can be, then that is what I want to do.'
There's love, and certainly children you care about more than yourself. But nevertheless, we're alone in our heads.