Writers and Editors (Pat McNees's blog)
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The Paris Review Interviews

January 19, 2010

Tags: author interviews

Asked in his Paris Review interview if the young writer today works at a greater disadvantage than writers in an earlier generation, William Styron responded, "Hell no, I don't. Writers ever since writing began have had problems, and the main problem narrows down to just one word—life. Certainly this might be an age of so-called faithlessness and despair we live in, but the new writers haven’t cornered any market on faithlessness and despair, any more than Dostoyevsky or Marlowe or Sophocles did. Every age has its terrible aches and pains, its peculiar new horrors, and every writer since the beginning of time, just like other people, has been afflicted by what that same friend of mine calls 'the fleas of life'—you know, colds, hangovers, bills, sprained ankles, and little nuisances of one sort or another. They are the constants of life, at the core of life, along with nice little delights that come along every now and then."

You can read the full Paris Review interview online, where you can subscribe to the timeless Paris Review quarterly or buy boxed sets of collections of Paris Review interviews. They make a great gift for an aspiring writer. Amazon also sells them.(Thanks, Lynn Wasnak, for reminding me of this great series.)