Hemingway seems to be in a funny position. People nowadays can't identify with him closely as a member of their own generation, and he isn't yet historical.
I like that people who are not experts can not only understand but get engaged by my work. I like that Joe Paterno can read me. Bill Bradley.
I love it now that a large minority of people who are handicapped prefer to call themselves crippled. This is all part of the game, like queer theory.
I never met anybody in my life who says, I want to be a critic. People want to be a fireman, poet, novelist.
When all of us are forgotten, people will still be remembering Stephen King.
My assignment is what every writer's assignment is: tell the truth of his own time.
All good criticism should be judged the way art is. You shouldn't read it the way you read history or science.
The novel is always pop art, and the novel is always dying. That's the only way it stays alive. It does really die. I've been thinking about that a lot.
The novel is the first art form that is an honest-to-god commodity. That's what makes it different from both high art and folk art.
It's so wrong when I pick up a new edition of Huckleberry Finn and I look at the last page and it doesn't say, Yours truly, at the end.
Jane Austen is at the end of the line that begins with Samuel Richardson, which takes wonder and magic out of the novel, treats not the past but the present.
I've had a tough time with Pynchon. I liked him very much when I first read him. I liked him less with each book. He got denser and more complex in a way that didn't really pay off.
When I was 12 years old, someone took me to see Martha Graham. It was nothing like what I thought of as serious dancing and even then I knew I was having a great experience. It was as if somebody was moving through space like no one ever did before.
I've been writing about James Fenimore Cooper. He was not a writer. Here was a man who was 30 years old and had never put anything more than his signature on paper.
Faulkner sat in our living room and read from Light in August. That was incredible.