Thursday, 23 September 2010

The Art of Fiction

Of the many reasons I love The Paris Review, their series of interviews with writers comes first. Such as this one with William Trevor: "I think self-confidence is a very dangerous thing for writers. I tend to write in a fragile, edgy, doubtful sort of way, trying things out all the time, never confident that I've got something right," which sums up my afternoon's work perfectly. And this one, with P.D. James: "I write the books out of order, rather as if I were shooting a film, and then put the story together at the end". Or this one, with John Le Carre: "It's a principle of mine to come into the story as late as possible, and to tell it as fast as you can," which has made me think about my current project in a different, refreshing way.





6 comments:

Tania Hershman said...

I just ordered a 5-year sub to the Paris Review just to get the whole set of their collected interviews, aren't they amazing? Wonderful quotes, there is something so unbelievably helpful about hearing how other people do it, isn't there?

Sarah Hilary said...

Ooh, is the collected interviews a print volume, or online as part of the subscription? Yes, reading how my favourite authors struggle (rather than simply sail) through makes me feel reassured - and inspired.

Tania Hershman said...

Print - and since you are so close, you can even borrow a volume!

Sarah Hilary said...

Thank you!

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

I'm crazy about the PR books too - I take them out as comfort and treat every so often. Isn't the Trevor quote so good? Lovely man.

Sarah Hilary said...

Hi Nuala! Yes, I just love Trevor. Always so wise and generous, no hint of ego or self-opinion.