Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Norman Mailor on writing novel

The Paris Review has published an interview with Norman Mailor in its current issue (Issue 181,Summer 2007). Sorry, no link. You have to purchase the issue.

if you’re writing a good novel then you’re being an explorer—you’re getting into something where you don’t know the end, where the end is not given. There’s a mixture of dread and excitement that keeps you going. To my mind, it’s not worth writing a novel unless you’re tackling something where your chances of success are open. You can fail. You’re gambling with your psychic reserves. It’s as if you were the general of an army of one, and this general can really drive that army into a cul-de-sac.

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