Saturday, October 13, 2007

Philip Roth on Reading While Writing

Philip Roth on reading while writing:

I read quite a bit. I just finished two books by Milan Kundera - essays called The Curtain, and a novel called Ignorance. Before that, I read a new biography of Joseph Conrad. Before that, a long book by Tony Judt called Postwar, a marvellous, epochal book of the history of postwar Europe. Usually I don't read fiction when I'm writing fiction. I read the Kundera because I'd read the book of non-fiction. And he's a friend. The problem is, the book of fiction you're reading is finished and polished and expert, and what you're writing is so crappy that you get doubly depressed. Best to avoid it.

To read the rest of Johanna Schneller's interview with Philip Roth which appeared in today's Globe and Mail, click here.


jenclair said...

Oh, boy...even acclaimed authors have feelings of inadequacy. Great quote!

Kate S. said...

It's rather reassuring, isn't it?