Saturday, April 08, 2006

From a writer's mouth

From E.L. Doctorow's essay "From Will-of-the-Wisp to Full-Blown Novel" in the anthology The Writing Life: Writers on How They Think and Work:

"...wherever books begin, in whatever private excitement of the mind, whether from the music of words, or an impelling anger, or the promise of the unwritten-upon page, the work itself is hard and slow, and the writer's illumination becomes a taskmaster, a ruling discipline, jealously guarding the mind from all other, and necessarily errant, private excitements until the book is done. You live enslaved in the book's language, its diction, its universe of imagery, and there is no way out except through the last sentence."