have a cuppa with Capote

I only recently discovered The Paris Review Interviews while working at a bookstore. Like anyone who has worked at a bookstore knows, most of your time ‘working’ is spent plodding along aimlessly whilst at the same time trying to maintain a relatively vertical position (as opposed to a horizontal one on the plush bookstore couch) so as to give the illusion of busyness to potential – seldom actual – customers. I thank the literary gods for this ‘work’ now as it was my key into the most intimate of relationships with some of my most adored and admired authors. Today, I thought I’d share snippets of those relationships with you…

I’ve never written when I was happy. I didn’t want to… When I think about it, if I had to choose, I’d rather be happy than write. You see, there’s very little invention in my books. What came first with most of them was the wish to get rid of this awful sadness that weighed me down. I found when I was a child that if I could put the hurt into words, it would go. It leaves a sort of melancholy behind and then it goes. I think it was Somerset Maugham who said that if you “write out” a thing… it doesn’t trouble you so much. You may be left with a vague melancholy, but at least it’s not misery – I suppose it’s like a Catholic going to confession, or like psychoanalysis.

– Jean Rhys on writing

I read too much. And anything, including labels and recipes and advertisements. I have a passion for newspapers – read all the New York dailies every day, and the Sunday editions, and several foreign magazines too. The ones I don’t buy I read standing at newsstands. I average about five books a week – the normal length novel takes me about two hours.

– Truman Capote on reading

I think sex is an act of… a kind of soul – commitment. If the sex is good, your injury will be healed, your imagination will be invigorated. It’s a kind of passage to the upper area, to the better place.

– Haruki Murakami on sex

It doesn’t matter if you’re not a writer, The Paris Review Interviews are so honest and raw, they speak to everyone – intimately.

If you’re in Melbourne where the weather is well and truly subpar this weekend, pick up a volume, put on your favourite pjs and make a pot of tea. If you’re not, it doesn’t matter, do the same! This is what weekends are for. Rest. Relaxation and rejuvenation. Your soul will thank you.

Happy Saturday xx

P.S. look out for the beautiful box sets of The Paris Review Interviews that are floating around…

image by monk’s

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