In a feature from our Summer 1988 issue – William Faulkner – Joan Didion – John Cheever and dozens of other writers talk about inspiration.
Drawing from the magazine’s Writers at Work interviews George Plimpton quotes dozens of writers – all of them trying to put their finger on that elusive matter of impulse—why does anybody write anything ever?
And why keep going?
John Ashbery – Saul Bellow – John Berryman – John Cheever – Joan Didion – William Faulkner – Marianne Moore – Katherine Anne Porter and May Sarton are among those who weigh in.
(And not a one of them relies on that terrifying phrase: getting your creative juices flowing. This is a juice-free space.)
I was especially fond of Stanley Kunitz’s thinking – which sees language as a pesky impediment to the truly Platonic poem that all of us carry around in our heads: