“[Writer’s block] happens when I’m trying to write something that I’m not ready to write, or that I don’t really *want* to write. And there’s no way to discover my unreadiness or unwillingness except to try and fail…I might then discover that I’m trying to write about a character I don’t actually like, or that I’m trying to live up to someone else’s expectation of my writing, or that I’m not yet psychologically prepared to enter the emotional territory I’ve staked out for myself. Whatever the problem is, the solution is always to find my way back to love, to desire, to pleasure.”
Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections and Freedom, was an avid reader as a child, visiting the public library weekly to lug home stacks of books. He enjoys fiction in which writers are examining their lives and the environment in which they find themselves, writers, he says, who have “skin in the game.” Having admired the work of Don DeLillo, Franzen was pleasantly surprised to receive an autographed copy of Libra. Of all possible literary historical moments, he would have loved to have been present when Kafka read “The Metamorphosis” to his amused friends just to hear how Kafka used his voice to infuse the piece with humour.
– From Gotham Writer’s Workshop & NYT Review of Books, April 28 2013.