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Jeffrey Eugenides Quotes
- Page 2
But I care about the reader, and I'm trying to keep the reader's attention for as long as I can.
I always work in a room where there's no Internet to keep from being distracted so easily.
I want an ending that's satisfying. I'm more of a classical writer than a modernist one in that I want the ending to be coherent and feel like an ending. I don't like when it just seems to putter out. I mean, life is chaotic enough.
I spend most of every day writing. I like to write every day if I can. I don't start extremely early.
I'm aware of cliches and I'm aware of experiments that have been done and I'm aware of a kind of deadness to a lot of realism both in the language and in the structure of a book.
I was engrossed with the book, I was having difficulties with it, and I just didn't notice the years were going by.
I have a very beautiful room that in my house that we bought in Princeton. It's glass on three sides, and you'd think that's the perfect place to write. Somehow in that nice room I feel too exposed, and I can notice I'm too distracted by things going on, so I end up writing in a not-very-nice office bedroom.
I was unemployable when I got out of college.
I'm hopefully making the reader feel a lot about the characters and then about their own life.
Novelists are always resisting autobiographical readings of their work, because they know how false those can be.
One of the reasons I like Barthes more than other writers of that ilk is because he had a literary quality.
The Pulitzer Prize is an idea; it's a vote of confidence. Like literature, it exists purely in the mind.
At the same time, it's a family story and more of an epic. I needed the third-person. I tried to give a sense that Cal, in writing his story, is perhaps inventing his past as much as recalling it.
I have a lot of novels that I haven't finished. I usually get 150 pages in and I realize it's not going anywhere. I don't publish everything I write. I must have six unfinished novels at least.
I was directed because I knew I wanted to be a novelist, but I didn't have a very good job or a way of getting published. I found those years to be among the most difficult of my life.
It was a recession when I graduated, but I was so unequipped to have a job anyway, I don't think it would have mattered if the economy was booming. I think I was expecting bad jobs. But as it went on through my 20s, I began to wonder how things were going to turn out.
Some Pulitzer winners - novelists - have confided to me that getting the prize screwed them up. It messed with their heads. That hasn't been my experience.
The Pulitzer isn't a physical object. You can't hold it in your hand. You get some money ($7,500 in my day), and you get a little Tiffany's paperweight with your name on it and the image of Joseph Pulitzer suspended in the crystal. When people see my 'Pulitzer' (I keep it in my sock drawer), they are pretty amazed at its meagerness.
What I do when I create a character is put in details from all the people I know who might be like that person, and then put in a huge amount of myself.
When I wrote The Virgin Suicides, I gave myself very strict rules about the narrative voice: the boys would only be able to report what they had seen or found or what had been told to them.
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