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Jeffrey Eugenides Quotes
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It was painful, but sometimes you must have these painful moments where you tear yourself away from something that isn't working.
A few years ago in Chicago, I rented an office, and I went there every day. For the most part I do work at home in an ugly room.
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.
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 was engrossed with the book, I was having difficulties with it, and I just didn't notice the years were going by.
I spend most of every day writing. I like to write every day if I can. I don't start extremely early.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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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Image of the Moment
Isaac Bashevis Singer
H. P. Lovecraft
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