The 9 Oct New Yorker features an article by Milan Kundera called “What is a Novelist: How great writers are made”. And, um, I really, really hope it was written with tongue firmly in cheek cause otherwise these are the pearls of wisdom Mr Kundera offers:
Novelists are like lyric poets except that youth is the lyrical age and novelists are old.
To be a novelist you must tear away your lyrical chyrsalis.
We are always wearing make-up.
The novelist must tear through the curtain of pre-interpretation.
Girl characters are actually based on boy characters.
Readers don’t read novels they read themselves reading novels.
We must all embrace the Whole.
Beat your grandmother.
To which I can only say, “Innit!”1
- “Innit” is the one word in the entire world that has the magical property of instantly undoing the pretentiousness of anything previously said. I imagine Mr Kundera must have to use it A LOT. [↩]