A pretty nice book, for someone whose work involves torturing in a long time. Below are a few quotes I love.

I don’t think most people would like my personality. There might be a few – very few, I would imagine – who are impressed by it, but only rarely would anyone like it. Who in the world could possibly have warm feelings, or something like them, for a person who doesn’t compromise, who instead, whenever a problem crops up, locks himself away alone in a closet? But is it ever possible for a professional writer to be liked by people? I have no idea. Maybe somewhere in the world it is.

It’s all at this point that I encounter my first dead dog. A large, brown dog. I don’t see any external injuries. It’s just laid out in the middle of the road. I figured it’s a stray that got hit by a speeding car in the middle of the night. The body still looks warm, so it doesn’t seem dead. It looks more like it’s just sleeping. The truck drivers zooming past don’t give it a glance.

A little further on I run across a cat that’s been flattened by a car. The cat is totally flat, like some mis-shapen pizza, and dried up. It must have been run over a while ago.

That’s the kind of road I’m talking about.

And I always think this. THey put up with such strenuous training, and where did their thoughts, their hopes and dreams, disappear to? When people pass away, do their thoughts just vanish?

If I’m asked what the next most important quality is for a novelist, that’s easy too: focus – the ability to concentrate all your limited talents on whatever’s critical at the moment. Without that you can’t accomplish anything of value, while, if you can focus effectively, you’ll be able to compensate for an erratic talent or even a shortage of it. I generally concentrate on work for three or four hours every morning.

To deal with something unhealthy, a person needs to be as healthy as possible. That’s my motto. In other words, an unhealthy soul requires a healthy body.

I’m not a human. I’m a piece of machinery. I don’t need to feel a thing. Just forge on ahead.

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