‘I am not writing for an audience; I am writing, and if I have an audience I am very glad. I shocked some people the other night by saying writing is really like shitting; and then, reading the letters of Pushkin a little later, I found he said exactly the same thing! It’s something you have to get out of you. I didn’t write for a long time at one stage, and built up such an accumulation of shit that I wrote The Tree of Man.’
From ‘In the Making’ (a speech he gave in 1970)
Ha, creativity .. got to do something!
I did a bit of a search for Pushkin’s having made the same comparison White did but the closest I found was ‘”One really cannot blame him”, Pushkin wrote to his wife of the Tsar – “if you live in a privy you get used to the smell of shit.”’ John Bayley, Pushkin, A Comparative Commentary. Not quite the same.
Best regards, Phil
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