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This week, The Paris Review is feeling leisurely and lethargic and embracing the idea of daydreams. Read on for Samuel R. Delany’s Art of Fiction interview, Jessi Jezewska Stevens’s short story “Honeymoon,” and Mary Jo Bang’s poem “Q Is the Quick.”
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Samuel R. Delany, The Art of Fiction No. 210
Issue no. 197, Summer 2011
Today I’m a five-o’clock-in-the-morning riser. Although I do stare at the wall a lot.
Stare at the wall?
I think of myself as a very lazy writer, though other people see it differently. My daughter, who recently graduated from medical school, once told me, “Dad, I’ve never known anyone who works as hard as you. You’re up at four, five o’clock in the morning, you work all day, then you collapse. At nine o’clock, you’re in bed, then you’re up the next morning at four to start all over again.”
Gide says somewhere that art and crime both require leisure time to flourish. I spend a lot of time thinking, if not daydreaming. People think of me as a genre writer, and a genre writer is supposed to be prolific. Since that’s how people perceive me, they have to say I’m prolific. But I don’t find that either complimentary or accurate.