I am a rereader. Quality is variety if you wait long enough. Barthes, Baudelaire, Benjamin, Celine, Duras, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Melville: There is so much to revisit. 'Ingrid Caven,' by Jean-Jacques Schuhl, is always in rotation. I used to read 'Morvern Callar,' by Alan Warner, every year - I adored that book.
The late Seventies was the death of the manufacturing age in the United States. It was also a time when the Pictures Generation artists were getting started. They co-opted the language of advertising. The factory disappeared, and weirdly, so did the art object - it was the age of making gestures, not objects.
I don't believe that intelligence can be reduced to a number, frankly. But I can see how doing exactly that produces a useful sorting mechanism in our society in order to separate children into categories of promising and doomed. The tests seem arbitrary and without real scientific value and yet have lasting consequences.
I have spent a lot of time listening to people who are serving life sentences and getting to know them and the circumstances of their lives. I have never met anyone serving a long prison sentence who had anything close to what I could call a childhood; instead, the upbringings always - always - involve extreme situations of poverty and abuse.
Writing does produce a very unique satisfaction. There are times when I'm writing that it's frustrating or appalling or difficult, but when it goes well, it goes really well, and there is a feeling of rightness, like I'm doing the thing I was meant to do, almost in a mystical way, like I'm at an appropriate angle to the world.
I am just getting into Zora Neale Hurston, who is possibly a much better writer than the critics and rivals who tried to erase her from history, resulting in a life in which she worked as a maid and died in a welfare nursing home. She's clever. She does something modern to the sentence.