Sunday, January 18, 2009

John Williams

For whatever reason I woke up at 3:30 this morning and haven't been able to get back to sleep. Before I gave up on falling asleep again. I started thinking about John Williams. No idea why. I mean, I loved Stoner and I've thought of it frequently since reading it, but nothing about my day brought it particularly to mind. So I turned on the computer and started googling, because I needed something to do with myself and didn't have the energy for either of the books I'm in the middle of. And I found this interview from the early 80s, in which Williams says:
"I write for the reader, more than I write for myself. The reader who puts down ten or twelve bucks for a book—really much more than that now—deserves some respect and consideration. We're arrogant about this, and people are more intelligent than we think they are. The so-called `common reader' is sometimes an 'un-common reader' and can click in and understand and like things more than most of us think they can."
I love that (and several of the other views Williams expresses in the interview). 

I also dug up The New Yorker's 1965 review. It was a very positive review of the book but kind of a terrible piece of literary criticism even making allowances for "Briefly Noted" form. Funny that.

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