Philip Roth: Finding Form

Quotes from Philip Roth about finding form and shape:

About the work…

“I am a turner of sentences. That’s my life. I write a sentence and then I turn it around. Then I look at it and I turn it around again. Then I have lunch. Then I come back in and write another sentence. Then I have tea and turn the new sentence around. Then I read the two sentences over and turn them both around. Then I lie down on my sofa and think. Then I get up and throw them out and start from the beginning.”

If you paint as opposed to write, you walk around, look away, look out the window, imagine the work from another room. The image simmers, percolates in the background, forming up for you, if you let it.

About objectivity…

“Obviously the facts are never just coming at you but are incorporated by an imagination that is formed by your previous experience. Memories of the past are not memories of facts but memories of your imaginings of the facts.”

We are clouds of energy, on the subatomic level; we derive our self-definition, our ego, from a chaos of experience – we form our chaotic experiences into words and images and adhere them to stories we tell about ourselves, to ourselves, and others.