William Maxwell: The Landscape of Writing

Interview excerpt from the Paris Review:

Autobiography is simply the facts, but imagination is the landscape in which the facts take place, and the way that everything moves.


I just hang over the typewriter waiting to see what is going to happen. It begins with the very first sentence. I don’t will the sentence to come; I wait, as actively passive as I can possibly be. For some reason the phrase “Once upon a time” seems to be essential. Then, if I am sufficiently trusting, the rest of the story follows, and the last sentence is straight from the first.

For the full, read here.


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