Who would I say were my literary forebears — those I
have learned the most from? Mark Twain, Flaubert, Stendhal, Bach,
Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Andrew Marvell, John Donne, Maupassant, the
good Kipling, Thoreau, Captain Marryat, Shakespeare, Mozart, Quevedo, Dante, Virgil,
Tintoretto, Hieronymus Bosch, Beethoven, Brueghel, Patinir, Goya, Giotto, Cézanne, Van
Gogh, Gauguin, San Juan de la Cruz, Góngora — it would
take a day to remember everyone. I put in painters
because I learn as much from painters about how to
write as from writers. What one learns from composers and from
the study of harmony and counterpoint is an obvious fact.
Paraphrases from George Plimpton’s Interview of Ernest Hemingway.