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.