Happy Birthday, Darrel Bristow-Bovey, born 6 April 1971
- The books I’ve read, even if I never read them again, mean more to me than any words I’ve written. I don’t mean to be melodramatic, but try as I might, I can’t bring myself to think of myself as anything more than the sum of the books I own.
- It’s like Paris in the 1920s out there, only more middle-aged and without the cheap cost of living. If each unpublished word currently sloshing around desktop folders titled ‘Novel’ were a droplet of water, we’d all be knee-deep and complaining how CNN doesn’t care about floods in the Third World.
- Perhaps it is just a form of delusion or narcissism, but there are worse ways of being delusional and narcissistic than trying to forge from language something simultaneously real and imaginary, something that – if it comes out right – will make the world at once larger and more beautiful. Maybe, in these days of connectedness and status updates, the novel is still that thing that best offers the promise of sharing our inner worlds and curing the nagging, unshakeable loneliness of not being read.
- Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “Only a damn fool can sum up his worldview in a quote.”
- I do sometimes wonder how other people make a living, and what I can do when my luck runs out. The answer is if I stopped being able to make a living with words, I’d probably die. Not in some wafty spiritual way, but in a literal, hungry way.
- People asking you questions very seldom have your best interests at heart.
- I write about things that interest me – or at least, I do when I’m writing well. I suspect I’m really writing to make my dad proud of me.
- I would like to write several novels while people still read novels. I would like to fulfil some of the potential I still feel I have, while I feel I still have it. I would like to die very old and very happy, five minutes after my wife does (I don’t mean that in a creepy way, like I’m planning a murder-suicide).
- Because you have to know when to stop listening. You can’t believe them when they tell you that you’re not a writer. If you listen, then there will be nothing of you left and you will never write again.
Bristow-Bovey is a South African multi award-winning travel writer, scriptwriter, author and columnist. He won the Sir Percy Fitzpatrick Prize for fiction for SuperZero, his novel for young readers, and he was a finalist for the Caine Prize for African Writing.
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