Quotes by: Garth Risk Hallberg
|Garth Risk Hallberg
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
||City on Fire (2015)
I have this weird tropism for islands. Take me to an island as far from New York as I can possibly go.
The ego being shattered is not what frightens me - that can be useful for writing - but the ego being inflated is sort of like it dying of gout.
I had a major bug for cities and for paintings and literature and all the things I thought went on in cities.
I started coming up to New York at age 17. There was a girl I met over the summer somewhere; I was chasing her. I would drive up to D.C., where I had made some friends, which was about four hours away, and we would take the bus up to New York.
I remember reading 'The Hobbit' on a car trip from Ohio to Mississippi and getting out at a rest-stop in Mississippi and feeling jet-lagged at my return from Middle-earth.
One of the ways I stuck out was I was a very passionate reader. There was probably a cyclical nature to that; the more I felt like an outcast, the more I sought refuge in books, and the more I sought refuge in books, the more it made me not speak the same language as my peers.
I think there is a real thing going on where writers are feeling more liberated to write with a big canvas because of a demonstrable, continued appetite for long-form storytelling.
Writers since at least the heyday of Gore Vidal have bemoaned their audience's defection to other forms of entertainment.
For some reason, I spent my early thirties reading as much postwar Hungarian fiction as I could get my hands on.
I fell in love with New York at some indeterminate point in my early years.
I respect Billy Joel, but I'm not a guy who's gonna sit down and listen to the entire 'Essential Billy Joel.'
If I could do what Hilary Mantel does, I would probably do that. She is more intelligent and a better researcher and knows more what she's about than I do.
Narnia, Middle-earth and New York were my three fantasy universes when I was a kid.
I think several generations of my family had novels in the drawer. You know the montage in 'The Royal Tenenbaums' where each character has produced some sort of minor work? It was like having a magician in the household.
I'm not confident in my own ability to resist the titanic force of my own ego.
I find it heartening that readers are still excited about diving into a world.
I came to feel that, in addition to Imre Kertesz, Hungary has produced at least three contemporary novelists who deserve the Nobel: Peter Nadas, Peter Esterhazy and Laszlo Krasznahorkai.
Reading isn't about managing expectations. In certain ways, writing is. You're trying to send signals early in a book about what might be coming later, but I think worrying about the kind of chatter around a book is something I try and stay as far away from when I'm reading.
Sure, 'Les Miserables' can be melodramatic. And seeing the musical instead of reading the novel will save you some time and spare you the long part where Hugo goes on and on about the Parisian sewer system. But I would hate for the novel to lose that.
When I get online, there's this cycle of anxiety and narcissism that takes over, which is the part of me that I like the least.
In graduate school, I was a student of E.L. Doctorow, and he had us read 'Moby-Dick' in a week.
Reading was not just an escape or a Band-Aid; it was a deep form of feeling seen and recognized, and being able to see and recognize other kindred spirits. My dad was a writer, too, which also likely had something to do with that.