“At the time, I firmly believed that writers formed a lost tribe and spent their lives wandering the world and telling stories in all languages. That was their sentence for some unnameable crime. Hugo and Tolstoy were convicts. I found no other explanation for them having written those voluminous novels I devoured each night, in hiding. I imagined them with their feet in chains, seated next to an enormous inkwell carved out of rock. Which is why, later, I was reluctant to write thick books. I didn’t want to frighten children.” (13)
“Only a guy on unemployment who’s paid his rent can read War and Peace without skipping any of the descriptions of the landscape. I’d add to this short list of marathon readers the secretaries who plough through Stephen King’s massive bricks with shawls around their shoulders because of the Arctic cold that reigns in the downtown office towers. Most people prefer slimmed-down books. “No more than two hundred pages or I won’t even crack the book,” a celebrated literary critic recently declared on German television. I belong to that group of people who don’t watch TV, but who can’t stop quoting it. It’s like a Chinese proverb: you can make it mean anything you want.” (78-9)
i guess he doesn’t read long books anymore, either. but at least he doesn’t write them in hypocrisy.