Well, look at how much stands in the way of us being ourselves. Our circumstances—in John’s case, it was poverty. In this context, John came as close to succeeding as anybody I have ever met. He did what he wanted to do. I mean, even though he couldn’t really start writing until he was in his thirties, he damn well started. So he came as close as anyone I can imagine to becoming himself. He was willing to make whatever sacrifice and to face whatever challenge. He just kept going.
I think he wasn’t much interested in exploring himself, or maybe that’s what he did with his novels. I mean, he wasn’t interested in talking about himself at all. He was witty, and he was funny and always doing something, pickling his cucumbers. He was very active. The last thing he wanted was to have an earnest conversation.
Gran bella intervista alla moglie dello scrittore John Williams. Se hai apprezzato Stoner, devi assolutamente leggerla. Tra l’altro ho finito per conoscere il suo primo libro, che non sapevo neanche fosse stato tradotto in italiano: Nulla, solo la notte.