Wednesday, December 9, 2015

William Maxwell on his habit of work

From his 1982 Paris Review interview:

I like to work in my bathrobe and pajamas, after breakfast, until I suddenly perceive, from what’s on the page in the typewriter, that I’ve lost my judgment. And then I stop. It’s usually about twelve thirty. But I hate getting dressed. The cleaning woman (who may not approve of it, though she’s never said), my family, the elevator men, the delivery boy from Gristedes — all of them are used to seeing me in this unkempt condition. What it means to me is probably symbolic — you can have me after I’ve got my trousers on, but not before. When I retired from The New Yorker they offered me an office, which was very generous of them because they’re shy on space, but I thought, “What would I do with an office at The New Yorker ? I would have to put my trousers on and ride the subway downtown to my typewriter. No good.”
Other William Maxwell posts
On childhood and familiar objects : On “the greatest pleasure there is” : On Melville and Cather : On sentences

[Gristedes: a New York supermarket chain.]

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