It is impossible to fuse totally with a culture for which you feel a measure of antagonism.
I don’t work on my Sabbath. I write five-and-a-half or six days a week.
And these two elements are at odds with one another because Freud is utterly adversary to almost all the ways of structuring the human experience found in Western religions. No Western religion can countenance Freud’s view of man.
If I had a plot that was all set in advance, why would I want go through the agony of writing the novel? A novel is a kind of exploration and discovery, for me at any rate.
A book is sent out into the world, and there is no way of fully anticipating the responses it will elicit. Consider the responses called forth by the Bible, Homer, Shakespeare – let alone contemporary poetry or a modern novel.
Every man who has shown the world the way to beauty, to true culture, has been a rebel, a ‘universal’ without patriotism, without home, who has found his people everywhere.
In other words, Judaism is not Calvinism.
A non-fiction writer pretty much has the shape of the figure in front of him or her and goes about refining it. A work of non-fiction is not as difficult to write as a work of fiction, but it’s not as satisfying in the end.
Yes, there is some thought about making a film of My Name Is Asher Lev.
It is inconceivable to me that a million or three million or half a million human beings will think and feel precisely the same way on any single subject.
Two hundred or more years ago most people on the planet were never aware of any reality other than the one into which they were brought up.