I have a very beautiful room that in my house that we bought in Princeton. It's glass on three sides, and you'd think that's the perfect place to write. Somehow in that nice room I feel too exposed, and I can notice I'm too distracted by things going on, so I end up writing in a not-very-nice office bedroom.
Well, marriage doesn't function in the way it used to in terms of deciding our fate, but it's in our heads, and it determines a lot of our actions. Like, right now, if you think about gay marriage - and they just started having the first gay marriages in New York - it shows what a potent idea marriage remains for people.
I mean, when I got to Brown, the place was riven, because you had older professors who were basically new critics and had been teaching a certain way for 30 years. And then you had this other gang who was down with the semiotic program. And as a student, you were, in a way, forced to choose which cohort you were going with.
The daily act of writing remains as demanding and maddening as it was before, and the pleasure you get from writing - rare but profound - remains at the true heart of the enterprise. On their best days, writers all over the world are winning Pulitzers, all alone in their studios, with no one watching.