The strongest bond I have ever had

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I’ve never made a career of anything, you know, not even of writing. I started out with nothing in the world but a kind of passion, a driving desire. I don’t know where it came from, and I don’t know why—or why I have been so stubborn about it that nothing could deflect me. But this thing between me and my writing is the strongest bond I have ever had—stronger than any bond or any engagement with any human being or with any other work I’ve ever done. I really started writing when I was six or seven years old. But I had such a multiplicity of half-talents, too: I wanted to dance, I wanted to play the piano, I sang, I drew. It wasn’t really dabbling—I was investigating everything, experimenting in everything. And then, for one thing, there weren’t very many amusements in those days. If you wanted music, you had to play the piano and sing yourself. Oh, we saw all the great things that came during the season, but after all, there would only be a dozen or so of those occasions a year. The rest of the time we depended upon our own resources: our own music and books. All the old houses that I knew when I was a child were full of books, bought generation after generation by members of the family. Everyone was literate as a matter of course. Nobody told you to read this or not to read that. It was there to read, and we read.

Katherine Anne Porter, intervista di «the Paris Review», 1963

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