The history of a city was like the history of a family – there is closeness, and even affection, but death eventually separates everyone from each other. It is only the vividness of memory that keeps the dead alive forever; a writer’s job is to imagine everything so personally that the fiction is as vivid as our personal memories.
Life is sadly not structured like a good old-fashioned novel. Instead, an ending occurs when those who are meant to peter out have petered out. All that’s left is memory. But even a nihilist has a memory.
In this dirty-minded world, you are either somebody’s wife or somebody’s wh**e – or fast on your way to becoming one or the other. If you don’t fit either category, then everyone tries to make you think there is something wrong with you. But there is nothing wrong with me.
If you are careful, if you use good ingredients, and you don’t take any shortcuts, then you can usually cook something very good. Sometimes it is the only worthwhile product you can salvage from a day: what you make to eat. With writing, I find, you can have all the right ingredients, give plenty of time and care, and still get nothing. Also true of love. Cooking, therefore, can keep a person who tries hard sane.