or rather, on the difference between British and American literary success:
“Whereas a British literary success would be rather low on incident (do radio interview; have lunch with publisher; get boiler mended), it is true that the American version provides considerable drama . . . You become a millionaire. You are mobbed in the street. Pale ‘loners’ have your picture tacked to the dartboard. Gossip columnists pair you off with Liza Minelli. Your sexual confessions increase the sale of pantyhose, nationwide. PR firms want your mother to star in their rollmop commercials.” [on Philip Roth]
“It is hard to imagine the kind of freedom that was suddenly Mailer’s. After an equivalent success, an English writer might warily give up his job as a schoolmaster, or buy a couple of filing cabinets. But Mailer had the whole of America to play with.” [on Norman Mailer]
“When success happens to an English writer, he acquires a new typewriter. When success happens to an American writer, he acquires a new life. The transformation is more or less inexorable.” [on Kurt Vonnegut].