Paris Review – The Art of Fiction No. 62, John Cheever

swimmer1 2

INTERVIEWER: I was reading the confessions of a novelist on writing novels: “If you want to be true to reality, start lying about it.” What do you think?

JOHN CHEEVER: Rubbish. For one thing the words “truth” and “reality” have no meaning at all unless they are fixed in a comprehensible frame of reference. There are no stubborn truths. As for lying, it seems to me that falsehood is a critical element in fiction. Part of the thrill of being told a story is the chance of being hoodwinked or taken. Nabokov is a master at this. The telling of lies is a sort of sleight of hand that displays our deepest feelings about life.

via Paris Review – The Art of Fiction No. 62, John Cheever.

3 comments

  1. Greatly indebted to you for introducing me to this marvelous series of interviews. All writers, it seems, are different. And all views are valid. This is what I believe. Still, I’ve always been fascinated to find that some of the very best writers hate each other and think the other is producing rubbish.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: