more lessing


LESSING: Listen, I feel — I’m sure I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again — there’s a kind of problem between critics and writers. A writer falls in love with an idea and gets carried away. A critic looks at the finished product and ignores the rush of a river that went into the writing, which has nothing to do with the kind of temperate thoughts you have about it.

If you can imagine the sheer bloody pleasure of having an idea and taking it! It’s one of the great pleasures in my life. My god, an idea!

IDEAS: You’ve written that past the age of 60, “you float away from the personal. You have received the great gift of getting older — detachment, impersonality.” Isn’t it possible to get too detached?

LESSING: I can’t judge. You do become more distant from the passions of your youth, thank God. How would we be able to live, if we’re always in a state of turmoil?

more from Boston Globe Ideas here.