My brother recommended a piece in a recent issue of The New Yorker. Said he thought of me when he read it — “THE HUNGER DIARIES: Life and Letters” by Mavis Gallant. At age 28, she left a job as a journalist in Montreal and went to Paris (1950). The following year she wrote her first piece for The New Yorker.
Love her musings, particularly these:
I am not pitying myself, because I chose it. Evidently this is the way it has to be. I am committed. It is a question of writing or not writing. There is no other way. If there is, I missed it.
He says I am not interesting enough for the kind of mind I seem to want. He says, “When you have a novel out you will be much more interesting, because you will be someone else. Now, there are many women like you, just as pretty, just as nice. You give all, you do all you can, you can fill a man’s life, but many women are like that. It is not enough.”
So much to finish and so much to keep me from it, like a wall of glass between myself and the page.
I wish there were someone who could say “yes” or “no,” “keep on writing” or else “give it up.” As long as there is no one but myself I shall of course keep on, but can I be trusted? And how could I trust an editor? Is he free to trust himself?