New Interview
Lily King

Lily King: “You don’t know until you start writing”

May 27, 2020

Ms. King, why is it important to see ourselves and our experiences represented in literature?

I remember when I was trying to become a writer, in my twenties and my thirties, I read so many books by men about male writers, about men yearning and slowly becoming writers, like Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast and James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I read those books over and over! And I guess I identified in some ways, but looking back, I realized that there just weren’t many narratives that I ever found about women having that same struggle, that was so overt; their ambition right on the page. I think I could have benefitted from a book like that, so I think it’s extremely important in that sense.

How did you experience that lack of representation?

I had a lot of shame and a lot of doubt when I was trying to be a writer! A number of people kind of belittled the endeavour and there was a sense that I probably shouldn’t have this ambition. And I mean, I think that men and women handle their literary desires and ambitions differently. I think I needed a book that would sort of confess the doubt and the shame and the panic, whereas I feel like the narrative that men write about — it’s more like this driving thing, and they believe in themselves! (Laughs) And they’re not really revealing all the psychological levels that go into a creative pursuit.

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Last week’s Interview
Sean Scully

Sean Scully: “The poet was always in me”

May 20, 2020

Mr. Scully, how much of the art that you create do you keep for yourself?

I keep a lot! And sometimes when I see certain paintings from my New York era, for example, come up at auction, I try to get them back. Sometimes I can’t, they go too high, but if I can do it, I like to get them back, they’re important to me. I have a very close relationship with them.

Do you still have your early pieces as well?

Oh, yeah. I have them from all periods. I can’t hang much in my house though because I live in a kind of imitation French farmhouse that was actually built by Bill Murray, the actor. He lives down the road from me! He’s a nice guy. I like him. But he bought a bigger house, a movie star’s house. I don’t want a movie star’s house — I want an artist’s house. So there’s not many places for big paintings but I have them and I make exhibitions with them. I’m going to make a big exhibition in Budapest in September with a lot of the paintings that I own so I get to see them and I get to create with them. It’s a great privilege.