Alice Munro in her own words
Ontario author Alice Munro has been named the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Here are some quotes from the 82-year-old author:
- "I never have a problem with finding material. I wait for it to turn up, and it always turns up. It’s dealing with the material I’m inundated with that poses the problem."
- "A story is not like a road to follow … it's more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you."
"I want to tell a story, in the old-fashioned way — what happens to somebody — but I want that 'what happens' to be delivered with quite a bit of interruption, turnarounds, and strangeness. I want the reader to feel something is astonishing — not the 'what happens' but the way everything happens. These long short story fictions do that best, for me."
- "I don't think of myself as notably modest. [The Nobel Prize] could be a tremendous joke, but I don't think it is."
- “I can't play bridge. I don't play tennis. All those things that people learn, and I admire, there hasn't seemed time for. But what there is time for is looking out the window."
- "As soon as a man and woman of almost any age are alone together within four walls it is assumed that anything may happen. Spontaneous combustion, instant fornication, triumph of the senses. What possibilities men and women must see in each other to infer such dangers. Or, believing in the dangers, how often they must think about the possibilities."
- "This is what I wonder: what do most people do once the necessity of working all the time is removed? Even the retired people who take courses and have hobbies are looking for something to fill this void, and I feel such horror of being like that and having that kind of life. The only thing that I’ve ever had to fill my life has been writing. So I haven’t learned how to live a life with a lot of diversity. The only other life I can imagine is a scholarly life, which I probably idealize."
Sources: Paris Review, CBC interviews, The Canadian Press, Goodreads.com