A book is actually a place, a place where we, as adults, still have the chance to engage in active imagining, translating word to image, connecting these images to memories, dreams, and larger ideas. Television, film, even the stage play, have already been imagined for us, but the book, in whatever form we choose to interact with it, forces us to complete it.
Having solidarity is important and having conviction and sticking with it and also consistency. You can't just have one good record, or a couple of good singles, you have to continue making good music to be considered to be a great band. Having some degree of integrity, that's it in one word.
Kafka could never have written as he did had he lived in a house. His writing is that of someone whose whole life was spent in apartments, with lifts, stairwells, muffled voices behind closed doors, and sounds through walls. Put him in a nice detached villa and he'd never have written a word.
I can fairly be called an amateur because I do what I do, in the original sense of the word - for love, because I love it. On the other hand, I think that those of us who make our living writing history can also be called true professionals.
Any moral philosophy is exceedingly rare. This of Menu addresses our privacy more than most. It is a more private and familiar, and at the same time, a more public and universal word, than is spoken in parlor or pulpit nowadays.