In the latest issue of The Paris Review, Christian Lorentzen interviews Gordon Lish:

Christian Lorentzen: You were talking about your inability to apprehend the word when you walked down the street or to put your experience into words. What is the difference between that and sitting down with the text as an editor?

Gordon Lish: Entirely separate actions of the mind, of the heart. Words seem to me safe sites for me to inhabit. I think I’ve always been afraid of everything actual, and less afraid – or not afraid at all, finally – of what can constitute the made, and the made apart from the given. I’m afraid of my children. I’m afraid of my wives. I’m afraid of my friends, of my father, of you. I find succour in my playthings, the components of a composition I’m conniving with.

For those without a subscription, enjoy an extract from the interview on The Guardian.

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