“I Prefer to Write By Hand Rather Than Type”

From an essay by Hanif Kureishi that appears in the book, How I Write: The Secret Lives of Authors, published by Rizzoli International Publications.

I prefer to write by hand rather then type; the movement of the arms seems closer to drawing—doodling, rather—and to inner movement. Ultimately these are habits; daily repetitions. A new thing is an excuse for another thing the same. Then you know who you are. Beckett is full of these obsessions—you might call his an aesthetic of futile repetitions.

Don’t think I haven’t noticed that many artists are as compelled by the rituals which surround their art—silence, covering paper, screwing it up, tossing it in the bin—as much as the matter itself. After a few years it becomes obvious that the art is there to serve the ritual, which is everything. If you aren’t an obsessive, you can’t be an artist, however imaginative you might be.

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