Life: How the writer progresses

“If a writer is not simply going to repeat himself (which isn’t always a bad thing to do), he has to keep changing, more or less reinventing himself. He hopes that the changes are ‘developments’; that his ‘stages,’ like a rocket’s, are all pushing the same payload toward heaven, in their different ways. He hopes too—since some legs of the trip are liable to be rougher than others—that his audience will stay with him across the troll-bridges and that they’ll reach the sweet cabbage fields together. It may be that there is more troll than cabbage in these pieces; I hope not.”

—John Barth, The Friday Book

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