Arnon Grunberg



An interesting appraisal of Paul Bowles by Dwight Garner in today’s Times: 'Bowles’s demeanor did not always win him admirers. Gertrude Stein reportedly called him the “most spoiled, insensitive and self-indulgent young man” she’d ever met. Bowles never seemed to mind criticism, personal or professional. “No one can ever heap enough insults on me to suit my taste,” he once said. “I think we all really thrive on hostility, because it’s the most intense kind of massage the ego can undergo. Other people’s indifference is the only horror.”’

And also: ‘Bowles’s best work remained dark. “If I stress the various facets of unhappiness, it is because I believe unhappiness should be studied very carefully,” he told an interviewer. “This certainly is no time for anyone to pretend to be happy, or to put his unhappiness away in the dark. You must watch your universe as it cracks above your head.”’