Something Hisham Matar said last night stuck in my brain and won`t exit: that for certain cities (like New York, like LA perhaps, like London or anywhere that we encounter extensively in a literary context before visiting), we have to remain longer to really `be` there. Though I have been to New York many times, I have never stayed for more than a few days at a time and this means it is hard to shake off the preconceived ideas I have about the city. It`s hard to really `get at` New York unless one can talk to many people, spend enough time here for the city to develop as a character independent of all that`s written about it.
|Hassam`s Washington Square Arch|
I think about many writers as I walk around New York: Henry James especially around Washington Square. Theodore Dreiser (I love Sister Carrie). Pete Hamill (who, in his novel Forever, is granted eternal life as long as he never leaves Manhattan.
And, of course, Woody Allen. I probably know far more about New York from watching Woody Allen films than I do from anything I`ve ever seen here with my own eyes.
|I keep looking for Diane Keaton|