On Writing & Coffee, #1

by wechslerh66

INTERVIEWER

What is your writing schedule now?

HOUELLEBECQ

I wake up during the night around one a.m. I write half-awake in a semi-conscious state. Progressively, as I drink coffee, I become more conscious. And I write until I’m sick of it.

INTERVIEWER

Do you have other requirements for writing?

HOUELLEBECQ

Flaubert said you had to have a permanent erection. I haven’t found that to be the case. I need to take a walk now and then. Otherwise, in terms of dietary requirements, coffee works, it’s true. It takes you through all the different stages of consciousness. You start out semicomatose. You write. You drink more coffee and your lucidity increases, and it’s in that in-between period, which can last for hours, that something interesting happens.

–Michel Houellebecq, quoted in the Fall 2010 Paris Review

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