"We hear the questions all the time. Should the writer teach English composition or shouldn’t he? Should the writer accept the money of some dead tycoon or shouldn’t he? Is it worse from a dead tycoon or a live tycoon? Should the writer smoke marijuana or shouldn’t he? Can he survive in New York? Is Yaddo bad for you? Should he have a telephone?… All this talk about ourselves, all these symposiums and pronouncements… sometimes I have the feeling that everybody is out reading the interviews and nobody’s at home with the novels."
Read the rest of Philip Roth’s 1960 National Book Award acceptance speech here.