For me, the novel is the product of this liberal mentality, for good and for bad. It is about freedom and absolutely not about freedom. It is about making moral subjects and also absolutely not about that. I had a sense of it’s double-dealing nature as a student-reader, but now I am a writer-critic and know writers I see how easily that schizophrenic mindset is created; how faulty and fallible writers are and how little in control of their material, really. They do not write from a place of critique outside of the culture, and they are not priests or judges. They’re just scribblers, immersed in the illusions and deceptions of their time.

-Zadie Smith in interview with Jennifer Hodgson in The White Review, No. 15.


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