What is the single most important quality in a tennis champion? I would have to say desire, staying in there and winning matches when you are not playing that well.
On page 605, Blumenthal says that 'I made friends with Hitchens's friends the novelists Martin Amis and Salman Rushdie.' True in its way. I particularly remember the occasion when he called me up and invited me to dinner with Dick Morris, but only on condition that I brought Rushdie (who was staying in my house) along with me. No Rushdie: no invitation. So I never did get to meet Dick Morris.
Imagination, it turns out, is a great deal like reporting in your own head. Here is a paradox of fiction-writing. You are crafting something from nothing, which means, in one sense, that none of it is true. Yet in the writing, and perhaps in the reading, some of a character's actions or lines are truer than others.
I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W.I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never.
Then all at once our personal and political quarrels were made very abruptly to converge. In the special edition of the published to mark the events of September 11, 2001, Edward painted a picture of an almost fascist America where Arab and Muslim citizens were being daily terrorized by pogroms, these being instigated by men like Paul Wolfowitz who had talked of 'ending' the regimes that sheltered Al Quaeda. Again, I could hardly credit that these sentences were being produced by a cultured person, let alone printed by a civilized publication.
It was a good 15 or 20 years before anyone at Rand would be in the same room with me. They didn't want the question raised, 'What's your relationship with Daniel Ellsberg?' And not one of them wrote me a letter because they didn't want a letter of theirs to show up in my trash - which the FBI had been going through.
Now as I climb this mountain, from the top of which I shall see Africa, my mind is printed with brown-paper parcels and your faces. I have been stained by you and corrupted. You smelt so unpleasant, too, lining up outside doors to buy tickets. All were dressed in indeterminate shades of grey and brown, never even a blue feather pinned to a hat. None had the courage to be one thing rather than another. What dissolution of the soul you demanded in order to get through one day, what lies, bowings, scrapings, fluency and servility! How you chained me to one spot, one hour, one chair, and sat yourselves down opposite! How you snatched from me the white spaces that lie between hour and hour and rolled them into dirty pellets and tossed them into the wastepaper basket with your greasy paws. Yet those were my life.
Quite honestly I never had a desire to be an actor. I tell people, I did not choose acting acting chose me. I never grew up wanting to be an actor. I wanted to play football. In about 9th grade an English teacher told me I had a talent to act. He said I should audition for a performing arts high school so I did on a whim. I got accepted.