The Movie Lover ⇒

Pauline Kael, reflecting on her career in The New Yorker, 1994:

My pieces belong to the breakneck era before people could rent videos of old movies and before distributors began to supply reviewers with videos of new movies. (Reviewers can use the video as a text.) I wrote at first sight and, when referring to earlier work, from memory. This had an advantage: urgency, excitement. But it also led to my worst flaw as a writer: reckless excess, in both praise and damnation.

One of my problems as a writer in recent years is that I approach my words with too much caution. Deliberation is one word for it. Procrastination is another.

The urgency and excitement Kael writes about is something that has long been missing from my process; I wonder, often, how to get it back.