Robert Stone, novelist: 'I find the work of Joseph Conrad more and more satisfying for its insight into the human condition'
Thursday 10 July 2014
Where are you now and what do you see?
I am in Manhattan, on the sixth floor of a building constructed before World War Two. I am in the room that I am using as a study, and what I see from my window is block after block of post-1960's high-rise, brick apartment buildings and a small slice of the East River.
What are you currently reading?
I've been reading war histories – Max Hastings' Catastrophe, for example, and Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves.
Choose a favourite author and say why you admire her/him
As I get older and read him more thoroughly, I find the work of Joseph Conrad more and more satisfying for its insight into the human condition. His preface to the unfortunately-named but undeniably brilliant novel, The Nigger of Narcissus is one of the most profound commentaries on literature ever written by an author.
Describe the room where you usually write
I usually live in Key West, where the room I write in consists of windows and bookshelves. It adjoins a tropical garden where I can occasionally see an iguana. To avoid distractions I write on an old computer with no Internet connection.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
I identify with Ishmael, the narrator of Moby Dick. He is a thoughtful observer of the men around him, and of Captain Ahab's pursuit of the great white whale of the novel's title. Ishmael's survival is linked with his insight.
Who is your hero/heroine outside literature?
Abraham Lincoln, one of history's incomparable political heroes.
Robert Stone's latest novel is 'Death of the Black Haired Girl', (Corsair)
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets
Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Optical illusion turns blue demon into brunette
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal to donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
- 5 Mystery sea creature - with 'fur' and 'a beak' - washes up on remote Russian beach, baffling scientists
Top Gear: Former co-host James May to present new BBC2 car show
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
'Dukes of Hazzard' pulled from screens by CBS as outcry over Confederate flag grows
Game of Thrones season 6: Release date, plots and dragons - everything we know so far
Game of Thrones: Leaked season six script introduces new 'red priestess' and hints at Daenerys Targaryen's next chapter
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture