I think if Dickens was alive today, he’d have been working for the BBC, until HBO offered him much more money.
The knowledge of foreign cultures is a vital element of any culture; I don’t believe we can ever have enough of it. A culture must be open to foreign influences if it wants to keep its own creative power alive.
I read a lot of classical books, like The Return of the Native and all, and I like them, and I read a lot of war books and mysteries and all, but they don’t knock me out too much. What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.