15 Things Paul Theroux said at the Singapore Writers Festival today
Well-known novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux today delivered a lecture titled “The Road I Travelled” at the SOTA lecture theatre as part of the Singapore Writers Festival 2014. Here are the 15 things he said during his lecture:
- When you write, you question authority
- As a travel writer, you write for yourself.
- You travel because you have an identity crisis (psychologist Eric Ericsson’s term). You have to have a sense of individualism (the process of individuation).
- You travel because you don’t want to be told what to do with your life
- As a travel writer, you should see things as they are. Telling the truth, writing about what you see is enough of a mission (for a writer like me).
- Describe things as you see them, not as you wish to see them
- I took a train from Victoria station in London to Singapore.
- As a travel writer, you travel to have a ‘bad’ time, so to speak; as a tourist, you travel to have a good time
- Sometimes what you see and you write about it upsets people.
- Writing fiction is very difficult. It involves a lot of anxiety. You are never sure where you are going
- I write about people, I am not interested in architecture but people. I write about them
- I am interested in what the world is and what the world was
- It is not straight north for development and eventually things fall apart
- As a traveler, you learn that money does not make a difference. Angola has oil and diamond and gold but the average person there is very poor.
- H D Thoreau’s Walden is very relevant for Singapore.