The Writing Life: City or Country?

I'm a much more alert observer when I'm in the city than in the country. And I'm still a stranger here.

- Charles Simic

I was afraid that moving up to the country would kill my writing. I thought everything depended on being in the city, on noise. For the first seven years, I lived in an old farmhouse on a ten-acre plot. I could only see the neighbors from certain angles of my property. It was dead silent, especially in winter, and I hated every minute of it. Because for me, some of my greatest verbal rushes would come from just walking around and not really eavesdropping on people but catching their clouds of words. And also stepping into the subway, the great road of the train pulling into the station - that seemed to generate language.

- Luc Sante, Paris Review, The Art of Non-Fiction No. 9