Tender Is the Night
Here´s a bed quilt I´m making.
Far from being finished, I did the binding so I can use
it already comfortably while sleeping, not very daintily
I´m afraid, on my cold, narrow bed in Berlin...
"Cervantes was asleep when he wrote Don Quixote.
Joyce slept during the Wandering Rocks section of Ulysses.
Homer nodded and occasionally slept during the greater part
of the Iliad; he was awake however when he wrote the Odyssey.
Proust snored his way through The Captive, as have legions
of his readers after him.
Melville was asleep at the wheel for much of Moby-Dick.
Fitzgerald slept through Tender Is the Night, which is
perhaps not so surprising,
but the fact that Mann slumbered on the very slopes of
The Magic Mountain is quite extraordinary —
that he wrote it, even more so.
Kafka, of course, never slept, even while not writing
or on bank holidays.
No one knows too much about George Eliot’s writing habits —
my guess is she would sleep a few minutes, wake up and write
something, then pop back to sleep again.
Lew Wallace’s forty winks came, incredibly, during the
chariot race in Ben-Hur.
Emily Dickinson slept on her cold, narrow bed in Amherst.
When she awoke there would be a new poem inscribed
by Jack Frost on the windowpane; outside, glass foliage chimed.
Good old Walt snored as he wrote and, like so many of us,
insisted he didn’t.
Maugham snored on the Riviera.
Agatha Christie slept daintily, as a woman sleeps,
which is why her novels are like tea sandwiches —
artistic, for the most part (...)
(from John Ashbery: Sleepers Awake)