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Donna Tartt on Teaching

Tartt claims her goals were much more modest. First, to get the book published. Then to parlay that into "a job teaching at some appealing little school." Which she still might do. Tartt sees herself lecturing on literature - "if you teach literature, basically you are teaching creative writing" - sharing her own favorites with fledgling novelists. She'd include Conrad - "good in terms of seeing how books are put together," and Dickens, "a very benevolent presence," whom she read for encouragement when the going got rough. Not Joyce. "There are some writers that are beautiful but no help at all for the young writer," she says. "Basically Joyce makes you never want to write again."

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