“‘The beautiful things we shall write if we have talent,’ Proust says, ‘are inside us, indistinct, like the memory of a melody which delights us though we are unable to recapture its outline. Those who are obsessed by this blurred memory of truths they have never known are the men who are gifted… Talent is like a sort of memory which will enable them finally to bring this indistinct music closer to them, to hear it clearly, to note it down …’
Talent, Proust says. I would say luck, and much labour.”
–From V.S. Naipaul’s Nobel Lecture in 2001. To watch him deliver the speech or to read it, click here.