Saul, how should I feel about Picasso?
I said, “Saul, I am a novelist, and many of my friends are novelists and good ones, but when we talk I keep feeling we are in two very different businesses. What makes me feel that way?”
Six seconds passed, and then he said, “It’s very simple. There are two sorts of artists, one not being in the least superior to the other. But one responds to the history of his or her art so far, and the other responds to life itself.”
I said, “Saul, are you gifted?”
Six seconds passed, and then he growled, “No, but what you respond to in any work of art is the artist’s struggle against his or her limitations.”