INTERVIEWER

But haven’t you found that being a woman presented to you, as an artist, certain special problems? It seems to me that a great deal of the upbringing of women encourages the dispersion of the self in many small bits, and that the practice of any kind of art demands a corraling and concentrating of that self and its always insufficient energies.

PORTER

I think that’s very true and very right. You’re brought up with the notion of feminine chastity and inaccessibility, yet with the curious idea of feminine availability in all spiritual ways, and in giving service to anyone who demands it. And I suppose that’s why it has taken me twenty years to write this novel; it’s been interrupted by just anyone who could jimmy his way into my life.

Katherine Anne Porter, Paris Review Issue 29