Sometimes people ask me, "are you just a novelist, or do you write other stuff?" I used to say "I'm just a novelist, the way Michelangelo was just a painter." This created an appropriate sense of bafflement, because people didn't know what point I was making, or whether I was making a point at all, or whether I was just ignorant about the career of Michelangelo.
Now when people ask, I say, "I'm just a novelist, the way a lark is just a bird." This is truer.
Denis Johnson (1949-2017)
4 hours ago