"A writer discovers what he knows as he knows it, i.e., as he makes it. No artist writes in order to objectify an 'idea' already formed. It is the person or novel or story that quite precisely tells him what he didn't know he knew: he knows, that is, only in terms of his writing. This is, of course, simply another way of saying that literary composition is not the placing of a held idea into a waiting form."
Say what? What is this man talking about? Talking first and thinking afterward?
Funny, I always thought writing was the expression of an idea. (I gather ideas are rare commodities in the present literary sphere.)
Note in the quote that Sorrentino says "NO artist writes" to "objectify an 'idea.'" (He questions that there are ideas.) Sorrentino says that a writer knows "only" in terms of his writing. Really? This is believing the writer exists in ignorance like a drooling baby in its crib, gazing mindlessly at vague pink and blue baby shapes, then out of nowhere finds knowledge-- though not ideas. A solipsistic outlook!
The Sorrentino quote is a good explanation though for why contemporary American literature sucks.