”The writing life is mostly about stamina. To get to the finishing line requires the writing to become more interesting than everyday life, and a log fire, like everyday life, is never boring.”

© 2018 Deborah Levy, The cost of living.

Fridge door reminder

Barbara Hepworth working. Source: Getty Images.

„The moths seemed to like landing on the two photographs I had stuck on to the fridge door with magnets. One was of the British sculptor Barbara Hepworth, age sixty, a carving tool in her hand, leaning into the giant sphere of wood she was shaping. She had burst solid form open to make a pierced form, a hole, after the birth of her first child in 1931. Hepworth described sculpture as ‘the three-dimensional realization of an idea’.

Louise Bourgeois in her main studio in Brooklyn in 1991.

The other photograph was of the sculptor Louise Bourgeois, age ninety, an iron carving tool in her hand, leaning over a white sculptural sphere that came to her waist. In the photograph she was wearing a chiffon blouse under a black tunic, her silver hair pulled into a bun, small gold hoops in her ears. Bourgeois had unfashionably declared that she made art because her emotions were bigger than herself.“

© 2018 Deborah Levy, The cost of living.


”When I returned to London, my local Turkish newsagent gave me a fur pom-pom key ring. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so I attached it to my handbag. There is something very uplifting about a pom-pom. I went for a walk in Hyde Park with a male colleague and it bounced around in a light-hearted manner as we kicked our way through the autumn leaves. It was a free spirit, madly joyful, part animal, part something else. It was so much happier than I was.”

© 2018 Deborah Levy, The cost of living.


”Chaos is supposed to be what we most fear but I have come to believe it might be what we most want.”

© 2018 Deborah Levy, The cost of living.

Major character

”It was not that easy to convey to him, a man much older than she was, that the world was her world too. He had taken a risk when he invited her to join him at his table. After all, she came with a whole life and libido of her own. It had not occurred to him that she might not consider herself to be the minor character and him the major character. In this sense, she had unsettled a boundary, collapsed a social hierarchy, broken with the usual rituals.”

© 2018 Deborah Levy, The cost of living.