The past is a stronger influence in the South. But I think everywhere you have this sense that the world changes faster than you can accommodate yourself to. Looking back and seeing how you got where you are is a useful way to combat disorientation.
If I had to give up reading or give up listening to music, I suspect I'd stick with the music.
Hardboiled crime fiction came of age in 'Black Mask' magazine during the Twenties and Thirties. Writers like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler learnt their craft and developed a distinct literary style and attitude toward the modern world.
I've always thought Harper Lee might have made a great decision. Much as you'd like to have more books by her, there's something about just one that's kind of mysterious and nice. On the other hand, the New York gossip about me was that I'd never write another book. So I thought, 'Well, I will then.'
One time at the University of Colorado, at a faculty dinner, this professor said to me, 'Well, my goodness, a boy from Appa-lay-chee-a with a Ph.D!' The dinner was in her house. And I said, 'My grandparents didn't have indoor plumbing, but they had more books in their house than you do.' I was a little insulted by the Appa-lay-chee-a business.