A. Barman, schoolteacher, lecturer
A. Teaching mathematics
A. Derry and Belfast, Northern Ireland
A. Schubert in classical music, Thelonious Monk in jazz
A. Dr Strangelove
A. The Proust of cop shows, The Wire
A. Apparently conventional and uninteresting, actually an unfathomable conundrum
A. Life is absurd – but divinely absurd.
A. Aperitif time on Saturday evening, warm eyes meeting over cold wine.
A. Going gaga
A. Just where I am
A. The canny Roman poet Horace
A. I don't believe in hero worship
A. Idiot, absurd, exquisite, sublime
A. Wasting time on regret
A. Playing piano. To get at the thing with your bare hands!
A. Remaining in love with a woman for forty years
A. Not for me to say or even think about
A. To wish to be someone else is a terrible modern form of despair.
A. Only others can see us from the outside.
A. Anthony in Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra
A. Falstaff - appalling in every way but impossible to hate
A. Shakespeare. I would like to look him in the eye and say, 'You're a cunning one, aren't you? You're one cunning boy.'
A. Music in bookshops
A. The dangerous contact sport, reading
A. Generosity, humility, humour
A. Homemade chicken soup with vegetables and barley.
A. E Lucevan le Stelle (Puccini), Summertime (Gershwin), The ballad of John and Yoko (Beatles), Once in a Lifetime (Talking Heads), Dance Me To The End Of Love (Leonard Cohen)
A. Shakespeare, George Eliot, Robert Browning, Flaubert, Proust, James Joyce
A. Anthony and Cleopatra, Middlemarch, L'Education Sentimentale, A La Recherche du Temps Perdu, Ulysses
A. Forget about recognition, read, read, read and write, write, write.
A. How can you be so candid?