Whenever I give a talk about my work I am invariably asked who my influences are. Not what my influences are, but who. . As if the gutter, misunderstandings, memories, sex, dreams, and books matter less than forebears do. After all, in terms of influences, it is as much the guy who mugged me on Tenth Street, or my beloved dog who passed away much too early, as it was Giotto or Diane Arbus.
And when someone suggests you believe in a proposition, you must first examine it to see whether it is acceptable, because our reason was created by God, and whatever pleases our reason can but please divine reason, of which, for that matter, we know only what we infer from the processes of our own reason by analogy and often by negation.
Remember that the truth is in the details. No matter how you see the world or what style it imposes on your work as an artist, the truth is in the details. Of course the devil's there, too-everyone says so-but maybe truth and the devil are words for the same thing. It could be you know.
Your job description as a journalist is to question and scrutinize critically-neve r to repeat claims uncritically, no matter how highly placed the sources in the bureaucracy. Don't ever forget that. You're a damn good writer, but that talent is completely worthless if you forget your job description.