"Critics may live in New York, but writers don’t"

W.H. Auden (1980) quoted Charles Osbourne with “Critics may live in New York, but writers don’t”. I myself found this again complied in Paul Theroux’s ‘The Tao of Travel - Enlightenments from Lives on the Road’ (2011), which is a book I enjoy a lot giving me Eureca moments since it was recommended to me by my friend Thomas Baur back in Australia, before I moved to Beijing. Since we started our travel over six months ago, I am constantly evaluating the polarity of (big) cities and the countryside under the aspect of finding a good environment to work. Though it appears generally, that cities are where you deliver your goods to the market, trade them, and may be inspired by the work and comments of others. This is why cities emerged in the first place: to trade the surplus of the rural surrounding and provide services which need a concentration of knowledge and capital. But they are often not conducive to creative work itself, as their business and their people are disturbing. It is very rare to find both in one place, or located so closely together that you can enjoy a balance of both. Since my five years living on an Island in the South China Sea, with Hong Kong just a short boat ride away, I always look for such islands. I do not mean the strict geography of a small land with water around, but some place of solitude which can be sustained while still close enough to some kind of metropolis. I am also wondering whether with the current changes in communication, whether it maybe possible in the future to be in such metropolis without being there physically. At the beginning of the year, for example, I enjoyed very much a performance of the London National Theatre into a cinema to the other side of the planet. Even tough, I cannot imagine that media will ever substitute the “real thing”, they may stretch the boundaries and blur the line between places to produce and places to deliver.