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As for what's the most challenging aspect of teaching, it's convincing younger writers of the importance of reading widely and passionately.
When I was 17, I worked in a mentoring program in Harlem designed to improve the community. That's when I first gained an appreciation of the Harlem Renaissance, a time when African-Americans rose to prominence in American culture. For the first time, they were taken seriously as artists, musicians, writers, athletes, and as political thinkers.
Human nature is not amenable to prediction based on the trends or tendencies prevailing at the time. It is amenable to startling creativity of the kind practiced by great artists, directors, writers, musicians, actors, who know how to touch a chord in humans everywhere.
Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy - which many believe goes hand in hand with it - will be dead as well.
I look for strong people. I don't like people who'll say yes to everything I might bring up. I want people who can argue and disagree and have a point of view that's reflected in the magazine. My dad believed in the cult of personality. He brought great writers and columnists to 'The Standard.'