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Perhaps the only thing worth anything are thoughts and memories, sketches of the consciousness – certainly not worth much economically, but worth recording, even for myself and the very few people whom they might interest. It follows then that writing is one way of translating and recording these thoughts and impressions.

‘Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don’t know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It’s that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don’t know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number...