this page is the final print, music added

“Because a novel – these words – is shared experience, a clumsy but sometimes funny conversation between two people in which one of them is doing all the talking, it will always be tighter and more luminous than that object called living. There is something so insipid about living that to do it at all requires heroism or stupidity, probably both. Living is all those days and years, the rushes; memory edits them; this page is the final print, music added. But for an instant imagine the process reversed, go with me back through the years, then be me, me all alone as I submit to the weight, the atmospheric pressure of youth, for when I was young I was exhausted by always bumping up against this bug lummox I didn’t really know, myself. It was as though I’d been forced into solitary confinement with a stranger who had unaccountable tastes, aversions, rhythms.”

(Edmund White, The Beautiful Room Is Empty, pp. 176–7.)

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