Over ten years have passed, eleven summers that raise to fifty-five the number of years that have elapsed since the summer of '58, with wars, revolutions and explosions at nuclear power stations, all in the process of being forgotten.
The time that lies ahead of me grows shorter. There will inevitably be a last book, as there is always a last lover, a last spring, but no sign by which to know them. I am haunted by the idea that I could die without ever having written about 'the girl of '58', as I very soon began to call her. Someday there will be no one left to remember. What that girl and no other experienced will remain unexplained, will have been lived for no reason.
No other writing project seems to me as - I wouldn't say luminous, or new, and certainly not joyful, but vital: it allows me to rise above time. The thought of 'just enjoying life' is unbearable. Every moment lived without a writing project resembles the last.