the first part was exactly what i had told a friend some years ago!
"...but what I really have in mind is the capacity of certain types of people to rationalize their lives, to see things separately, if not clearly...I have never been capable of distinguishing any landmark, let alone a buoy...In a sense, there never was such a thing as childhood. These categories - childhood, adulthood, maturity - seem to me very odd...I guess there was always some 'me' inside that small and later, somewhat bigger shell around which 'everything was happening. Inside that shell the entity which one calls 'I' never changed and never stopped watching what was going on outside...what I am saying is that the passage of time does not much affect that entity. To get a low grade, to operate a milling machine, to be beaten up at an interrogation, or to lecture on Callimachus in a classroom is essentially the same. This is what makes one feel a bit astonished when one grows up and finds oneself tackling the tasks that are supposed to be handled by grownups. The dissatisfaction of a child with his parents' control over him and the panic of an adult confronting a responsibility are of the same nature. One is never of these figures; ONE IS PERHAPS LESS THAN 'ONE'." pp.16-7...Continua
when a writer resorts to a language other than his mother tongue, he does so either out of necessity, like conrad, or because of burning ambition, like nabokov, or for the sake of greater estrangement, like beckett. belonging to a different league, in the summer of 1977, in new york, after living in this country for five years, i purchased in a small typewriter shop on sixth avenue a portable "lettera 22" and set out to write (essays, translations, occasionally a poem) in english for a reason that had very little to do with the above. my sole purpose then, as it is now, was to find myself in closer proximity to the man whom i considered the greatest mind of the twentieth century: wystan hugh auden....Continua