Once I read of an aging writer who said that now, he seemed to be writing all he had once written - Only then, when he was young, he did it better. And I shook my head to picture him at his desk believing his best no different from the rest as coldly, he assessed the fruit of the years that in his view, appeared to give no quarter. And I thought that like Goethe's view that a writer put his hand into the life around him "and what you bring up will have some truth in it," the aging writer's unadmitted truth was that in a long ongoing contest with himself, however it came out, he could not lose.

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