Those I love go in the direction of what they call the last hour -- what Clarice Lispector calls "the hour of the star," the hour of relinquishing all the lies that have helped us live. / Writing or saying the truth is equivalent to death, since we cannot tell the truth. It is in every way forbidden because it hurts everyone. We never say the truth, we must lie, mostly as a result of two needs: our need for love and cowardice. The cowardice of love but also love's courage. Cowardice and courage are so close that they are often exchanged. Cowardice is probably the strange, tortuous path of courage. Love is tortuous. So it is only at the very last page of a book that we perhaps get a chance to say what we have never said, write what we have never written all our lives, i.e., the most precarious, the best, in other words, the worst.
IT was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o'er the green corn-field did pass,
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.
When I write, I aim in my mind not toward New York but toward a vague spot a little to the east of Kansas. I think of the books on library shelves, without their jackets, years old, and a countryish teenaged boy finding them, have them speak to him. The reviews, the stacks in Brentano’s, are just hurdles to get over, to place the books on that shelf.