Some writers are never satisfied. They confuse the dissatisfaction that has brought them to writing, the brief satisfaction that writing brings them, with the dissatisfaction and satisfactions of life. The two are not the same. These writers think their general dissatisfaction can be more than momentarily assauged by things outside themselves. The word is continuously. They imagine the frozen state of perfection that they arrange and enter into as a possible condition for their entire lives. There is nothing lasting about the way a word hangs. But it can be more than a small comfort to someone who is in the position of the writer: that is, continuously reeling. Forced to reckon with the absence they know in their hearts they will always feel, they imagine moving buildings and lovers into place to fill the gap. They are at the centre of a diagram of their city, with wide boulevards radiating outwards from their every thought and desire. They are like Hausmann bulldozing medieval Paris to arrange the city around Tuileries or the Arc de Triomphe, burying the sewers and bringing “air” to the city on the back of the pain they are causing others. And they don’t realize that there’s anyone in their way, because the slums that they have torn down were always, to them, only a figment of their imagination. Good writers too can think like this: this is the real disease of writers, the one that leads them to alcoholism or mania. It’s the tragedy of writing, because they become their own authorities. There’s no necessity of being moral in order to be good. 

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