Writing and thinking, activities as natural to man as swimming is to a duckling, were something [these men] practiced as a profession, and they were, in fact, really better at it than most. But what was it all for? What they did was beautiful, it was great, it was unique, but so much uniqueness bore the collective breath of mortality and the graveyard, having no evident meaning or purpose, ancestors or progeny. Countless remembered experiences, myriads of crisscrossing vibrations of spirit, were gathered in these heads, which were stuck like carpet weaver’s needles in a carpet extending without seams or edges all around them in every direction and somewhere, at some random place, creating a pattern that seemed to repeat itself elsewhere but was actually a little different. But is this the proper use of oneself, to set such a little patch on eternity?