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The Beginning or the End?

A writer who doesn’t write who is also a traveler who doesn’t travel sets off on a voyage which he immediately abandons, abandoning at the same time the book about it which he would not have written anyway. His destination? The edge of the world—a place nobody knows how to get to, since nobody has ever been there. To find what is unknown and in consequence dismissed as nonexistent is easier than it seems: you need only seek it with unswerving determination. But how can he seek it, when he will not travel? Yet nor does he return home, since that too would constitute an itinerant undertaking—a sort of voyage in reverse—thus violating his solemn resolve to stay put.

. . . Content to be scorned as a barbarian by those who practised the literary profession and as a provincial by those whose cosmopolitan movements made them masters of the globe, this non-writing writer and non-traveling traveler remained suspended between his starting-place and every place through which he might have passed on his way to the one place beyond them all (the only place he deemed important, though he made no effort to reach it). We have no record of what happened to him in this mysterious and nameless intermediary zone he chose to inhabit until his death, assuming anything did happen, assuming anything could have happened while he was there.