'Good night, Señor C, I will whisper in his ear: sweet dreams, and flights of angels, and all the rest'

I read the work of other writers, read the passages of dense description they have with care and labour composed with the purpose of evoking imaginary spectacles before the inner eye, and my heart sinks. I was never much good at evocation of the real, and have even less stomach for the task now. The truth is, I have never taken much pleasure in the visible world, don't feel with much conviction the urge to recreate it in words.

J.M. Coetzee, Diary of a Bad Year, Harvill Secker, 2007.

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