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When I look at all these manuscripts, I am reminded of Shakespeare's exclamation: "Words, words, words!" Millions after millions of them have flowered out this past half-century yet mankind continues the downward and perilous course. Of what use to add more? "Why do we write books?" Wei Wu Wei asked me one day. I can reply only that it is my profession to do so. But the truth is really different: I have to write them and would produce them even if I were a baker and not seeking publication. Their creation gives me intense satisfaction. Through them I feel that I have justified my existence. Through them the thought is now there on the mental plane for my own benefit. If sensitive minds can come to its acceptance later, let it be so: perhaps it will be for theirs, too. If not, then that is its fate.

-- Notebooks Category 12: Reflections > Chapter 5: The Literary Work > # 304

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