There is no one there to see it. The world is doing what it always does, demonstrating itself to itself. The world has no interest in the little figures that come and go, the phantoms that worry and worship, that rake the graveled paths and erect the occasional rock garden, the bronze boy-man, the hammered cup for snow to fall into.
Before there was any talk of a movie, people would sometimes ask me what actors I would imagine playing these characters. And the only thing I could ever say is: I have such a clear idea of these characters that they'd have to play themselves.
I was still struggling to invent an alternate version of myself, someone proud and unflinching who could gaze levelly at his father and tell him his last secrets. I wanted him to know me; to have seen me. I'd been waiting until I was settled and fulfilled, so as to present myself in terms of a happiness he might understand.
I encourage the translators of my books to take as much license as they feel that they need. This is not quite the heroic gesture it might seem, because I've learned, from working with translators over the years, that the original novel is, in a way, a translation itself.
Julian is bluff and sturdy, royal; he possesses a gracefully muscular, equine beauty so natural it suggests that beauty itself is a fundamental human condition and not a mutation in the general design.
I'm sure there are people who are content to run errands and report for work on time and wait, with an enlivening eagerness, for the lunch bell. I wish them well. They have, however, never been the subjects of novels, and in all likelihood, will never be.
The only difference was one of them was trying to make a perfect cake and one of them was trying to write a great book. But if we remove that from the equation, it's the same impulse and they are equally entitled to their ecstasies and their despair.