My father, as he lay dying, was astounded when I told him that I was writing a memoir, with its claims on the tradition of a Bildungsroman,
and perhaps he was right to be skeptical. What is ordinarily wanted from someone like me are observations about consequential people, and certainly I have my impressions of famous men and women, and how it was to be quite near them for a time. I will get to that. But there are other matters that need explanation, wounds that still require stitches.
I'm in my study on a bright day in October at the end of the century. On my shelves are the mementos that one collects...