"I had no intention whatever of writing a book, thinking that one had to be very gifted to be able to write. All I wanted was to get lost among people, make a niche for myself among them, not too deep but very wide so that I could get out of it quickly in a real boat..."
"Paris...I had been there three weeks, feeling terribly out of place despite my adaptability, the secret weapon of all who spend their life roughing it. There was something which made me feel ill at ease: all those unknown hearts and faces seemed closed to me, hardened by the ruthless struggle for the daily bread."

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