The Genesis of a Novel

The Genesis of a Novel

The Genesis of a Novel

The Genesis of a Novel

Excerpt

DIARY ENTRIES FOR 1945 SHOW ME THAT ON DECEMBER 22 of that year the Los Angeles correspondent of Time called on me (it is an hour's drive from downtown Los Angeles to our country home). He came to challenge me concerning a prophecy I had made fifteen years before, the which was failing to be fulfilled. At the end of Sketch of my Life , written in 1930 and available also in English, I had, with half-sportive belief in certain symmetries and numerical correspondences in my life, ventured the guess that I would pass from this world in 1945, at the age of seventy, as had my mother. The foretold year, the man said, was virtually over, and I had not kept my word. What did I want to say to the public to excuse myself for still being alive?

My reply did not please my wife at all--the less so since her anxious heart had for a considerable time been concerned about my health. She tried to stop me, to protest, to unsay the things which I was permitting an interviewer to draw from me, and which I had previously kept even from her. The fulfilment of prophecies, I said . . .

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