Through a great anxiety to be brief (always, and ever since my childhood, the fear of not being listened to until the end), I generally present but the outcome of thoughts. Let him understand who can or who will. It will perhaps happen, later on, that an attentive reader will bring out this or that sentence of mine which first went unnoticed, and that, in connection with the row that is kicked up today (for which Sartre is not solely responsible) over certain 'existentialist' declarations and manifestations, he will protest in amazement: 'but Gide had said it before him . . . '
I broadcast my seed. And let the seed wait if the season is not propitious] The best is often waited for the longest.
From The Journals of Andre Gide, Volume IV: 1939-1949 (London) Secker & Warburg 1951.
Paris Post War: Art and Existentialism 1945-55 at the Tate Gallery until 5 September.
See next Monday's Independent for reader offers.