I write.” This statement is the one and only real “datum” a writer can start from. “At this moment I am writing.” Which is also the same as saying: “You who are reading are obliged to believe only one thing: that what you are reading is something that at some previous time someone has written; what you are reading takes place in one particular world, that of the written word. It may be that likenesses can be established between the world of the written word and other worlds of experience, and that you will be called on to judge upon these likenesses, but your judgment would in any case be wrong if while reading you hoped to enter into a direct relationship with the experience of worlds other than that of the written word.
- Italo Calvino, “Levels of Reality in Literature”, The Uses of Literature, tr. Patrick Creagh, 1986 (via dustyshelf)