Why do writers write?

“I think that anyone who writes anything, imagines that someone will read it, even if he writes only for self. I ask myself this question: can you write, and not act out a role? A man wants to be a stranger to himself. Not in the role he plays, but in the subconscious decision that in whatever role he assigns to himself, lies his reality. At times I feel that a man comes through, out of what he wrote, like a snake from its skin. That’s it: you can not express yourself in writing, you can only lose your skin. But who is interested in this dead skin?! Does it matter whether the reader will ever be able to read anything from it, beyond what is himself? Writing is done not to communicate with readers, or with yourself, but to communicate with that, which can not be expressed otherwise.”
Max Frisch, in I am not Stiller (my quick, and imperfect translation from German). Get the English book here.


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