From Antal Szerb’s The Pendragon Legend (pg. 14). With everything of his I read (and, now, reread) I find him – for his humor, self-aimed self-aware irony, and lightness of touch with his learning – more and more the author I most wish I’d had as a personal friend.
A colleague’s envy, when all is said and done, is the scholar’s one reward on earth. I didn’t tell him that in all likelihood I wouldn’t be publishing anything. My nature is to spend years amassing the material for a great work and, when everything is at last ready, I lock it away in a desk drawer and start something new.