looking back through the last page or two, i see that i have made it appear as though my motives in writing were wholly public-spirited. i don’t want to leave that as the final impression. all writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. one would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. for all one knows that demon is simply the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention. and yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface ones own personality. good prose is like a window pane. i cannot say with certainty which of my motives are the strongest, but i know which of them deserve to be followed. and looking back through my work, i see that it is invariably where i lacked political purpose that i wrote lifeless books and was betrayed into purple passages, sentences without meaning, decorative adjectives and humbug generally.