“I knew that creating a first book out of nothing—or at least entirely from one’s own resources—and making it stand up against anything, was a task that, exceptional luck apart, demanded endless time and labor, a long process of trial and error.  Writing, I told myself, is a profession that can only be learned by writing.”

Simone de Beauvoir, The Prime of Life, trans. Peter Green (New York: Harper Colophon, 1962; orig. La Force de l’Age, Gallimard, 1960), 290.