“I think it’s true that imaginative people have to work out their own identities. That’s part of the work that’s given to them by their natures. They’re generally not content to just accept the kind of identity that that’s given to them by their immediate family members or their society. It’s particularly true of the writers of the last two centuries – let’s call it the Romantic period. The breakdown of traditional identities occurred partly as a result and partly as a cause of this Romantic development. It had to do with the complete disruption of traditional religion and society by things like the French Revolution and so on, and the tremendous philosophical revolution of the late eighteenth century. The forms – the selves, the egos, or whatever you want to call them – with which people had lived and done business, or within which people had lived their lives, gradually disappeared and people had to invent themselves again.”