"The perfect metaphor," he said, "looming up suddenly out of nowhere in the middle of your maiden voyage, unseen until it is nearly upon you, unavoidable even when you try to swerve, unexpected even though there have been warnings all along. Literature, literature is a warning," he said, and then waveringly, "'No, no, my dream was lengthened after life.' Shakespeare wrote that, trying to warn us of what's coming. 'I passed, methought, the melancholy flood, With that sour ferryman which poets write of, Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.'"

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