I was suddenly in Argentina, completely alone, cut off, lost, ruined, anonymous. I was a little excited, a little frightened. Yet at the same time, something in me told me to greet with passionate emotion the blow that was destroying me and upsetting the order I had known up to now.
War? The destruction of Poland? The fate of those close to me, of my family? My own destiny? Could I take this to heart in a way, how shall I say this, in a normal way, I, who knew all this from the beginning, who had already known this? Yes, I am not lying when I say that I had been living with catastrophe. When it happened, I said something to myself: Ah, so it has finally happened and I understood the time had come to take advantage of the capacity that I had cultivated in myself to separate and leave.
Diary, 1955 [Trans. Vallee]
In spite of everything, there is a lot of bitter irony in this: that now, after an Argentine fast of many years, I have finally made it to such an elegant country, to such a high civilization, to such landscapes, to such bakery goods, fish, delicacies, such roads, beache, palaces, cascades, and elegant things that, unfortunately, I with my television, record player, Frigidaire, and dog, cat, I in the mountains, I in the sun, in the air, at the seaside, that I would have to enter a monastery. But in the depths of my soul I acknowledge that the Force, which has not allowed my to consume my success too greedily, is right. I have known for a long time, from the very beginning—I was warned in advance—that art cannot, should not, bring person gain ... that it is a tragic business.
Diary, 1967 [Trans. Vallee]