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Then I became a bookseller in order finally to earn my own bread. I had always been on better terms with books than with the vises and cogwheels with which I had tortured myself as a mechanic. At first, swimming in modern, indeed the most modern, literature and in fact being overwhelmed by it was an almost intoxicating joy. But after a while I noticed that in matters of the spirit, a life simply in the present, in the modern and most modern, is unbearable and meaningless, that the life of the spirit is made possible only by constant reference to what is past, to history, to the ancient and primeval. And so after that first joy was exhausted it became a necessity for me to return from my submersion in novelties to what is old; this I accomplished by moving from the bookshop to an antique shop. However, I only stuck to this profession for as long as. I needed it to sustain life. At the age of twenty-six, as a result of my first literary success, I gave it up too.

 

Thus, amid so many storms and been reached: however impossible it may have appeared, I had become a poet and had, it would seem, won the long, stubborn battle with the world.