The first obstacle to a successful fulfillment of my calling is as simple to state as it is difficult to surmount: I have no long-term memory. How can an aspiring novelist hope to perform his lofty duty if his experience is limited to a single week? Does he not need what the incomparable Marcel Proust, by all accounts one of the main practitioners of the modern novel, has called “the vast structure of recollection” on which to draw?
Do not suppose that my thoughts on this conundrum led me into the pit of dejection. On the contrary: they aroused in me a sense of the absurdity of my circumstance, a sense that expressed itself in the slight, self-deprecating chuckle I had come to regard as my most endearing trait. They also rekindled a memory of my all-too-brief relationship with a young but kindred spirit. I speak, naturally, of Professor Chlöe Calloway.