Logo traduzirei o trecho:
“When I talk, as I sometimes do, to others about my life, when they ask, or seek to discover what it meant to me to decide back then to be a poet and then as it were follow through, act on it, become ‘A Writer’, they often say, ‘Ah well, no money of course, but the fame, the early fame must have been a recompense’. And I look at them strangely, wondering what they see, how they imagine those early flats, bare rooms, crates for tables and chairs, and eventually a baby in some corner. Fame, I say tentatively, was there fame?
What I do know is that choosing to be an artist: writer, dancer, painter, musician, actor, photographer, sculptor, you name it, choosing to be any of those things in the world I grew up in, the world of the 40s and early 50s, was choosing as completely as possible for those times the life of the renunciant. Life of the wandering sadhu, itinerant saint, outside the confines of the laws of that particular and peculiar culture.
It was a world in which religion itself was suspect, and with good reason. ‘Religion’ as we knew it was limited to the Judeo-Christian mode- ‘Protestant, Catholic or Jew?’ we would be asked on entering a hospital or a school. And it was a world one could not embrace with good conscience. Not what the agnostic liberals of the 40s and 50s would have liked us to believe, what they had dreamed – a world where Progress was a given and human society somehow a good in itself. We outlaw artist renunciants – would-be-renunciants – saw no ‘good’ in it at all. In the striving, get ahead thrust of America 1950, where nothing existed beyond the worlds of the senses, the clearest way to turn from materialism was to turn to the arts.
To be an outcast, outsider was the calling. Not fame, or publication. Keeping one´s hands clean, not engaging. By staying on the outside we felt they weren’t our wars, our murders, our mistakes.
(I remember a young anarchist immigrant, Francisco from Spain, imprisoned as so many were in those years after World War II, for being in America with no papers. Later he was deported to Franco’s Spain, where he was quickly killed. While in prison in or near New York, the authorities, having found out that Francisco was a baker by trade, tried to set him to work in the kitchen. Francisco staged a one-man sit-down strike. ‘I will do nothing’ he said in his thickly-accented English, ‘to support this house’. It was what we all felt – it became a rallying cry. And remained so, long after Francisco was no more.)”