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I look at utopias and their shadows and try to affirm the political life without any illusion that one can know the long future of any political act. Uncertainty always has an autobiography attached. As a young child, I had dyslexia and couldn’t immediately read or write. Perversely, these two things were all I wanted to do. I struggled to proceed from the mysterious unclarity on the page toward a coherence that was alluring, but never final. I discuss how this commitment to the unresolvable made literature enchanting. Later, self-doubt became a value, a starting position for both writing and...

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