That was John Fowles' answer to one of those what are your goals in life interrogations.
Escape for Fowles meant isolating himself in Lyme Regis from the "chase-after-success", a fate that didn't entirely suit his first wife Elizabeth. On December 18, 1965 he wrote:
"Living here has become rather like climbing a mountain with a corpse on one's back. Every so often there are compensations: views, moments of happiness. But then the corpse starts complaining, raging ..."
Yet in the soon-to-be-published second volume of his diaries he himself raged against the "sadness, smallness, dampness of England...I am split between writing out of my Englishness and against it."
Fowles seemed to enjoy wading through all the reviews of his novels: "It seems healthier, in a sick culture, to be rejected than approved." and "even the harshest reviewer is never the real enemy."
The real enemies it seems congregated at celebrity parties: "Quite what is so unlikable...in these filmbiz people I don't know; it isn't just their egocentricity, their assumption that one must be successful, that today's and tomorrow's fame must be synonymous - the Egyptian quality in show business. Perhaps it is the constant misuse of language; a treachery both conscious (the eagerness to establish links, relationships, futures at the cost of real personal feelings) and unconscious (a pinchbeck vocabulary) that gives a kind of seething, serpentine quality to such congregations: that of a nest or swarm of beings self-adulatory, warming to one another, and yet fanged in every external reality."