The only summer possible is the one with rolled-down shutters, watching a documentary on the Savannah at volume eleven and the rest of the family dozing somewhere else in the house. At two, while lions yawn to lower their body temperature – the eighth Joyful Mystery, or mix-up with hippos? – I’m here with at least four dailies wide open in front of me, plus one monthly and several weekly papers to pile up later on and show off when friends come visit, the one the comes with Il Corriere standing out among them all (because of the covers). We are Calvinists, people with a sense of duty, workers beyond measure who relax in their uncreative idleness. You need to stop your brain at least an hour a day if you don’t want motivations and unhealthy ideas make you crazy. I wish I had a house like Richard Meier’s, where books function as porous walls – but then you need someone to dust them all the time – to enjoy the drowsy afternoon in full. I sometimes indulge in the cerebral fetishisms of conviction, of moral purity, of disproportionate neatness. In order to avoid them I try to grasp the elusive manners they use to ooze into my mind.

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