Writing is a window. It opens onto vanished feelings and vanished worlds. Often it is the only window there is, the only access we will ever have to those things. It is more than a mere record, like a photograph, because it is also a sensibility, a point of view, a voice.
It is the place where, fifty or a hundred years from now, people will go to see — and hear — what it was like to be alive when we were alive. We were alive in this year, and what we write is part of what remains.
— Borrowed (and slightly adapted) from Louis Menand, “Introduction: Voices.” The Best American Essays, 2004.