In his last year in university, his father died, leaving him with money and nowhere to go. Unwilling to move to a city with his friends, broken up with his girlfriend of two years, he resolved to live like his heroes.
In a cabin near a lake he wrote copious manuscripts detailing the hard-pressed lives of a multitude. Outside, he tended potatoes. Sometimes old friends from college came to visit him, and they were amazed at his gruff manner. He no longer laughed fluidly; his visions – taken onto himself in refuge – had made him into a rougher type of man.