Today, Labor Day, a clear sunny day with the tender blue char in the sky hinting of October. I felt a resurgence of the old feeling, the old Faustian urge to understand the whole in one sweep, and to express it in one magnificent work—mainly America and American life. Bunting, flying leaves, families drinking beer in their own backyards, cars filling the highways (the war being over officially now), children tanned and ready for school, the smell of roasts coming from the cottages on the leafy streets, the whole rich American life in one panorama. I had the feeling that I was alien to all this, as I walked around … that all this could never be mine to have, only mine to express. I felt like an exile. I told this to my mother, saying perhaps we were too French to be American, with a little too much of the bleak severe Breton in our lives and not enough emphasis on its fire and Celtic passion. … All of this, the cottages with laughter and good food and wine, the cars on the highways, the radios blaring, the flags and bunting—all of this, not for my likes, never. It’s strange, since I’m aware that I understand this far more completely than the people who do have the American richness in them.