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Q: You’ve been called a ‘going away from home writer’, and your childhood surviving World War II in Belgrade is much commented on in interviews and profiles. Do you still feel yourself dealing with both the trauma of war and of being separated from where you were born?
A: I know that it has become fashionable in our day and age to pretend that everything bad that we experienced in our youths stays with us forever and haunts our lives, but it’s not my experience or the experience of many others I’ve known who’ve lived through greater horrors than I did. Time heals, as the saying goes. The war ended when I was seven years old, in other words almost seventy years ago. Many other things have happened to me since then, both good and bad, so I’m more likely to think about them than of the helmet I lifted from a dead German in the fall of 1944.
-Charles Simic, interviewed by Rachael Allen, Granta.com