I think elegy is an inevitable outcome of utopia. I do think I have a sense of belatedness, of always having arrived a little too late. I think it’s a very common American characteristic going back to our earliest times – always feeling you missed it by a little bit!

Having grown up in a kind of utopia myself, and having seen that utopia fade, having been part of all that, has made me sensitive or alert to the inherent melancholy of utopian ideas.