Burr: A Novel by Gore Vidal:
I now act even to myself as if I were writing the full story of the Colonel’s life when, actually, I am only on the track of one small portion of it which Leggett assures me will change history. Though I sometimes wonder how different history will be if the president is Clay rather than Van Buren. Also, do I want to be the key that opens such a door? Odd situation to be in for someone who dislike politics and politicians. It is my secret dream to live in Spain or Italy and write stories like Washington Irving. I am counting on this work to bring me the money to travel. I only hope that the Colonel is dead when I publish. No. I cannot hope or want that. But I must publish within the next year and a half. Before the presidential election. It is a hard business I have got myself into.