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"I knew that someday I was gonna die / And I knew before I died Two things would happen to me / That number one I would regret my entire life / And number two I would want to live my life over again" - this quote is taken from an interview with Hubert Selby Jr. 
He answered the question 'What have been some defining moments for you?' by saying: 
"Number 1 Ė Being born. I started to die 36 hours before I was born. By the time I was born I was in deep serious trouble. I was blue from cyanosis, my head was all twisted and out of shape, and a few kinds of brain damage. My mother, she almost died too, she had severe toxemia, and when she asked the doctor what she should do about feeding me. He said, "Well, just keep breastfeeding him and eventually heíll suck out all the poison." They had to drag me screaming into the twentieth century. So that was, I guess, a very defining moment, because I have been defiant ever since. And dying became a way of life. When I was 18, in 1946, they said I couldnít live more than 2 months, I ended up spending more than 3 years in bed, had 10 ribs cut out and all that. In 1988, the doctor told a friend of mine, "According to all accepted medical evidence, your friend is dead." So dying has been a way of life. But I think thatís a very valuable thing. I believe that you donít know anything about writing till youíve died. I canít complain about it, although I do. I complain about anything and everything, what the hell. Another time, I was married, we had a daughter, who was two or three years old at the time. I was home alone, and I had what I realize now was a spiritual experience, although I didnít understand it as such at the time. But I knew that someday I was going to die. And just before I died, two things would happen: Number 1 Ė I would regret my entire life. Number 2 Ė I would want to live my life over again, and I would die. And I was terrified, absolutely terrified. So I knew I had to do something with my life. I was terrified of living my whole life, and at the end looking at it and having blown it. I was on disability at the time, and my wife was working part-time, I think at Macyís, it was the Christmas season, so I bought a typewriter, and decided I was going to be a writer. I didnít know anything about writing. But I knew I had to do something with my life, and that was the only thing I could think to do....So I sat there for two weeks with that typewriter and I had no idea how to write a story, I just had to do something before I died. So I wrote a letter to somebody. And thatís how it started. The long process of learning how to write." 

Hubert Selby jr.  Writer, born 1928 in Brooklyn. His  works include Last Exit to Brooklyn (1964), The Room (1971), considered by some to be his masterpiece, and 'Requiem for a Dream' (1978). Selby died in April 2004