Reading Malamud

This section struck me as terribly funny and all too true. The emphasis on the word just at the end is the truest and funniest part of all. How two or three months is still a long bit to labor over a manuscript, working and reworking the sentences, the paragraphs, the word choices constantly, as most of us do. The timing of his sentence he sets the reader with a great and verifiable punchline, that sounds initially like two or three months working diligently is a major effort, and the last of it. But the reader gets the idea that this is more like a cycle that has gone on and on, as he reveals at the end of this excerpt. A writer sees time differently in the long run, because there is only the long run. The sprint is for the poets, or so I think until I am reminded by Coleridge that "I should not think of devoting less than twenty years to an epic poem." Thanks, Bernard, for putting things in perspective:
"He entered his three-windowed study, raised the cracked green shades without looking into the street and arranged himself at his desk. From the top drawer he removed a portion of the manuscript. Harry felt a momentary sense of loss, regret at having given his life to writing, followed by a surge of affection for the imaginative self, as he read yesterday's page and a half and found it solid, sound, going well. The book redeemed him. Another two or three months ought to finish it. Then a quick last rewrite of the enterprise--call it third-and-a-quarter draft--in about three months, possibly four, and he'd have it made, novel accomplished. Triumph after just ten years."
-Bernard Malamud, from The Tenants