I often use these words of Rorty with students and in workshops–and myself.
Stricken with pancreatic cancer, he writes a lovely piece called”Poetry, the Fire of Life” which can be found here:
But here are a few choice words: ” I now wish I had spent somewhat more of my life with verse. . . This is not because I fear having missed out on truths that are incapable of statement in prose. There are no such truths; there is nothing about death that Swinburne and Landor knew but Epicurus and Heidegger failed to grasp. Rather, it is because I would have lived more fully if I had been able to rattle off more old chestnuts–just as I would have if I had made more close friends.”
It got me to reading Contingency, Irony and Solidarity on my kindle–and I found another great passage on the novel. But I will leave you to discover that for yourself.