I have a sense that, for creatures like me, there are no propitious materiel circumstances, no situations will turn out well. This sense is already enough to make me distance myself from life; indeed, it only makes me distance myself still more. The list of achievments which, for ordinary men, makes success inevitable, has, when applied to me, a quite different, unexpected and adverse result.
I sometimes have the painful impression that I am the victim of some divine enmity. It seems to me that the only explanation for the series of disasters that defines my life is that someone is consciously manipulating things in order to turn any such achievments into something malevolent.
The result of all this is that I never try too hard. Fortune, if it so wishes, may come and find me. I know all too well that my greatest efforts will never meet with the success others enjoy. That is why I abandon myself to Fortune and expect nothing from her.Why would I?
My stoicism is an organic necessity. I need to armour myself against life. Since all stoicism is really just a harsher form of epicureanism, I want as far possible to enjoy my misfortune. I’m not sure to what extent I achieve this. I’m not sure to what extent I achieve anything. I don’t know to what extent one can achieve anything…
Whereas one person triumphs, not by virtue of his own efforts, but because his triumph is inevitable, I never triumph and never would, however inevitable or however much effort I made.
I was perhaps born, spiritually speaking, on a very short winter’s day. Night descended early on my existence. The only way I can live my life is in frustration and solitude.
Deep down, none of this is very stoical at all. My sufferings is only noble when I put it into words. Otehrwise, I whine and whimper like a sick child. I fret and worry like a housewife. My life is entirely futile and entirely sad.
Because when I read, I don’t really read; I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or I sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing brain and heart and coursing on through the veins to the root of each blood vessel.
The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd - The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.
I’m still obsessed with creating a false world, and will be until I die. […] in my imagination I line up the characters – so alive and dependable!– who occupy my inner life, and this makes me feel cosy, like sitting by a warm fire in winter. I have a world of friends inside me, with their own real, individual, imperfect lives.
“There are moments, such as the one that oppresses me now, when I feel my own self far more than I feel external things, and everything transforms into a night of rain and mud where, lost in the solitude of an out-of-the-way station, I wait interminably for the next third-class train.” ―Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet
“Look, I am living. On what? Neither childhood nor future
are growing less… . . Supernumerous existence
wells up in my heart.” ―Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies (The Ninth Elegy)
“I am, I am, I am.” ―Sylvia Plath,The Bell Jar
“A man said to the universe: “Sir, I exist!” “However,” replied the universe, “The fact has not created in me A sense of obligation.” ―Stephen Crane, War Is Kind and Other Poems
The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd; the longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.