To get nowhere you must traverse every known universe: you must be everywhere in order to be nowhere. To have disorder you must destroy every form of order. To go mad you must have a terrific accumulation of sanities. All the madmen whose works have inspired me were touched by a cold sanity.
Do not look for my heart any more; the beasts have eaten it.
|—||Charles Baudelaire, Flowers of Evil|
Castle Island, Roscommon, Ireland
Optimism is not only a false but also a pernicious doctrine, for it presents life as a desirable state and man’s happiness as its aim and object. Starting from this, everyone then believes he has the most legitimate claim to happiness and enjoyment. If, as usually happens, these do not fall to his lot, he believes that he suffers an injustice, in fact that he misses the whole point of his existence.
Cut a chrysalis open, and you will find a rotting caterpillar. What you will never find is that mythical creature, half caterpillar, half butterfly, a fit emblem of the human soul, for those whose cast of mind leads them to seek such emblems. No, the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay.
|—||Pat Barker, Regeneration|