René Daumal (1908 - 1944), Pataphysician, Surrealist poet, and author of the books Mount Analogue and A Night of Serious Drinking, said this:
A childhood without religious upbringing put me prematurely face to face with the fear of death. It was, as I finally realized, a tightening in the pit of my stomach, which a simple relaxation of the abdominal muscles could dispel. Then the tightening went up into the chest in the form of a knot of dread, then further up to the brain in the form of a problem: to be or not to be? This tightening turned over and over in my brain, and remained there for a good number of years. It proliferated in metaphysical speculation and almost resulted in complete decapitation.
Oh my goodness. Writers these days just don't measure up to writers in those days. Sensibility in general, it seems to me, has become deflated, flattened out, over-ironized, uninteresting, self-impressed, and missing that certain oomph.