1. I manage to keep despair at arm's length when I remember that people of quiet depth exist -- those on the other side of spectacle, narcissism, convention, and all systems of thinking.
Despair begins creeping up my spine again when I remember how loud, preening, deluded, and opinionated I am myself.
2. Books by certain authors -- Thomas De Quincey, Franz Kafka, Bruno Schulz, W.G. Sebald -- are not to be interpreted and understood. They are to be experienced and absorbed.