Ferdydurke by Witold Gombrowicz
Follows is the opening paragraph:
Tuesday morning I awoke at that pale and lifeless hour when night is almost gone but dawn has not yet come into its own. Awakened suddenly, I wanted to take a taxi and dash to the railroad station, thinking I was due to leave, when, in the next minute, I realized to my chagrin that no train was waiting for me at the station, that no hour had stuck. I lay in the murky light while my body, unbearably frightened, crushed my spirit with fear, and my spirit crushed my body, whose tiniest fibers cringed in apprehension that nothing would ever happen, nothing ever change, that nothing would ever come to pass, and whatever I undertook, nothing, but nothing, would ever come of it. It was the dread of nonexistence, the terror of extinction, it was the angst of nonlife, the fear of unreality, a biological scream of all my cells in the face of an inner disintegration when all would be blown to pieces and scattered to the winds. It was the fear of unseemly pettiness and mediocrity, the fright of distraction, panic at fragmentation, the dread of rape from within and of rape that was threatening me from without-but most important, there was something that I would call a sense of inner, intermolecular mockery and derision, an inbred superlaugh of my bodily parts and the analogous parts of my spirit, all running wild.
Okay, it is passages like these that make me want to write and also dread to write. See, even that sounds crap, it came out all caveman, I am starstruck by a dead writer. He just sort up sums it up there...the angst of nonlife...inner, intermolecular mockery...Well, all of it really. And that is in translation. It makes me want to become fluent in Polish in the same way that Heidegger makes me want to become fluent in German. Ain't gonna happen, but its the thought that counts, right? Inspired and intimidated.