Mine has been a life of much shame. I can't even guess what it must be to live the life of a human being.
I have never known what it means to be hungry. I don't mean by this statement that I was raised by a well-to-do family--I have no such banal intent. I mean that I have had not the remotest idea of the nature of the sensation of "hunger." It sounds peculiar to say it, but I have never been aware that my stomach was empty. When as a boy I returned home from school the people at home would make a great fuss over me. "You must be hungry. We remember what it's like, how terribly hungry you feel by the time you get home from school. How about some jelly beans? There's cake and biscuits too." Seeking to please, as I invariably did, I would mumble that I was hungry, and stuff a dozen jelly beans in my mouth, but what they meant by feeling hungry completely escaped me.
If my neighbors manage to survive without killing themselves, without going mad, maintaining an interest in political parties, not yielding to despair, resolutely pursuing the fight for existence, can their griefs really be genuine?
It is true, I suppose, that nobody finds it exactly pleasant to be criticized our shouted at, but I see in the faces of the human being raging at me a wild animal in its true colors, one more horrible than any lion, crocodile or dragon.
I am convinced that human life is filled with many pure, happy, serene examples of insincerity, truly splendid of their kind--of people deceiving one another without (strangely enough) any wounds being inflicted, of people who seem unaware even that they are deceiving one another.
"To fall for," "to be fallen for"--I feel in these words something unspeakably vulgar, farcical, and at the same time extraordinarily complacent. Once these expressions put in an appearance, no matter how solemn the place, the silent cathedrals of melancholy crumble, leaving nothing but an impression of fatuousness. It is curious, but the cathedrals of melancholy are not necessarily demolished if one can replace the vulgar "What a messy business it is to be fallen for" by the more literary "What uneasiness lies in being loved."
I have always found the female of the human species many times more difficult to understand than the male.
Though women appear to belong to the same species as man, they are actually quite different creatures, and these incomprehensible, insidious beings have, fantastic as it seems, always looked after me. In my case such an expression as "to be fallen for" or even "to be loved" is not in the least appropriate; perhaps it describes the situation more accurately to say that I was "looked after."
I have often felt that I would find it more complicated, troublesome and unpleasant to ascertain the feelings by which a woman lives than to plumb the innermost thoughts of an earthworm.
What frightened me was the logic of the world; in it lay the foretaste of something incalculably powerful. Its mechanism was incomprehensible, and I could not possibly remain closeted in that windowless, bone-chilling room. Though outside lay the sea of irrationality, it was far more agreeable to swim in its waters until presently I drowned.
The weak fear happiness itself. They can harm themselves on cotton wool.
I have tried insofar as possible to avoid getting involved in the sordid complications of human beings. I have been afraid of being sucked down into their bottomless whirlpool.
Virtue and vice are concepts invented by human beings, words for a morality which human beings arbitrarily devised.
--The Third Notebook: Part Two
Actions punishable by jail sentences are not the only crimes.
--The Third Notebook: Part Two