“There is much to be said for contentment and painlessless…”


“There is much to be said for contentment and painlessless, for these bearable and submissive days, on which neither pain nor pleasure is audible, but pass by whispering on tip-toe. But the worst of it is that it is just this contentment that I cannot endure. After a short time it fills me with irrepressible hatred and nausea. In desperation I have to escape and throw myself on the road to pleasure, or, if that cannot be, on the road to pain. When I have neither pleasure nor pain and have been breathing for a while the lukewarm insipid air of these so-called good and tolerable days, I feel so bad in my childish soul that I smash my moldering lyre of thankgiving in the face of the slumbering god of contentment and would rather feel the very devil burn in me than this warmth of a well-heated room.”

—Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf (thanks to an Atelopus varius.)