"Thus I progressed on the surface of life, in the realm of words as it were, never in reality. All those books barely read, those friends barely loved, those cities barely visited, those women barely possessed! I went through the gestures out of boredom or absent-mindedness. Then came human beings; they wanted to cling, but there was nothing to cling to, and that was unfortunate—for them. As for me, I forgot. I never remembered anything but myself."
"He wanted to hide by shrinking past zero, through the dot at the end of himself, to a negative size, into an otherworld, where he would find a place— in an enormous city, too large to know itself, or some slowly developing suburb— to be alone and carefully build a life in which he might be able to begin, at some point, to think about what to do about himself."