on the heights of despair, e. m. cioran
"When the ticking of a watch breaks the silence of eternity, arousing you out of serene contemplation, how can you help resenting the absurdity of time, its march into the future, and all the nonsense about evolution and progress? Why go forward, why live in time? The sudden revelation of time at such moments, conferring upon it a crushing preeminence otherwise nonexistent, is the fruit of a strong contempt for life, an unwillingness to go on. If this revelation happens at night, the sensation of unutterable loneliness is added to the absurdity of time, because then, far from the crowd, you face time alone, the two of you caught in an irreducible duality. Time, in this nocturnal desolation, is no longer populated with actions and objects: it becomes an evergrowing nothingness, a dilating void, a threat from beyond. silence resounds then with the mournful clamor of bells knelling for a dead universe. Only he who has separated time from existence lives this drama: fleeing the latter, he is crushed by the former. and he feels how time, like death, gains ground."