Of course, true love is exceptional - two or three times a century, more or less. The rest of the time there is vanity or boredom.
— Albert Camus, “The Fall”
I realized I had no friends. Besides, even if I had had, I shouldn’t be any better off. If I had been able to commit suicide and then see their reaction, why, then the game would have been worth the candle. But the earth is dark, darling friend, the coffin thick, and the shroud opaque; The eyes of the soul—to be sure—if there is a soul and it has eyes! But you see, we’re not sure, we can’t be sure. Otherwise, there would be a solution; at least one could get oneself taken seriously. People are never convinced of your reasons, of your sincerity, of the seriousness of your sufferings, except by your death. So long as you are alive, your case is doubtful; you have a right only to their skepticism. So if there were the least certainty that one could enjoy the show, it would be worth proving to them what they are unwilling to believe and thus amazing them. But you kill yourself and what does it matter whether or not they believe you? You are not there to see their amazement and their contrition (fleeting at best), to witness, according to every one’s dream, your own funeral. In order to cease being a doubtful case, one has to cease being, that’s all. Besides, isn’t it better thus? We’d suffer too much from their indifference.
— Albert Camus, The Fall
You think I don’t understand? The hopeless dream of being. Not seeming to be, but being. Conscious and awake at every moment. At the same time, the chasm between what you are to others and what you are to yourself. The feeling of vertigo and the constant hunger to be unmasked once and for all. To be seen through, cut down… perhaps even annihilated. Every tone of voice a lie, every gesture a falsehood, every smile a grimace. Commit suicide? No, too nasty.
But you can refuse to move or talk. Then at least you are not lying. You can cut yourself off, close yourself in. Then you needn’t play any roles, wear any masks, make any false gestures. So you might think… but reality plays nasty tricks on you. Your hiding place isn’t watertight enough. Life oozes in from all sides.
— Persona, Ingmar Bergman.
Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries) - Ingmar Bergman - 1957
Because Smultronstället actually means “The place where wild strawberries grow” rather than “wild strawberries”. One of those title mis-translations that don’t really matter but, y’know, FYI…
Fly fast away
Don’t miss your chance
To swim in mystery
You are dying
in a prison
Of your own
I’m free, I think. I shut my eyes and think hard and deep about how free I am, but I can’t really understand what it means. All I know is I’m totally alone. All alone in an unfamiliar place, like some solitary explorer who’s lost his compass and his map. Is this what it means to be free? I don’t know, and I give up thinking about it.
— Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore