“We don’t always do what we should. There is such a thing as negative egotism, the desire for what will destroy us. Perhaps that’s the best thing about us, that uncertainty, that fragility. Humans are strange creatures, we think with a logic that is quite different from what we feel, and all too often what we feel goes against what we need–love, passion, and, yes, hatred, those are the feelings that can bring about our downfall, and we go toward that downfall knowingly, we seem to need to keep doing that, and no one can explain why.”
from On the Edge by Rafael Chirbes
La Notti Bianche (1957)
“My usual sense of impermanence was made worse by the fact that Tamas and I were mixing with people not our own, people we had nothing in common with, and by the same old feeling that nothing mattered. But then I wasn’t the only one with this sense of impermanence. The whole city had it, it was in the air. People had a lot of money and they knew that it made no difference: it might vanish from one day to the next. The sense of impending disaster hung over the garden like a chandelier.”
–from Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb
“The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death–however mutable man may be able to make them–our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.”
In this scene from Ingmar Bergman’s Winter Light, the pastor Tomas (Gunnar Björnstrand) is speaking to Jonas (Max von Sydow), who came to see the pastor because he was having suicidal thoughts.
Winter Light (1963)