Words from the Steppenwolf:

The devil is the spirit, and we are his unhappy children.

...women as well as men who lived half for art and half for pleasure... I had a glimpse into this kind of life, remarkable alike for its singular innocence and singular corruption.

I might have made the most intelligent and penetrating remarks about the ramifications and the cuases of my sufferings, my sickness of soul, my general bedevilment of neurosis. The mechanism was transparaent to me. But what I needed was not knowledge and understanding. What I longed for in my despair was life and resolution, action and reaction, impulse and impetus.

There is much to be said for contentment and painlessness, for these bearable and submissive days, on which neither pain nor pleasure is audible, but pass by whispering and 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 thanksgiving 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... For what I always hated and detested and cursed above all things was this contentment, this healthiness and comfort, this carefully preserved optimism of the middle classes, this fat and prosperous brood of mediocrity.

Hermann Hesse