"Remembering his father's failure, or betrayal, he stayed with his first job in a small St. Louis bank; and in his late thirties, secure in a minor vice-presidency, he married a local girl of good family. From the marriage had come only one child; he wanted a son and had a girl, and that was another disappointment he hardly bothered to conceal. Like many men who consider their success incomplete, he was extraordinarily vain and consumed with a sense of his own importance. Every ten or fifteen minutes he removed a large gold watch from his vest pocket, looked at it, and nodded to himself."
John Williams (1922-1994). Stoner (1965). London: Vintage Books, p. 58