"The man lived in a domain of mute inwardness, of unending resistance against the world, and he seemed to float through his days with no other purpose than to use up the hours as painlessly as possible. He never lost his temper, he seldom cracked a smile. He was fair-minded and detached, absent even when present, and he showed no more compassion or sympathy for himself than he did for anyone else."
Paul Auster. The Book of Illusions (2002). London: faber and faber, p. 155