"...I speak as a person who had lately received or experienced light. I don't mean 'The light'. I mean a kind of light-in-the-being, a thing difficult to be precise about [...]. And this light, however it is to be described, was now a real element in me, like the breath of life itself. I had experienced it briefly, but it had lasted long enough to be convincing and also to cause an altogether unreasonable kind of joy. Furthermore, the hysterical, the grotesque about me, the abusive, the unjust, that madness in which I had often been a willing and active participant, the grieving, now had found a contrast. I say 'now' but I knew long ago what this light was. Only I seemed to have forgotten that in the first decade of life I knew this light and even knew how to breathe it in. But this early talent or gift or inspiration, given up for the sake of maturity or realism (practicality, self-preservation, the fight for survival), was now edging back. Perhaps the vain nature of ordinary self-preservation had finally become too plain for denial. Preservation for what?".
Saul Bellow (1915-2005). Humboldt's Gift (1975). London: Penguin Books, 2008, p. 179