Despair is a narcotic. It lulls the mind into indifference.
(Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977), British actor, screenwriter, director, and Orson Welles. Monsieur Henri Verdoux (Charles Chaplin), Monsieur Verdoux, said to The Girl (Marilyn Nash) after she has become wealthy and Verdoux has given up murder (1947).)
Humility provides everyone, even him who despairs in solitude, with the strongest relationship to his fellow man, and this immediately, though, of course, only in the case of complete and permanent humility.
(Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Fourth Notebook, February 24, 1918. The Blue Octavo Notebooks, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins. Exact Change, Cambridge, MA (1991). Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, New York, Schocken Books (1954).)
At its best our age is an age of searchers and discoverers, and at its worst, an age that has domesticated despair and learned to live with it happily.
(Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964), U.S. fiction writer and essayist. Mystery and Manners, part 5 (1969).
From "Novelist and Believer," a paper given in March 1963 at a symposium at Sweet Briar College, Virginia.)