Rue du Cherche-Midi, after a difficult evening, X was explaining very carefully, his voice exact, his sentences well-formed, far from anything inexpressible, that sometimes he longed to swoon; he regretted never being able to disappear at will.

His words were saying that he meant then to succumb to his weakness, not to resist the wounds the world inflicted upon him; but at the same time he was substituting for this failing strength another strength, another affirmation: I assume toward and against everything a denial of courage, hence a denial of morality: that is what X’s voice was saying.

Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, translated by Richard Howard