There was a wonderful embarrassment about it all, a moral nakedness. A contemporary writer, a psychotherapist, defined embarrassment as radiance that doesn’t know what to do with itself—and that’s what we had. We had radiance. When people are embarrassed, it’s as if they’ve fallen out of their compulsive natural rhythms and are framed for a moment in an absolute, undefended stillness.

Anatole Broyard, Kafka Was the Rage, in Lapham’s Quarterly, winter 2009