For an instant it was as if he, too, had heard the chord that announces the return of a major theme, a sound heavy with dread and expectation. It was all going to begin again, the same thing, disguised, augmented, in a different key, but irrefragably the same thing. His stomach executed a peculiar drop, and this sensation, also, he remembered. It was the feeling you have on a roller-coaster at Coney Island, when the car has just started and you are sitting in the front seat, and you know for sure (you have been wondering up to this moment) that you do not want to ride on it. After the first dip, you lose this certainty (you would unquestionably die if you kept it), you may even enjoy the ride or suggest a second trip, become an aficionado of roller-coasters, discriminating nicely between the Cyclone at Palisades Park and the Thunderbolt at Revere Beach. You are, after all, a human being, with a hundred tricks up your sleeve. But at the very beginning you knew.

Mary McCarthy, “Portrait of the Intellectual as a Yale Man”, in The Company She Keeps