My friends hadn’t changed. […] But I was aware only of the dissonances and disorder that filled me; I felt vulnerable and open to public accusation. In my eyes my fellows ceased to be the respectful public to which I was accustomed. The circle of which I was the center broke and they lined up in a row as on the judge’s bench. In short, the moment I grasped that there was something to judge in me, I realized that there was in them an irresistible vocation for judgment. Yes, they were there as before, but they were laughing. […] every one I encountered was looking at me with a hidden smile (4.7).
No one, ever again, would know the truth on this point, since the only one to know it was precisely the dead man sleeping on his secret. That absolute murder of a truth used to make me dizzy. Today, let me interject, it would cause me, instead, subtle joys (4.21).
You are wrong, cher, the boat is going at top speed. But the Zuider Zee is a dead sea, or almost. With its flat shores, lost in the fog, there’s no saying where it begins or ends. So we are steaming along without any landmark; we can’t gauge our speed. We are making progress and yet nothing is changing. It’s not navigation but dreaming (5.1).