However, I first had to make shift with my discoveries and put myself right with my contemporaries’ laughter. From the evening when I was called – for I was really called – I had to answer or at least seek an answer. It wasn’t easy; for some time I floundered. To begin with, that perpetual laugh and the laughers had to teach me to see clearly within me and to discover at last that I was not simple (4.14).
Don’t smile; that truth is not so basic as it seems. What we call basic truths are simply the ones we discover after all the others (4.14).
A ridiculous fear pursued me, in fact: one could not die without having confessed all one’s lies. Not to God […] No, it was a matter of confessing to men […] Otherwise, were there but one lie hidden in a life, death made it definitive. 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 […] it would cause me, instead, subtle joys. The idea, for instance, that I am the only one to know what everyone is looking for and that I have at home an object which kept the police of three countries on the run is a sheer delight (4.21).