I am beginning to be sorry that I ever undertook to write this book. Not that it bores me; I have nothing else to do; indeed, it is a welcome distraction from eternity. But the book is tedious, it smells of the tomb, it has a rigor mortis about it; a serious fault, and yet a relatively small one, for the great defect of this book is you, reader. You want to live fast, to get to the end, and the book ambles along slowly; you like straight, solid narrative and a smooth style, but this book and my style are like a pair of drunks; they stagger to the right and to the left, they start and they stop, they mutter, they roar, they guffaw, they threaten the sky, they slip and fall…And fall! Unhappy leaves of my cypress tree, you had to fall, like everything else that is lovely and beautiful; if I had eyes, I would shed a tear of remembrance for you. And this is the great advantage in being dead, that if you have no mouth with which to laugh, neither have you eyes with which to cry.
― Machado de Assis,
Memórias póstumas de Brás Cubas
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