In vain you search for your model among human beings; from those who have gone farther than you, you have borrowed only the compromising and harmful aspect: from the sage, sloth; from the saint, incoherence; from the aesthete, rancour; from the poet, profligacy – and from all, disagreement with yourself, ambiguity in everyday things and hatred for what lives simply to live. Pure, you regret filth; sordid, seemliness; vague, vigor. You will never be anything but what you are.

E. M. Cioran, A Short History of Decay (1975, trans. Richard Howard) (p. 140)