I know I said I would finish Villette this week...but there's no harm in a little Anne Rice on the side, is there?
From The Vampire Lestat:
I realized aloud in the midst of saying it that even when we die we probably don't find out the answer as to why we were ever alive. Even the avowed atheist probably thinks that in death he'll get some answer. I mean God will be there, or there won't be anything at all.
"But that's just it," I said, "we don't make any discovery at that moment! We merely stop! We pass into nonexistence without ever knowing a thing." I saw the universe, a vision of the sun, the planets, the stars, black night going on forever. And I began to laugh.
"Do you realize that! We'll never know why the hell any of it happened, not even when it's over! ... We're going to die and not even know. We'll never know, and all this meaninglessness will just go on and on and on. And we won't any longer be witnesses to it. We won't have even that little bit of power to give meaning to it in our minds. We'll just be gone, dead, dead, dead, without ever knowing!"
But I had stopped laughing. I stood still and I understood perfectly what I was saying.
There was no judgement day, no final explanation, no luminous moment in which all terrible wrongs would be made right, all horrors redeemed.
No, I didn't understand it at this moment. I saw it! And I began to make the single sound: "Oh!" I said it again "Oh!" and then I said it louder and louder, and I dropped the wine bottle on the floor. I put my hands to my head and I kept saying it, and I could see my mouth opened in that perfect circle that I had described to my mother and I kept saying, "oh, oh, oh!"
I love gothic literature. But don't read it if you want to have a sunshiney day.