"You write? Everybody is writing nowadays. I myself have written a novel. I: Really? She: Yes, and I even got some pretty good reviews. I: Congratulations! She: Oh, I'm not saying this to fish for compliments, I merely wanted to emphasize that everybody is writing nowadays. It's something that everybody can do." --
Witold Gombrowicz, in his diaries (this entry from 1955 appears in Diary: Volume 1, translated by Lillian Vallee, published by Northwestern University Press). A most extraordinary work by one of the great Polish writers of the 20th Century, exiled in Argentina, destined never to return to Poland, who also wrote, "...as much as one is an alien, one is also painfully oneself." It is the word "painfully" that sticks in one's craw.