During the last two or three days things seem to have improved a bit. With the help of the 'Reactivan' and of a spell of good weather, mental concentration has so much advanced that for the first time in seven months I have been more or less free of thoughts both of lust and of suicide. This is a considerable relief, even though it may only be temporary (mental concentration depends very largely on circumstances beyond one's control—health, weather, and so on).
For the time being, then, even though I have not yet resigned myself to the prospect of continuing to live, I find that I am relying a little less on Nietzsche and a little more on Mr. Micawber (though both ended up badly—Nietzsche went mad and Mr. Micawber went to Australia).
[24.1] Wilkins Micawber, in Dickens' David Copperfield, was a projector of bubble schemes, sure to lead to a fortune but always ending in grief. Though indigent, he never despaired, always 'waiting for something to turn up' while on the brink of disaster. [Back to text]