I came back, bent over, found the clot, picked it up with a piece of straw and placed it in my handkerchief. I looked at it. It was a nasty dark colour, almost black, sticky and horrible . . . I thought of Bachir’s beautiful, glistening blood . . . And suddenly I felt a wish, a desire, more pressing and imperious than anything I had ever felt before, to live! I want to live. I want to live. I clenched my teeth, my fists, concentrated my whole being into this wild, desperate drive towards existence.
– André Gide, The Immoralist