While I sit here analyzing myself a sudden doubt assails me: did I really love cigarettes so much because I was able to throw all the responsibility for my own incompetence on them? Who knows whether, if I had given up smoking, I should really have become the strong perfect man I imagined? Perhaps it was this very doubt that bound me to my vice, because life is so much pleasanter if one is able to believe in one’s own latent greatness. I only put this forward as a possible explanation of my youthful weakness, but without any very great conviction.
— Italo Svevo, Confessions of Zeno