He goes for a walk. Why, he asks himself with a smile, why must it be he who has nothing to do, nothing to strike at, nothing to throw down? He feels the sap and the strength in his body softly complaining. His entire soul thrills for bodily exertion. Between high ancient walls he climbs, down over whose gray stone screes the dark green ivy passionately curls, up to the castle hill. In all the windows up here the evening light is aglow. Up on the edge of the rock face stands a delightful pavilion, he sits here, and lets his soul fly, out and down into the shining holy silent prospect. He would be surprised if he were to feel well now. Read a newspaper? How would that be? Conduct an idiotic political or generally useful debate with some respected official half-wit or other? Yes? He is not unhappy. Secretly he considers happy alone the man who is inconsolable: naturally and powerfully inconsolable. With him the position is one small faint shade worse. He is too sensitive to be happy, too haunted by all his irresolute, cautious, mistrusted feelings. He would like to scream aloud, to weep. God in heaven, what is wrong with me, and he rushes down the darkening hill. Night soothes him. Back in his room he sits down, determined to work till frenzy comes, at his writing table. The light of the lamp eliminates his image of his whereabouts, and clears his brain, and he writes now.
— Walser, ‘Kleist in Thun’ (tr. Middleton)