I don’t want to make myself out to be much better than I am, Nathanael. Not much better, but a little more interesting, perhaps. I have no ambition, my friend, but I’m not without vanity.
Try and see if you can discover this vanity, Nathanael. If you can’t, it’s your own fault!
Even if I have had too much to drink, I’m not fuddled. I can think clearly. I can feel that you’ve come closer, my strange friend. In a way, you’re getting closer than I like. You’d like to pry into my dark mind; you’d like me to show you more of myself, be more open and frank with you, tell you everything, especially what’s disgusting about myself. That’s what you want, isn’t it? Keep away, my fine friend! Stand back, my friend!
– Martin A. Hansen, The Liar (tr. from Danish by Egglishaw)