The Condition

What is the condition, actually, of a second-rate writer if not one of major rebuff? The first and merciless rebuff is inflicted upon him by the ordinary reader who simply refuses to relish the writer’s works. The second shameful rebuff is meted out to him by his own reality, which he has been unable to express. And the third rebuff, the most shameful of all and a real kick in the pants, is dealt him by art itself, the art to which he has turned to shelter but which regards him with utter disdain, as inept and inadequate. And this fills the cup of disgrace. This is where true homelessness begins. This is how the second-rate writer becomes the butt of ridicule from all sides, caught as he is in the crossfire of rebuff.
—Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke (tr. Borchardt)

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