Insensate lives, where the madman deprives himself of all pleasures, and seeks out the most terrible sufferings, are usually the lives that change the least. At ten-year intervals, if one cared enough to check, one would find the sufferer still sleeping away the hours when he could be living, going out at hours when the best the could happen to him is to be murdered in the streets, drinking iced drinks when he is hot, always nursing a cold. A tiny burst of energy, on a single day, could change everything for him. But these lives are usually led by beings devoid of energy.
Marcel Proust, The Prisoner, translated by Carol Clark, p. 35-36.