“In my twenty-seventh year, while riding the metro in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) I was overcome with a despair so great that life seemed to stop at once, pre-empting the future entirely, let alone any meaning. Suddenly, all by itself, a phrase astonished: ‘Without God life makes no sense.’ Repeating it in astonishment, I rode the phrase up like a moving staircase, got out of the metro and walked into God’s light.”

Adrei Bitov