On self-image

"By the time she finished the letter she was quite convinced that it was neither her belly nor the exhausting pursuit of the artist’s ideas that had brought on her nervous crisis, but only her maternal feelings which revolted against a great but sinful love.

At that point, she saw herself not only as infinitely sad but also noble, tragic, and firm; the sorrow which a few days ago had merely hurt was now couched in dignified words and gave her a certain consoling pleasure. It was a beautiful sorrow, and she saw herself, illumined by its melancholy glow, mournfully beautiful."

- Life is Elsewhere, Milan Kundera, p.54