See a book that a thoughtful librarian puts near the front of the literature section. It mentions a novel you’d never heard of. So you find that novel and devour it in a Saturday.
“In his extreme youth Stoner had thought of love as an absolute state of being to which, if one were lucky, one might find access; in his maturity he had decided it was the heaven of a false religion, toward which one ought to gaze with an amused disbelief, a gently familiar contempt, and an embarrassed nostalgia. Now in his middle age he began to know that it was neither a state of grace nor an illusion; he saw it as a human act of becoming, a condition that was invented and modified moment by moment and day by day, by the will and the intelligence and the heart.” p.195
“He had dreamed of a kind of integrity, of a purity that was entire; he had found compromise and the assaulting diversion of triviality.” 274-275
John Williams, Stoner (NY: Viking Press, 1965).