There must be a good reason why certain cities, certain places, inspire such loathing and dread. There must be some kind of perpetual murder going on in these places. The people are of the same race as you, they go about their business as people do anywhere, they build the same sort of house, no better, no worse, they have the same system of education, the same currency, the same newspapers – and yet, they are absolutely different from the other people you know and the whole atmosphere is different. It’s almost like looking at yourself in another incarnation. You know, with a most disturbing certitude, that what governs life is not money, not politics, not religion, not training, not race, not language, not customs, but something else. Something you are trying to throttle all the time and which is really throttling you, because otherwise you wouldn’t be terrified all of a sudden and wonder how you were going to escape.
Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller.
Tropic of Capricorn is a semi-autobiographical novel by Henry Miller, first published in Paris in 1938.
The novel was subsequently banned in the United States until a 1961 Justice Department ruling declared that its contents were not obscene.