In the small hours when the acrid stench of existence rises like sewer gas from everything created, the emptiness of life seems more terrible than its misery.

— Cyril Connolly

Connolly was a child prodigy, an early rival of George Orwell, who also said that it is “[b]etter to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” His most remembered writing explores why he himself was not more successful as a writer.