In these great times which I knew when they were this small; which will become small again, provided they have time left for it ... in these times in which things are happening that could not be imagined and in which what can no longer be imagined must happen, for if one could imagine it, it would not happen; in these serious times which have died laughing at the thought that they might become serious; which, surprised by their own tragedy, are reaching for diversion and, catching themselves redhanded, are groping for words ... in these times you should not expect any words of my own from me—none but these words which barely manage to prevent silence from being misinterpreted.
Karl Kraus (1874–1936), Austrian satirist. speech, Nov. 19, 1914, in Vienna; repr. In In These Great Times: A Karl Kraus Reader, ed. Harry Zohn (1976). "In These Great Times," Die Fackel (Vienna, Dec. 1914).