Törless couldn't think; he saw . . . All of a sudden he saw a mad swirl of events behind his closed eyes . . . People; people harshly lit, lights and deep-etched, agitated shadows; faces . . . a face; a smile . . . an opening eye . . . a quivering of the skin; he saw people as he had never seen them before, never felt about them before: but he saw them without seeing, without thoughts, without images; as though his soul alone could see them; they were so distinct that he was pierced through by their intensity, but, as though coming to a halt at a threshold that they could not cross, they retreated as soon as he sought words to get them under control.
from The Confusions of Young Törless by Robert Musil