“ We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come.
Was it better to be with Tereza or to remain alone?
There is no means of testing which decision is better, because there is no basis for comparison. We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold. And what can life …be worth if the first rehearsal for life is life itself? That is why life is always like a sketch. No, ‘sketch’ is not quite the work for a picture, whereas the sketch that is our life is a sketch for nothing, an outline with no picture.
Einmal ist keinmal, says Tomas to himself. What happens but once, says the German adage, might as well not have happened at all. If we have only one life to live, we might as well not have lived at all. ”