Witold Gombrowicz on Beethoven:
Quartets! Sixteen quartets! It is one thing to dip occasionally into one of them, in passing, and another to step into the building, to immerse oneself, to wander from hall to hall, wander in the galleries, take in the vaults, examine the architecture, uncover the inscriptions and frescoes ... with a finger to one's lips. Form! Form! It is not him I look for, the building is not full of him, but his form, which I get to know in the course of this gradual self-composition of adventures, changes, acquisitions — similar to creatures human and nonhuman from ancient fairy tales. […]
Certainly, if not for that elegant sound of four stringed instruments, if not for that polyphonic quartet refinement, thanks to which all music that passes between these four instruments undergoes an inordinately subtle transformation, I would not have gone crazy about Beethoven so unexpectedly.
I went crazy for Beethoven quite unexpectedly. Overrated sellout, I used think; as a teenager, I snubbed the establishment. But then I listened, I was made to listen. And it's the aural sculpture of the quartets that sent me reeling into the unknown depths of my own self. To this day I cannot get enough of the quartets.
It was about the same time I discovered Gombrowicz's Diary.