"One missed in her a sense of humour. Her smile was quick and definite, but disengaged. She chuckled now and again at a joke. but it was the amused grim chuckle of a person who looks up to discover that they have coincided with the needs of nature in a bird.
Cynicism, laughter, the second husk into which the shucked man crawls, she seemed to know little oor nothing about . She was one of those deviations by which man thinks to reconstruct himself,
To "confess" to her was an act even more secret than the communication provided by a priest. There was no ignominy in her; she recorded without reproach or accusation. This drew people to her and frightened them; they could neither insult nor hold anything against her, though it embittered them to have to take back injustice that in her found no foothold. In court she would have been impossible; no one would have been hanged, reproached or forgiven because no one would have been "accused."The world and its history were to Nora like a ship in a bottle; she herself was outside and unidentified, endlessly embroiled in a preoccupation without a problem."
- Djuna Barnes, Nightwood