We all come out of Gogol's overcoat.
When I read Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground for the first time, it screwed me to my chair for about a week. I was paralysed with a not completely unpleasant terror that when or if I finally pried myself loose, the world would no longer be the brick-and-mortar, what-you-see-is-what-you-get place I had always thought it was. And I was right; when I eventually stepped out into the sunshine, I saw cracks and seams everywhere. I knew for the first time that if I had the right kind of crowbar, I could finally get a good look at the springs and sprockets that made things go.