“Hope?” she gasped. “There is no hope!”

“There is always hope. And there must be hope. To abandon hope is to escape part of the punishment. One must hope in order for hope to be destroyed. One must trust in order to feel the anguish of betrayal. One must yearn, or one cannot feel the pain of rejection, and one must love in order to feel the agony of witnessing the loved one suffer excruciation. But above all one must hope. There must be hope or otherwise how can it be satisfyingly dashed? The certainty of hopelessness might become a comfort; the uncertainty, the not-knowing, that is what helps to bring on true despair. The tormented cannot be allowed to abandon themselves to their fate. That is insufficient.”

Surface Detail, Iain M. Banks