Natsume Sōseki, Sanshiro
The costs of Meiji acculturation.
As he glanced in through the gate, Sanshiro said the word hydriotaphia to himself twice. Of all the foreign words he had learned thus far, hydriotaphia was one of the longest and one of the hardest. He still did not know what it meant. He was planning to ask Professor Hirota. Yojiro had guessed that it was something like de te fabula, but Sanshiro saw an enormous difference between the two. De te fabula was a phrase that called for dancing. Just to learn hydriotaphia was a time-consuming effort, and saying it twice caused one’s pace to slacken.
Sanshiro continued on home, also walking quickly. He went back to the library that evening to look up romantische Ironie. It was a term first used by the German philosopher Schlegel, he found, and apparently it was some kind of theory to the effect that a genius ought to spend the whole day hanging around, without purpose or effort. Relieved at last, Sanshiro returned to his room and went to sleep.
And on top of all that, there’s girl trouble!