prehistoric crabs

MY COMMANDMENTS have been sewn into my skin: if I go a day without writing, the scar burns me; and if I write too easily it also burns me. Today, this worn exigency strikes me as clumsy and inflexible: like those solemn, prehistoric crabs which the sea washes up on the beaches of Long Island; like them it survives from times past.

— Jean-Paul Sartre, Les Mots, 1964