This Smithsonian Magazine piece, the Top Ten Books Lost to Time, made me think of Diogenes, whose writings were lost (many in the fire that destroyed the Library of Alexandria IIRC). We know of him only through a handful of other writers whose works survived.
Fascinating guy. Would have been right at home in the Hotel Chelsea.
"Diogenes was knee deep in a stream washing vegetables. Coming up to him, Plato said, 'My good Diogenes, if you knew how to pay court to kings, you wouldn't have to wash vegetables.'
"'And,' replied Diogenes, 'If you knew how to wash vegetables, you wouldn't have to pay court to kings.'"