F. Céline – Journey to the end of the night

They dig at their minds! They dilate them! They tyrannize them! . . . All around them there’s nothing left but a foul slumgullion of organic debris, a marmalade of madness and symptoms that drip and ooze from every part of them . . . The remains of the mind are all over our hands, and there we are, sticky, grotesque, contemptuous, fetid. Everything’s going to collapse, Ferdinand, everything is collapsing, I, old man Baryton, am telling you, and it won’t be long now! . . . You’ll see the end, Ferdinand, the great debacle! Because you’re still young! You’ll see it! Oh, you’ll enjoy it, I can promise you!

Et je te creuse ! Et je te la dilate la jugeote ! Et je te me la tyrannise !… Et ce n’est plus, autour d’eux, qu’une ragouillasse dégueulasse de débris organiques, une marmelade de symptômes de délires en compote qui leur suintent et leur dégoulinent de partout… On en a plein les mains de ce qui reste de l’esprit, on en est tout englué, grotesque, méprisant, puant. Tout va s’écrouler, Ferdinand, tout s’écroule, je vous le prédis, moi le vieux Baryton, et pour dans pas longtemps encore !… Et vous verrez cela vous Ferdinand, l’immense débandade ! Parce que vous êtes jeune encore ! Vous la verrez !… Ah ! je vous en promets des réjouissances !

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J. Fowles – The French Lieutenant’s Woman

The supposed great misery of our century is the lack of time; our sense of that, not a disinterested love of science, and certainly not wisdom, is why we devote such a huge proportion of the ingenuity and income of our societies to finding faster ways of doing things—as if the final aim of mankind was to grow closer not to a perfect humanity, but to a perfect lightning flash.

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L. F. Céline – Journey to the end of the night

I hadn’t conceived even one good, sound idea, like his idea of getting himself bumped off … That idea was bigger than my big head, bigger than all the fear that was in it, a fine, a magnificent idea to die with . . . How many lives would I need to make myself an idea more powerful than anything in the world? No saying. A flop! My ideas went rattling around in my head with lots of space between them. They were like faint, flickering little candles, trembling throughout a lifetime in the middle of a ghostly, abominable universe.

 

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K. Vonnegut – Breakfast of Champions

If they studied their paper money for clues as to what their country was all about, they found, among a lot of other baroque trash, a picture of a truncated pyramid with a radiant eye on top of it, Not even the President of the United States knew what that was all about. It was as though the country were saying to its citizens, ” In nonsense is strength”

 

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R. Musil – The Man Without Qualities

I just wanted to sum up the most mundane facts for you. The moral argumentation is just one more means to an end, a weapon used in much the same way as lies. This is the world that men have made, and it would make me want to be a woman-if only women did not love men!

 

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