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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Inside Proust, away from the world

[We try to discover in things, endeared to us on that account, the spiritual glamour which we ourselves have cast upon them; we are disillusioned, and learn that they are in themselves barren and devoid of the charm which they owed, in our minds, to the association of certain ideas; sometimes we mobilise all our spiritual forces in a glittering array so as to influence and subjugate other human beings who, as we very well know, are situated outside ourselves, where we can never reach them. On cherche à retrouver dans les choses, devenues par là précieuses, le reflet que notre âme a projeté sur elles; on est déçu en constatant qu’elles semblent dépourvues dans la nature, du charme qu’elles devaient, dans notre pensée, au voisinage de certaines idées; parfois on convertit toutes les forces de cette âme en habileté, en splendeur pour agir sur des êtres dont nous sentons bien qu’ils sont situés en dehors de nous et que nous ne les atteindrons jamais.]

M. Proust – Swann’s Way

I put that in brackets as I had to contain these thoughts in something. Every chapter on Proust’s novel is what he found inside, in his head, in his very own associations. You can see how deep he descended as he mourned that people really differ from how we imagine them. He only dreamed of ‘mentally eating’ everyone, taking everything in, dismantling all the phisical outlines. He was a romantic genius yearning for the power to play with the world as if it was clay. Or his imagined clay, even more flexible.

You might even say that he had an obssesion of doing what only the time itself was able to do; that is to effortlessly reshape all things on earth, from tiniest grains of sand to the highest, never  unfrozen mountains.

read on —->

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M. Proust – Swann’s Way

We pack the physical outline of the creature we see with all the ideas we have already formed about him, and in the complete picture of him which we compose in our minds those ideas have certainly the principal place. In the end they come to fill out so completely the curve of his cheeks, to follow so exactly the line of his nose, they blend so harmoniously in the sound of his voice that these seem to be no more than a transparent envelope, so that each time we see the face or hear the voice it is our own ideas of him which we recognise and to which we listen.

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M. Proust – Swann’s Way

Perhaps the immobility of the things that surround us is forced upon them by our conviction that they are themselves, and not anything else, and by the immobility of our conceptions of them. For it always happened that when I awoke like this, and my mind struggled in an unsuccessful attempt to discover where I was, everything would be moving round me through the darkness: things, places, years.

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