Moravagine by Blaise Cendras

– And he suddenly began to speak, not volubly at all, but slowly, collectedly. His voice, low and warm like that of a female alto, leaves me stupefied. Never in my life had I heard a voice with such prolonged echoes, such gravity, such sliding tones of sexual melancholy, with its passionate surges, with all the lower registers of joy. This voice seemed to me to give off colours, so filled was it with voluptuous elation. It possessed me completely.

– One’s life, from being an exterior thing, grows inwards. Its intensity stays the same; and do you know, it’s most mysterious, the corners in which the joy of living can sometimes hide away.

– …crossed my sky like a meteor and flew on to crash with a great racket at the other end of the meadow.

– It was as loud as a beehive and hollow as an ardent seashell.

– All things are in flux, in agitation, everything overlaps and joins with everything else. Even abstractions sweat and grow dishevelled. Nothing is motionless. There is no isolation. Only activity ; concentrated activity: form. Every form in the universe is exactly calibrated and passes through the same matrix. It is obvious that the bone should hollow itself out, that the optic nerve should be ramified in a delta and stretch outwards like a tree, that man should walk upright. That the taste of brine that rises from our entrails comes from our farthest piscine ancestors, from the depths of the seas; and this epileptic twitching of the epidermis is as ancient as the sun.

– There it was, in the utter darkness of the cavern, that I captured the loveliest forms of silence.

I held them, they slid between my fingers, I recognised them by their feel.

First, the five vowels, wild, apprehensive, watchful as vicugna; then, following down the spiral of the corridor, ever narrower and lower, the edentate consonants, rolled in a ball in a scaly carapace, sleeping, wintering, through the long months; farther still, the fricative consonants, smooth as eels nibbling at my fingertips, then the weak ones, flabby, blind, often slobbering like white worms, and these I pinched with my nails, scratching their fibrils of prehistoric turf; then the hollow consonants, cold, cutting, corticate, which I gathered on the sand and collected like shells; and, at the very bottom, flat on my belly, leaning over a fissure, there among the roots, I felt god knows what poisoned air come whipping at me, stinging my face, while tiny animalcules skittered over my skin in the most ticklish places; they were spiral-shaped and shaggy like a butterfly’s proboscis and let off sudden, raucous, husky sounds.

It is noon. The sun pours boiling oil in the ear of the sleeping demiurge. The earth opens like an egg. Out of it surges a tongue, undulating and bloodshot.

– Love is masochistic. These cries and complaint, these sweet alarms, this anguished state of

loves, this suspense, this latent pain that is just below the surface, almost unexpressed, these thousand and one anxieties, this childish fickleness of behaviour, this moral torture where vanity and self-esteem, or perhaps honour, upbringing and modesty are at stake, these highs and lows in this nervous tone, these leaps of the imagination, this fetishism, this cruel precision of the senses, whipping and probing, the collapse, the prostration, the abdication, the self-abasement, the perpetual loss and recovery of one’s personality, these stammered words and phrases, these pet-names, this intimacy, these hesitations in physical contact, these epileptic tremors, these successive and ever more frequent relapses, this more and more turbulent and stormy passion with its ravages progressing to the point of complete inhibition and annihilation of the soul, the debility of the senses, the exhaustion of the marrow, the erasure of the brain and even the dessication of the heart, this yearning for ruin, for destruction, of mysticism, this insatiability which expresses itself in hyper-irritability of the mucous membranes, in errant taste, in vasomotor or peripheral disorders, and which conjures up jealousy and vengeance, crimes, prevarications and treacheries, this idolatry, this incurable melancholy, this apathy, this profound moral misery, this definitive and harrowing doubt, this despair – are not all this stigmata the very symptoms of love in which we can first diagnose, then trace with a sure hand, the clinical curve of masochism?

– Man and woman are not made to understand and love each other, to melt together and become indistinguishable. On the contrary, they detest each other and tear each other to pieces; and if, in this battle which bears the name of love, the woman passes for the eternal victim, it is in reality the man who is killed, time and time again. For the male is the enemy, an enemy who is clumsy, blundering and over-specialised. The woman is all-powerful. She is more firmly seated in life, she has numerous erogenous zones and thus is better able to bear suffering, she has more resistance, her libido gives her extra weight, she is the stronger. Man is her slave, he submits. Woman is masochistic. The sole principle of life is masochism and masochism is a principle of death. For which reason is idiotic, imbecile and vain, without ultimate purpose. And life is futile.

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