Wednesday, 18 July 2012

the abominable disorder of life

- If I wanted, I could go mad. I know a lot of terrible stories. I've seen a lot, I heard of extraordinary situations, I... myself... well... sometimes I just can't cope with it all. Because, you know, you wake up at four in the morning in an empty room, you light a cigarette... Do you know what I mean? The match's dim light suddenly bringing to life a mass of shadows, the shirt on the chair assuming an impossible volume, our life... do you see it?... our life, the whole life lies there like an excessive event... You need to tide it all up very quickly. Fortunately there's the style. No clue what it is? Let's see: style is a subtle way of transferring life's violence and confusion to the mental plane of a unit of meaning. Do I make myself clear? No? Well, we can't stand the abominable disorder of life. So we take it, reduce it to two or three topics that can be equated. Then, by means of an intellectual artefact, we state that those topics stand on a common topic, let's say, Love or Death. Do you understand? one of those abstractions that can be used for anything.

From "Estilo" in "Os passos em volta" by Herberto Helder
losely translated from portuguese by O Coxo

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Any where out of the world

N'importe où hors du monde
Cette vie est un hôpital où chaque malade est possédé du désir de changer de lit. Celui-ci voudrait souffrir en face du poêle, et celui-là croit qu'il guérirait à côté de la fenêtre.

Il me semble que je serais toujours bien là où je ne suis pas, et cette question de déménagement en est une que je discute sans cesse avec mon âme.


Enfin, mon âme fait explosion, et sagement elle me crie: "N'importe où! n'importe où! pourvu que ce soit hors de ce monde!"

Charles Baudelaire (1821- 1867)