Saturday, January 12, 2008

blind finger pointing

i'm fed up with something lately, but i'm not really sure what it is. So, instead of rambling on aimlessly, i'll just relay excerpts from the book I'm reading. i'll leave it to the experts. All of these are from "The Idiot"

"Verily, when God desires to chastise a man, he first of all deprives him of reason"

"What do I want with your nature, your Pavlovsk park, your dawns and sunsets, your blue skies and your smug faces, when all this feast that has no end has begun by excluding me alone? What is there for me in all this beauty, when I am forced to be aware every minute, every second, that even this tiny fly buzzing in the sunbeam near me, even that is a participant in all this festival and chorus, knows its place, loves it, and is happy, while I am the sole outcast, and only my cowardice has prevented me from wanting to face it before now! Oh, I know very well how the prince and rrest of them would have liked to make me sing for the sake of decency and triumphant morality that celebrated classic stanza of Millevoix's:
'Oh, let them see thy holy beauty
Those friends deaf to my departure!
Let them die full of years, let their death be mourned,
Let some friend close their eyes!'
-instead of all these "mischievous and wicked" speeches. But believe me, believe me, my dear innocents, that even in these edifying lines, in this academic benediction on the world in French verse, there is embedded so much concealed bitterness, so much irreconcilable, self-deluding, rhymed malice, that even the poet himself my have fallen into the trap and taken that malice for tears of affection, and so died, God rest him! Let me tell you that there is a limit to the shame inherent in the realization of one's own insignificance and weakness, beyond which a man cannot go, and at which he begins to take an immense satisfaction in this very shame of his....Well, of course, humility is a mighty force in that sense, I admit that--but not in the sense in which religion accepts humility as a force. Religion! I admit the existence of eternal life, perhaps I always have. Suppose that consciousness, kindled by the will of a higher power, suppose it looked round at the world and said: 'I am!'--and suppose that it has been commanded by that higher force to annihilate itself, for some sufficient reason, even without any explanation--it had to be, all that granted, I admit all that, but again comes the eternal question: what point is there in my humility in all this? Why couldn't I just be devoured without demanding that I praise what is devouring me?"

"I challenge you all now, all you atheists: how are you going to save the world and where have you found the right road for it to travel--you, men of science, industry, co-operation, wage-levels, and so forth. How? Credit? What is Credit? Where will credit lead you?"

"But a friend of humanity with an unsteady moral basis is a devourer of mankind, not to speak of his vanity; you only have to wound the vanity of any one of these numberless friends of humanity and he's ready at once to set fire to the world and its four corners out of petty revenge.."

"Show me a force which binds today's humanity together with half the power it possessed in those centuries. And now dare tell me that the springs of life have not been weakened and tainted under this 'star', this net which ensnares the people. And don't try to browbeat with your prosperity, your riches, the rarity of famine and the speed of communications!"

"You know, a woman can torture a man with her cruelty and mockery without feeling the slightest twinge of conscience, because every time she looks at your she thinks to herself: 'Now I'm going to torment him to death, but I will make it up to him later with my love"


Blogger AJ said...

F.D.'s writing is very reminiscient of Solomon's...

"Vanity of vanities, all is vanity."

"For in much wisdom is much grief,
And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow."

"Then I saw all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. For though a man labors to discover it, yet he will not find it; moreover, though a wise man attempts to know, he will not be able to find it."

~ watch out for those 'tormenting' women with love on their heels :)..."'Tis pity love should be so tyrannous" (The Two Noble Kinsmen, Shakespeare).

11:58 AM


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