Tuesday, January 04, 2011


After several years he had decided to come out of the isolation in which he had placed himself not so much out of faith as it was the natural consequence of disappointment, not that he had not experienced moments of happiness, but there was something fundamentally wrong about laughter in his particular case, for it was not that he wasn't sincere but more of a question of an absurd relationship between time and his skin - his laughter had never been young. So young he was when he looked into the mirror and in spite of three delicate lines of expression hanging almost artificially slightly above the eyebrows and walking gently into the sideburns, there was a very kind and particular type of youth in him; his youth however was not beautiful as much as it was disturbing, for it was resembling more a peace treaty than actual adulthood - it might have been written nearly three decades ago but in spite of maintaining the status quo of life as such, the biology of politics and geography so to say, not even the simplest words had been inspected with care, the paper appeared such as a new morning dawning from Iceland into Cape Town at noon time, the text remained hidden, unexplored and ever so mysterious. There was nothing he could do in order to change the sorry situation that he was becoming younger and younger, so that in his isolation he tried out the wisest recipes for ageing: Overconsumption of life as such, deprivation of food and sleep, intense fits of crying and mourning, he pretended that he could no longer read books and that life, in the brutal intensity of jolts was far worthier than scholarly mustiness; the repetitive cycles of useless entertainment and feigned ignorance did take a toll on him after many a year, perhaps half a decade even, and those were not many years after all, but in the vice of youth they had seemed to stretch into a whole century. As if a magic elixir protected him from this crucial passage of time, he was still younger than he had ever been, and of course, even after writing a whole novel that would give him fame, he had accumulated no more than three readers and his material belongings were infinitely less than those of a boy even half his age; he did not possess any wealth and in his ownership one could not find even one single suitcase but a very modest assortment of clothes that he tucked into a plastic bag with a scrapbook and a pen - it was not that he was poor but that he had no interest in life unless it stood for the fulfillment of a certain corruption of death. This had nothing to do with a death wish as such but with wild mockeries, how a corpse refuses to scorch even after hours under the flame, the way nothing survives the burning down of a manor, other than an immaculate leaf floating on a little pond of mud that couldn't be consumed even by the acid water of leaking fuel.

But he had had enough with the isolation once he had lost interest in the study of philosophy, and began to admire after his own fashion, the ways of the people in the earth, but it was not that he loved their ways as such, for which he could show nothing but utter contempt, he admired the possibilities of art that they expressed and at this his cruelty was seamless and could easily blend in with either mental disease or immaturity. The people, he thought, often while journeying to the libraries and the cemeteries, were like little works of art, and it is not that he despised works of art as such but that he was terribly uncomfortable with the idea of perdurability that pervaded all the classical art he had once admired, no, but the idea of art had changed through the years during which he had not made part of the world and he began to develop a certain sensibility for the transience of life and the negation of art as supreme categories of representation. The kind of art that would consume itself shortly but definitely, as if there could be no possibility whatsoever to produce art as artifacts but that even in the modern age, the work of art could not be permitted to survive even for a moment, the pretensions of its own disclosure. This, however, people found very disturbing and often confused with an eternal inclination for romance, though, the moment the work of art embodied in the hands and the limbs of a certain person failed to deliver this timeless truth, it was set on fire and while not altogether forgotten, immediately condemned to the paper. How horrible this death is ought to be, to have your body lined up in a single and nude sheet of paper and then feel the ink choke you and drown you with exact precision, first puncturing the eyes and then continuing into the mouth and the throat, then chopping the limbs, emasculating before the very end and at long last embalming the skull onto the paper and making the leftovers of the skin vanish into the most beautiful metaphors of heaven and water, power and might, logic and sense, without one single scene of love - there were scenes of love, but they were never verbal and no more than a tense and very tortured gesture in the lips or the hands was permitted to settle around the corners, as if nearness, physical nearness as such, were not only sinful but insufficient an effort to stand for beauty. This writing, though beautiful, was not learnt, and thus could, deep down, be nothing but childish, and while it is not true that fairy tales are childish, those long pages, always cut at the very end and never dotting one single line or expression in the sides or the reverse, as if written with absolute scientific precision, were both fairy tales and childish. It did not leave one single moment to breathe or a blank space to be free, the tension was such a constraint on the effect that a reader had impressed upon himself, so that one single hour after he had written it out, he was ready to dispose an entire novel.

Coming out into the world in order to live intensely was something too much dangerous and perhaps even perverse, for there was nothing that could survive there, life least of all and certainly never one single instance of time as such, but it was a necessary step in order to break out of that ill model of love and art, which after its own fashion was only the reverse dialectics of the very same classical art that he had condemned; there had to come a moment, even at the expense of never growing old, when one had to learn how to think or write abstractly because in reality, the ever so constant murder of a large number of men and women onto sheets of paper had taxed his feelings and while he was by no means incapable of love, besides a little charm and a secretive but yet too obvious fascination, it was only this dread and the fear of his own murderous intentions, what he could offer instead of passion. He spent a few years thinking how it would be possible to write abstractly, without stealing from people, without historical perversion for which one would have to atone later on, perhaps into old age, spending yet a thousand days correcting manuscripts in order to let the truth about these earthly men, surface at last. Yet he was still becoming younger and younger, perhaps the body reacted differently to both erotic insinuation and to intoxication, but people still saw him as being completely childish, unable to outgrow some very simple fantasies. There were moments of pleasure, undeniably, he let himself be wrapped by them and soaked into their fluids, they were not making him older or wiser, like he had been at the age of sixteen when he understood the world so completely, when philosophy was still readable and love, definitely scary but possible, like religion. Abandoning the idea of wisdom however, is an entirely modern gesture, just like the romantic silence in his books, and perhaps that is why it made sense to step out of vindication. What had been once impossible, to walk away on the crucial moments of life, instead of setting them up as a trap for oneself, to drown in them as if in a pond until the point of exhaustion, this hadn't become in anyway easier, but it was no longer deadly; the present could be lost in this exercise, and art as such, hadn't gained any distance from the hand, however, the momentum hadn't been lost; the stakes for fear were in an all-time high, he could be unnerved anytime, but as it happened with dreams, the eternity of this suffocating moments was bland and weak before the mysteries of time, and this is the only way in which the obsession for trasience could possibly make sense - the deliberately modern idea that beauty is not to be kept but destroyed and irascibly transformed. Perhaps he was already somewhat older then, he just needed to prove it.

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