Sunday, May 17, 2009

From The Unnameable, by Samuel Beckett

Yes, the big words must out too, all be taken as it comes. The problem of liberty too, as sure as fate, will come up for my consideration at the pre-established moment. But perhaps I have been too hasty in opposing these two fomenters of fiasco. Is it not the fault of one that I cannot be the other? Accomplices therefore. That's the way to reason, warmly. Or is one to postulate a tertius gaudens, meaning myself, responsible for the double failure? Shall I come upon my true countenance at last, bathing in a smile? I have the feeling I shall be spared this spectacle.

***

When Mahood I once knew a doctor who held that scientifically speaking the latest breath could only issue from the fundament and this therefore, rather than the mouth, the orifice to which the family should present the mirror, before opening the will. However this may be, and without dwelling further on these macabre details, it is certain I was grievously mistaken in supposing that death in itself could be regarded as evidence, or even a strong presumption, in support of a preliminary life. And I for my part have no longer the least desire to leave this world, in which they keep trying to foist me, without some kind of assurance that I was really there, such as a kick in the arse, for example, or a kiss, the nature of the attention is of little importance, provided I cannot be suspected of being its author. But let two third parties remark me, there, before my eyes, and I'll take care of the rest. How all becomes clear and simple when one opens an eye on the within, having of course previously exposed it to the without, in order to benefit by the contrast. I should be sorry, though exhausted personally, to abandon prematurely this rich vein. For I shall not come back to it in a hurry, ah no. But enough of this cursed first person, it is really too red a herring, I'll get out of my depth if I'm not careful.

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