If, by chance or miracle, words would volatilize, we would plunge into an intolerable anguish and bewilderment. Such sudden mutism would expose us to the cruelest torment. Is the use of the concept that makes us masters of our fears. We say: Death, and this abstraction dispense us to experience its infinity and horror. By baptizing things and events we elude the Unexplained: this activity of the esprit is a healthy tricking, a whisk away exercise, allowing us to circulate a sweetened reality, comfortable, and inaccurate. Learning to handle concepts —unlearning to look at things… Reflection was born in a day of fugue; and verbal ostentation was its result. But when one turns to oneself and is alone —without the company of words—, an unqualified universe rediscovers itself, the pure object, the naked event: Where may we get the courage to face it? Then you don’t speculate on death, you are death, rather than decorating life and assigning it purposes, you strip it out its finery, and it is reduced to its fair insignificance: a euphemism for Evil. The great words: destiny, misfortune, mishap, shed their luster, and that’s when the creature could be perceived struggling with faint organs, overcome by a prostrate and aghast material. Remove the man’s lie Misery, give him power to look under that term: and he won’t be able to endure a single instant of his misery. It is the abstraction, the sonority without content, squandering and bombastic, which prevented him from sinking, neither religions, nor instincts. By no gravitating too much about our accident, we transform even our name into an entity: how one called Peter or Paul could ever die? Each of us, more attentive to the immutable appearance of our name that to the fragility of our being, are left with a feeling of immortality; once the articulation faded, we would be completely alone, the mystic who marries silence has resigned its status as creature. Figure up him, also, without faith —a nihilistic mystic— and we would have the disastrous culmination of our earthly adventure.
… It’s quite natural to think that man, tired of words, after the pounding of time will un-baptize things and burn their names and his in a great act of faith in which he will sink all his hopes. All of us run to this final model, to a mute and naked man…
In front of thinkers devoid of pathos, character, and intensity, and moulded onto the shape of their own time, stand others you feel that at any moment they would have appeared, they would have been similar to themselves, unconcerned of their time, drawing their thoughts from their own inner depths, from the eternity of their specific tasks. They do not take from their midst more than outlines, some peculiarities of style, some twists characteristic of a given evolution. Pledged to their fate, they resemble irruptions, tragic and lonely glares, close to apocalypse and psychiatry. A Kierkegaard, a Nietzsche, even emerged in a period more anodyne, wouldn’t have had an inspiration least shivery, nor less incendiary. Perished in their own flames; a few centuries before they would have perished in the bonfires; facing the face of general truths, they were destined to heresy. It doesn’t matter your own fire devours you, or that prepared for you: temperament truths must be paid one way or another. Viscera, blood, discomforts and vices are tuned to give them birth. Impregnated with subjectivity, you sense an “I” after each of them: everything becomes confusion: a cry of the flesh is in the origin of the most anodyne interjection; even a seemingly impersonal theory serves to betray its author, his secrets and his suffering; there is no universality that is not a mask: even logic, everything is a pretext for his autobiography; his “I” has infested the ideas, his anguish has become criterion, the only reality.
Meantime… – Dugutigui’s translation on excerpts by E. M. Cioran