Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (1970) – Because the abyss moves

10 Apr

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“The Abyss”

Pascal had his abyss that moved along with him.
— Alas! all is abysmal, — action, desire, dream,
Word! and over my hair which stands on end
I feel the wind of Fear pass frequently.

Above, below, on every side, the depth, the strand,
The silence, space, hideous and fascinating…
On the background of my nights God with clever hands
Sketches an unending nightmare of many forms.

I’m afraid of sleep as one is of a great hole
Full of obscure horrors, leading one knows not where;
I see only infinite through every window,

And my spirit, haunted by vertigo, is jealous
Of the insensibility of nothingness.
— Ah! Never to go out from Numbers and Beings!

-Charles Baudelaire

trans. by William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

(via fleursdumal.org)

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