Tuesday, March 02, 2010

"Halfway across the stone bridge I was so struck by the beauty of the view that I sat down on the low wall and gave myself up to contemplation. A similarly extensive view of life was what I lacked. I was still distracted and engrossed by every detail, I could see every hair and pimple on a human face, without seeing the face itself. I had, morever, no experience of anything but ecstasy. I had never known despair or anguish, which I looked on as literary expressions. I had not endured hunger, frustration, illness, or chastity; these were the afflictions of others. I had nothing on my conscience and had never wept except from loneliness, fright, or boredom. How then was I qualified to write? Could I go on treating life as an amusing spectacle, a kind of joke? the only serious emotions I had were connected with my sense of the hideously fleeting passage of my own happiness, of the mortal beauty of everything I saw, of the inexorable progress of my own body to decay and death; but the conclusions to be drawn from these seemed neither original nor profound. I was at last faced with the fact that the only thing bothering me was not having enough money and that all I desired in the literary way was not to be a bore."

from Memoirs of Montparnasse by John Glassco

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