mardi 31 août 2010

William Fauklner, MOSQUITOES, New York, Library of America, 2006 [1927]

"The race," said Fairchild, "is playing out. Once we did things with muscles. Then we found out that all creatures didn't have the same kind of muscle, so we invented ways of doing things with sticks and stones. Then somebody invented a way of using shiny trinkets to make the stick-and-stone people do what they wanted them to do. And now the stick-and-stone people are about to get all the shiny trinkets, and so all we have left is words. And that's the last resort. When someone invents a way to produce words without mental process, where will we wordusers be?"
"Whoever invented American politics has already done that," the semitic man said.
"American politics aint universal though," Fairchild answered. "No other nation could afford it. But if the world's awe and belief in words ever does falter..."
"That will be an unfortunate day for you, anyway," the semitic man said.
"Yes?" remarked Fairchild.
"You'll have to go to work."
"Well, I dont object to work."
"Nobody does. On the contrary, in fact. That's the reason you people are so dissatisfied in your perversion. The laborer curses his job; on Saturday night he tells the world that he is through until Monday. But did you ever know a writer to admit that he was not either planning or writing a novel constantly? Or two or three, even?"
Fairchild pondered a while. "Yes, you're right. We do have to say we are writing a new novel wether we are or not."
"Of course you do. Art is against nature: those who choose it are perverts, and in choosing it they cast all things behind them. So to admit that you are not working on something constantly is an admission that your life is temporarily pointless, and so unbearable."
"Yes," repeated Fairchild. "... But why perversion?"
"You dont think its natural for man to spend his life making little crooked marks on paper, do you? Doing things with color, or stringing sounds together, now, I grant you..."
The semitic man slapped his neck again.
"God knows," said Fairchild.
(p. 290)

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