aphorisms | poetics
a shower of black corpses rains
The real Garden Eden - that is the wasteland. The goal of history - that's the weathering field of ruins. The sense - that is the trickling sand blown through the eye sockets up to the skullcap.
Ulrich Horstmann, the beast 1983
everything is ridiculous if one thinks of death.
The world is eaten up by boredom.... You can't see it all at once. It is like dust. You go about and never notice, you breathe it in, you eat and drink it. It is sifted so fine, it doesn't even grit on your teeth. But stand still for an instant and there it is, coating your face and hands. To shake off this drizzle of ashes you must be for ever on the go. And so people are always "on the go."
Georges Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest
The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd - The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.
I know that our efforts all come to nothing. I know the end of us all is nothing, I know that at the end of Time, the reward of our toil will be nothing— and again nothing. I know that all our handiwork will be destroyed. I know that not even ash will be left from the fires that consume us. I know that our ideals, even those we achieve, will vanish in the eternal darkness of oblivion and final non-being. There is no hope, none, in my heart. No promise, none, can I make to myself and to others. No recompense can I expect for my labors. No fruit will be born of my thoughts. The Future—eternal seducer of all men, eternal cause of all effects—offers me nothing but the blank prospect of annihilation.
Giovanni Papini, Un uomo finito
Real misanthropes are not found in solitude, but in the world; since it is experience of life, and not philosophy, which produces real hatred of mankind.
Language is not made to be believed but to be obeyed, and to compel obedience newspapers, news, proceed by redundancy, in that they tell us what we ‘must’ think, retain, expect, etc. language is neither informational nor communicational. It is not the communication of information but something quite different: the transmission of order-words, either from one statement to another or within each statement, insofar as each statement accomplishes an act and the act is accomplished in the statement.
Gilles Deleuze, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1980)
Because we demand a future, we live each moment in expectation and unfulfillment. We live each moment in passing. In just this way the real nunc stans, the timeless present, is reduced to the nunc fluens, the fleeting present, the passing present of a mere one or two seconds. We expect each moment to pass on to a future moment, for in this fashion we pretend to avoid death by always rushing toward an imagined future. We want to meet ourselves in the future. We don’t want just now—we want another now, and another, and another, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. And thus, paradoxically, our impoverished present is fleeting precisely because we demand that it end! We want it to end so that it can thereby pass on to yet another moment, a future moment, which will in turn live only to pass.
Ken Wilber, No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth
The old adage from Santayana, that those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it, is a lie. There is no history. Everything we are is eternally with us.
Kathleen Conklin in "The Addiction", Abel Ferrara 1995
Irony won't save you from anything; humour doesn't do anything at all. You can look at life ironically for years, maybe decades; there are people who seem to go through most of their lives seeing the funny side, but in the end, life always breaks your heart. Doesn't matter how brave you are, or how reserved, or how much you've developed a sense of humour, you still end up with your heart broken. That's when you stop laughing.
Michel Houellebecq, The Elementary Particles
Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.
( translation by Margitt Lehbert )
Whatever exists is inevitably flawed. Buddha, in his detachment from the world, finds all its hustle and bustle ridiculous because he has nothing to do with it. A cynic finds the feelings of his fellow human beings ridiculous because he has no feelings himself. Someone who does not play soccer thinks it ridiculous to chase around after a little leather ball for hours at a time. He doesn't bother to ask whether this game might be a lot of fun. All he sees is the ridiculousness of grown men playing like little boys. People who do anything will no doubt appear ridiculous to people who do nothing. A person who acts can always make a fool of himself. A person who doesn't never runs that risk. We might even say that life is always ridiculous but death is never ridiculous.
Fritz Zorn (Fritz Angst), Mars
Worshiping the Devil is no more insane than worshiping God...It is precisely at the moment when positivism is at its high-water mark that mysticism stirs into life and the follies of occultism begin.
my fifth attempt
(to translate a poem by a former friend)
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!
Philipp Mainländer, Die Philosophie der Erlösung
I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction.
my third attempt
(to translate a poem by a former friend)
Melancholy and sadness are the start of doubt... doubt is the beginning of despair; despair is the cruel beginning of the differing degrees of wickedness.
Comte de Lautreamont
A man's delight in looking forward to and hoping for some particular satisfaction is a part of the pleasure flowing out of it, enjoyed in advance. But this is afterward deducted, for the more we look forward to anything the less we enjoy it when it comes.
Another poem by my former friend
(that i translated into english)
Consciousness is much more than the thorn, it is the dagger in the flesh.
Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard
believe little. question everything. think for yourself.
Virtue knows that it is impossible to get on without compromise, and tunes herself, as it were, a trifle sharp to allow for an inevitable fall in playing.
i just tried to translate a poem by a former friend from german to english. The many wonderful neologisms that he used and for which there is often no equivalent in english make the whole thing unfortunately very difficult...apart from that, what do you think of it?
Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve, and hope without an object cannot live.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
There exists only the present instant... a Now which always and without end is itself new. There is no yesterday nor any tomorrow, but only Now, as it was a thousand years ago and as it will be a thousand years hence.
The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have words for.
Pain is important: how we evade it, how we succumb to it, how we deal with it, how we transcend it.
Audrey Geraldine Lorde; February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992) was an American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist. She was a self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” who dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and homophobia. As a poet, she is best known for technical mastery and emotional expression, as well as her poems that express anger and outrage at civil and social injustices she observed throughout her life. Her poems and prose largely deal with issues related to civil rights, feminism, lesbianism, illness and disability, and the exploration of black female identity.
Religion is a sort of spiritual booze, in which the slaves of capital drown their human image, their demand for a life more or less worthy of man.
Wladimir Iljitsch Uljanow in ‘Socialism and Religion’ from 1905