‘He feels that he is quite certainly a genius, perhaps indeed the very devil.’
His show of gentleness was like that in many of the men she had known, merely a play. He was a shrunken vestige of some more extensive distortion. His illusions were incapable of correction. She saw him as an end to a year of sickness. If there was lasciviousness there was also a way of being buried alive in his eyes and arms. There was a boundary between fantasy and reality being constantly blurred. Superannuated workings of his mental life were infantile magic. There were crocodiles carved into his nakedness. Something indefinable slithered around him. In the darkness what was also there?
Smoking was now indispensible. I don’t think they even had a coffee before he quickly left.
‘Can Europe – can London - be just the setting for this mental disintegration? Wouldn’t that be a celebration of dehumanisation of a portion of the human race equal to any other? And can a movement be celebrated if this is what it does? There’s a preposterous and perverse arrogance in reducing a portion of humanity to the break up. It doubles down on the initial dehumanising. Talk of ‘the angelic race’ does this. Talk of ‘the scum race’ also. Such talk is always, always, a declaration of war.’
That’s what she had said. She smoked with a sense that something had atrophied. Too many vowels per consonant was how she put it. What was needed was a kind of speech and thought that sleeps in itself, like African beats, the monosyllabics of the Kafirs, Gothic Luther smelling of printers’ ink, all that junk, all that jazz. She turned up her music to multiply meanings across the semantic crust of everything vital. She rolled her smokes with the roots to her tongue. Then she danced in her head to something that was there only because it had been before, but mutilated. In a sense this was all more than repression.
‘Education requires rigidity and intolerance, prohibition of thought even – but not of any kind, in any way, in any formulation. For the education to be worthwhile, these things have to be carefully applied and managed or else education is destroyed. But everyone sees clearly how these things can destroy education. Some fail to grasp that its not so in every case. Some secrets should be let out, others will get out anyway even whilst staying hidden.’
Read 47094 from the beginning here.
Read the complete novel 'The Ecstatic Silence' here.