Adonis Diaries

“Voyage to the End of the Night” by Ferdinand Celine (Part 3)

Posted on: August 28, 2012

“Trip to the End of the Night” by Ferdinand Celine (Part 3)

This French book, published in the early 1930’s, is basically a collection of autobiographical stories of a freshly graduating physician in his mid thirties who established his “clinic” in a poor working neighborhood in the suburb of Paris.

Paying visit to patients after sundown and the medical tour lasting till dawn generate real life stories.

The followings are excerpts, not of the stories, but of the kind of statements that the living among miseries bring up in our mind and emotions.

We have no illusions: We know that the only story we care to communicate is the variety of our pains, aches and frustrations…We care less of what people tell us of their pains and frustrations…All that we do is transfer our aches…The irony is that our pains remain intact, whole, and never vanish…We are expert with grimaces, and with old age, making the face of pain becomes too heavy and complicated…

I am walking and got caught by a mass of people obstructing the street. They were standing in circles and big rosy pig grunting in pain in the middle. The masses were pretty happy and hysterically laughing: They had this golden urban opportunity to hurting the pig, twisting his ears, encouraging a little dog to mount the pig and bite it…And the pig was moaning, whining, and trying to flee from this crazy and hellish circle of insane people…The pig was tugging on the rope, urinating, and going nowhere…Nothing was working for the pig to feel freedom…The butcher was holding a large knife and making faces and wildly gesturing to make people laugh louder…The butcher has learned the best method to amuse the guests at the wedding of his daughter…

What of this famous author husband (Montaigne) who sent his wife a letter on the occasion of the death of her newborn: “Don’t worry dear woman…Things will work out in life, eventually…I just finished reading a letter that another famous author wrote to his wife on a similar occasion…Read this attached letter over and over, and disseminate the content to our friends and acquaintances… I feel pretty serene right now…”

Dr. Baryton stayed away from any physical health intervention. He used to tell me: “Science and life form a destructive mixture. Any question you formulate to the condition of your body is a sure gap that thickness will sneak in…Any beginning of worry, obsession… is ground to let sickness in…What is already known is way enough for me to handle…”

In my case, I longed for a severe flu, high enduring fever, anything that would force me to the quietude of a deep sleep…I have lost confidence of sleeping like normal people do…this state of indifference that neutralizes my worrying nature…to getting this stupid and divine tranquility of the living…

Misery for misery, I prefer the ones not displayed in newspapers…

What could we do if we refuse to go forward, leaded as we are with all the boredom we constantly carry in living…? Sticking to our regular habits is the least annoying to our eternal boredom

It is useless to comprehend what is it to come back to a life of miseries, and the waiting, until we observe all those little people hoping to get  the promised pension, before they pass away. Like those suffering from tuberculosis when there were no cure for it: They believe they will surely get well after they receive the pension, no doubt about it…Pension is a cure it all…There is no urgency to getting well before pension time: To do what? Get back to the harsh useless work?

There come a time we talk less and less about what we desired the most…and if we are nudged to talk, it is with great effort. We abridge the story of our desires and wants…We don’t care to insist on the right and wrong.  All that we need is a little food, plenty of heat, and sleeping as much as we can, on this long and rough road of nothingness.

We lack this desire to invent new stories…We keep the griefs of the departed people who had left a little sunshine in our heart in our childhood…

Come a time we feel that we got old all of a sudden: We no longer get excited or interested in people’s stories and their worries.  It doesn’t matter how hard we pretend, the world has already left us before we vanish in the great darkness...

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August 2012

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