procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Monday, November 20, 2006

incipit vita nova

for the unacquainted, hermann hesse, (along with aldous huxley and gabriel garcia marquez) is one of the authors who consistently gives me a fitfull night's sleep. take, for example, this exerpt from one of his first short stories:

"Shivering, I passed among the ruins of the world of my youth, over shattered thoughts and twisted, quivering dreams, and everything I looked at dissolved into dust and ceased to live. I saw friends whom I was ashamed of knowing, thoughts I had thought only recently looked me in the face, and they had grown as alien and remote as if they had been a hundred years old and never been mine. Everything fell away from me, and soon there was a deadly emptiness and calm all about me. I had nothing more that was close to me, no loved ones or neighbours, and my life rose up in me with a shudder of disgust. Every measure was full to overflowing, every altar desecrated; there was no sweetness but sickened me, no summit I had not left behind me. Every shimmer of purity was spent, every intimation of beauty defaced and trampled under foot. I had nothing more to long for, nothing more to offer, nothing more to hate. Everything that was still sacred and unravished and harmonious within me had lost its eyes and voice. All the guardians of my life had fallen asleep. All the bridges had been severed and all horizons robbed of their blue."

Hermann Hesse, Incipit vita nova, 1899 (from Stories of Five Decades, Triad/Panther, 1976)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


Read in moderation?

1:04 pm  
Blogger psychodougie said...

it' s almost like knowing having gorged yourself on pecan pie, leaving half in the fridge for later, which you could just finish and be done with it so as to stop thinking about it - but you know it'll probably make you even more ill, and then thinking about it makes you even more restless.

1:26 pm  
Blogger Georgina said...

That sounds so sickening and deeply depressing it makes me very sad and disturbed. I don't know about you, but I think reading that stuff is guaranteed to place you in a very dark space. Maybe instead Philippians 4:8???

5:08 pm  
Blogger Mark said...

My year 10 latin is a bit rusty:

incipit vita nova = the new life begins?

6:38 am  
Blogger psychodougie said...

the new mark photo. ever changing.

something like that i think. missed out on latin myself. have enough trouble with german grammar, let alone adding another level of complexity (as well as another few rows of the grammar table)

to begin one-self the new life.
something like that.

well done on your exams btw!

11:32 am  

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