Notebook (Querelle)

August 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

1966: “As I wait for the train, a youth in tight white pants sets off the usual alarm signals, but then I notice that he wears the jacket of a school where I am known, where indeed one of my dogs lives. I ask after my friends on the faculty, ask after my dog, and the air between us is pristine and cheerful. It is facelessness that seems to threaten one, strangeness, a sort of erotic darkness, an ignorance of each other, except for the knowledge of sexual desire; but standing in a public urinal and being solicited by a faceless stranger one senses some definite promise of understanding oneself and of understanding death, as if the natural and sensible strictures of society, raised in the light of day, were too heavy a burden for our instincts and left them with no immunity to the infections of anxiety and in particular the fear of death. Run, run, run ballocksy through the woods, put it in the brushes of nymphs and up the hairy bums of satyrs and you will know yourself and no longer fear death; but why, then, do the satyrs have an idiotic leer? To have the good fortune to love what is seemly and what the world counsels one to love, and to be loved in return, is a lighter destiny than to court a sailor in Port-au-Prince who will pick your pockets, wring your neck and leave you dead in a gutter.”

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