The anarchic poetics of nihilism, 1926:
“You are lovely as a stovepipe, smooth and rounded into yourself, elbowed. Your body is like an egg on the seashore. You are concentrated as rock salt and transparent as rock crystal. You are a prodigous blossoming, a motionless whirlpool. The abyss of light. You are like a sounding line that sinks to incalculable depths. You are like a blade of grass magnified a thousand times.” (pp.41-42)
“There it was, in the utter darkness of the cavern, that I captured the loveliest forms of silence. I held them, they slid between my fingers, I recognized them by their feel. First, the five vowels, wild, apprehensive, watchful as vicuna; then, following down the spiral of the corridor, even narrower and lower, the edentate consonants, rolled into a ball in a scaly carapace, sleeping, wintering through the long months; farther still, the fricative consonants, smooth as eels, nibbling at my fingertips; then the weak ones, flabby, blind, often slobbering like white worms, and these I pinched with my nails, scratching their fibrils of prehistoric turf; then the hollow consonants, cold, cutting, corticate, which I gathered on the sand and collected like shells; and, at the very bottom, flat on my belly, leaning over a fissure, there among the roots, I felt god knows what poisoned sir come whipping at me, dtinging my face, while tiny animalcules skittered over my skin in the most ticklish places; they were spiral shaped and shaggy like a butterfly’s proboscis and let off sudden, raucous, husky sounds. It is noon. The sun pours boiling oil in the ear of the sleeping demiurge. The earth opens like an egg. Out of it surges a tongue, undulating and bloodshot. No, it is midnight. The tiny night-lamp is exhausting as an arc light. My ears are buzzing. My tongue is peeling. I make futile efforts to speak. I spit out a tooth, the dragon’s tooth.” (pp.54-55).
In the last analysis, scientific knowledge is negative. The latest discoveries of science, as well as its most stable and thoroughly proven laws, are just sufficient to allow us to demonstrate the futility of any attempt to explain the universe rationally, and the basic folly of all abstract notions. (pp.117-118)
Intelligence consists of eating stars and turning them into dung. And the universe, at the most optimistic estimate, is nothing but God’s digestive system. (p.118)
My eyes caught glimpses of vast expanses of sky, but the wheels rushed furiously in and destroyed any trace of it. Thy were turning in the depths of the sky, marking it with long, oily streaks! These grease marks spread, grew and took on colors and I could see a million eyes blinking in broad daylight. Enormous eyeballs were rolling from horizon to horizon, passing through each other. They all grew tiny, stationary and hard. A kind of translucent ectoplasm formed all around them, a kind of face: the face was my own. My face printed in hundreds of thousands of copies. (p.133)
Is there a more monstrous thought, a more convincing spectacle, a more patent affirmation of the impotence and madness of the brain? War. All our philosophies, religions, arts, techniques and trades lead to nothing but this. The finest flowers of civilization. The purest constructions of thought. The most generous and altruistic passions of the heart. The most heroic gestures of man. War. Now and a thousand years ago. Tomorrow and a hundred thousand years ago. No it’s not a question of your country, by German or French friend, or yours, whether you’re black or white or Papuan or a Borneo monkey. It’s a question of your life. If you want to live, kill. Kill so you can be free, or eat, or shit. The shameful thing is to kill in masses, at a predetermined hour, on a predetermined day, in honor of certain principles, under cover of a flag, with old men nodding approval, to kill in a disinterested or passive fashion. Stand alone against them all young man, kill, kill, you are unique, you are the only man alive, kill until the others cut you short with the guillotine or the cord or the rope, with or without ceremony, in the name of the Community or the King. (pp.225-226)