Some cry: “Love me!” Others: “Don’t love me!” But a certain genus, the worst and most unhappy, cries: “Don’t love me and be faithful to me!”
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All that remains is a fate whose outcome alone is fatal. Outside of that single fatality of death, everything, joy or happiness, is liberty. A world remains of which man is the sole master. What bound him was the illusion of another world. The outcome of his thought, ceasing to be renunciatory, flowers in images. It frolics—in myths, to be sure, but myths with no other depth than that of human suffering and, like it, inexhaustible. Not the divine fable that amuses and blinds, but the terrestrial face, gesture, and drama in which are summed up a difficult wisdom and an ephemeral passion.
I sometimes think of what future historians will say of us. A single sentence will suffice for modern man: he fornicated and read the papers. After that vigorous definition, the subject will be, if I may say so, exhausted.
Of who and of what indeed can I say: “I know that!” This heart within me I can feel, and I judge that it exists. This world I can touch, and likewise judge that it exists. There ends all my knowledge and the rest is construction.
In the long run, one gets used to anything. After a single day’s experience of the outside world, a man could easily live 100 years in prison. He’d have laid up enough memories never to be bored.
I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate.