Forcible dislocation of personality

(Vous l'aurez peut-être deviné, je suis très pris par ma relecture récente de "V." et ne peut, pour l'instant, vous proposer grand chose d'autre que quelques extraits de ce magnifique livre. La semaine prochaine, sans doute, reprise du service normal.)

« Around each seed of a dossier, therefore, had developed a nacreous mass of inference, poetic license, forcible dislocation of personality into a past he didn’t remember and had no right in, save the right of imaginative anxiety or historical care, which is recognized by no one. He tended each seashell on his submarine scungille farm, tender and impartial, moving awkwardly about his staked preserve on the harborbed, carefully avoiding the little dark deep right there in the midst of the tame shellfish, down in which God knew what lived: the island Malta, where his father had died, where Herbert had never been and knew nothing at all about because something there kept him off, because it frightened him. »

« Stencil fell outside the pattern. Civil servant without rating, architect-by-necessity of intrigues and breathing-together, he should have been, like his father, inclined toward action. But spent his days instead at a certain vegetation, talking with Eigenvalue, waiting for Paola to reveal how she fitted into this grand Gothic pile of inferences he was hard at work creating. Of course too there were his “leads” which he hunted down now lackadaisical and only half-interested, as if there were after all something more important he ought to be doing. What this mission was, however, came no clearer to him than the ultimate shape of his V-structure – no clearer, indeed, than why he should have begun pursuit of V. in the first place. »

« Living as he does much of the time in a world of metaphor, the poet is always acutely conscious that metaphor has no value apart from its functions; that it is a device, an artifice. So that while others may look on the laws of physics as legislation and God as a human form with beard measured in light-years and nebulae for sandals, Fausto’s kind are alone with the task of living in a universe of things which simply are, and cloaking that innate mindlessness with comfortable and pious metaphor so that the “practical” half of humanity may continue in the Great Lie, confident that their machines, dwellings, streets and weather share the same human motives, personal traits and fits of contrariness as they. »


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