*όπου ''Ενός'' στα αρχαία ελληνικά σημαίνει ''άνθρωπος''. Έν=Ένα=One=Ο.Ν.Ε.=Ο.Η.Ε=UN=Γυνή=Οίνος=Venus/Αφροδίτη.

Η ''Πλειοψηφία του Ενός'' δεν αναφέρεται μόνο στο γεγονός ότι στην ζυγαριά της οικονομίας οι πολλοί βουλιάζουν και ο ένας διασώζεται αλλά, επιπροσθέτως, σημαίνει ότι αυτός ο ένας (1) άνθρωπος διασώζει κυρία και έλκει το πλοίο της κυβέρνησης, τον κύβο που ερρίφθη και βυθίζεται (όπως ακριβώς σε μιαν ζυγαριά όπου η μάζα των πολλών χάνεται λόγω του βάρους). Η βάση της ερευνητικής μεθόδου στηρίζεται στην διαδικασία λήψης αποφάσεων κατά πλειοψηφία και την έκδοση αποτελεσμάτων μετρήσεων, ερευνών, ψηφοφορίας, εκλογής στα Ευρωπαϊκά Συμβούλια και στις Συνόδους Κορυφής της Ε.Κ. που διασώζουν μιαν χώρα -άνευ δικαιώματος αρνησικυρίας (βέτο)- από την ανισορροπία του Δημοσίου και από το “φούντο” του ταμείου της, δηλ. το Δ.Ν.Τ., με βάση τον Μηχανισμό Συναλλαγματικών Ισοτιμιών του Ευρωπαϊκού Νομισματικού Συστήματος και το εσωτερικό δίκτυο INNERNET πληρωμής της εργασίας των Ελλήνων κατ' οίκον: είναι το μοναδικό οικονομικό και τραπεζικό σύστημα στον κόσμο που λειτουργεί ως ραδιο-τηλεοπτικό κανάλι θετικών ειδήσεων και νέων μέσω προγραμμάτων και ταινιών με σκοπό την επικοινωνία με το κοινό. Αφενός χρησιμεύει ως Τράπεζα (Data Bank) πληροφοριών, δεδομένων και αίματος με προσωπική περιουσία 300 τρις Φοινίκων και αφετέρου βασίζεται στους θεσμούς της Ελεύθερης Οικονομίας ("Free Market"), στην απόλυτη τραπεζική πίστη, στο επιτόκιο Labor και στο ελληνικό νόμισμα οίκου (I.Q., συμβολική ονομασία για τον Φοίνικα, ο οποίος είναι το νόμισμα των Ελλήνων που αγαπούν την πατρίδα τους, που γνωρίζουν επαρκώς αρχαία και νέα Ελληνικά, Λατινικά, Αγγλικά, Γαλλικά κ.τ.λ., αγαπούν την έντεχνη μουσική, ελληνική και ξένη, και την ίδια την Τέχνη ενώ, με βάση την κατά κεφαλήν καλλιέργεια του Α.Ε.Π. αποτελεί την πλέον ανθούσα οικονομία στην Ευρώπη). Πρόκειται για μιαν νομισματική μονάδα που χαμηλότερη από αυτήν στον κόσμο σε αξία πλούτου δεν υπάρχει διότι πρωτίστως η νοημοσύνη και το νόμισμα των πολιτών που την χρησιμοποιούν δεν υποτιμάται ΠΟΤΕ: ειδικότερα, στηρίζεται στο νόμισμα της Αναγέννησης -ο Φοίνιξ- με βάση την ρήτρα E.C.U., δηλαδή 1 Φοίνιξ=3 Δολλάρια ενώ το Ευρώ υπολογίζεται με βάση τις συναλλαγματικές ισοτιμίες των υπολοίπων νομισμάτων με βάση το E.C.U., το E.C.U. όμως υπολογίζεται ΜΕ ΤΗΝ ΕΞΑΙΡΕΣΗ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΑΣ!

ΜΠΕΙΤΕ ΣΤΑ ΠΟΡΤΑΛ ΚΑΙ ΤΑ ΤΑΜΠΛΕΤ ΤΟΥ ΔΗΜΟΣΙΟΓΡΑΦΟΥ:

Μπείτε στα Νέα Tablets: ΙΣΤΟΛΟΓΙΟ ΕΞΑΤΟΜΙΚΕΥΜΕΝΗΣ ΕΝΗΜΕΡΩΣΗΣ www.my-insense.blogspot.com ΠΛΗΡΟΦΟΡΗΣΗ ΣΤΟ PORTAL www.propagenda.blogspot.com

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Τετάρτη, 10 Φεβρουαρίου 2010

''Ο ΑΡΝΗΣΙΘΡΗΣΚΟΣ'' - ΔΟΚΙΜΙΟ ΤΟΥ ΑΛΜΠΕΡ ΚΑΜΥ ΑΠΟ ΤΟ ΒΙΒΛΙΟ ''Η ΕΞΟΡΙΑ ΚΑΙ ΤΟ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΙΟ''

''Ο ΑΡΝΗΣΙΘΡΗΣΚΟΣ''
ΔΟΚΙΜΙΟ ΤΟΥ ΑΛΜΠΕΡ ΚΑΜΥ ΑΠΟ ΤΟ ΒΙΒΛΙΟ ''Η ΕΞΟΡΙΑ ΚΑΙ ΤΟ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΙΟ''


WHAT A JUMBLE! What a jumble! I must tidy up my mind. Since they cut
out my tongue, another tongue, it seems, has been constantly wagging
somewhere in my skull, something has been talking, or someone, that
suddenly falls silent and then it all begins again—oh, I hear too many things I
never utter, what a jumble, and if I open my mouth it’s like pebbles rattling
together. Order and method, the tongue says, and then goes on talking of
other matters simultaneously—yes, I always longed for order. At least one
thing is certain, I am waiting for the missionary who is to come and take my
place. Here I am on the trail, an hour away from Taghâsa, hidden in a pile of
rocks, [35] sitting on my old rifle. Day is breaking over the desert, it’s still
very cold, soon it will be too hot, this country drives men mad and I’ve been
here I don’t know how many years. . . . No, just a little longer. The missionary
is to come this morning, or this evening. I’ve heard he’ll come with a guide,
perhaps they’ll have but one camel between them. I’ll wait, I am waiting, it’s
only the cold making me shiver. Just be patient a little longer, lousy slave!
But I have been patient for so long. When I was home on that high plateau
of the Massif Central, my coarse father, my boorish mother, the wine, the
pork soup every day, the wine above all, sour and cold, and the long winter,
the frigid wind, the snowdrifts, the revolting bracken—oh, I wanted to get
away, leave them all at once and begin to live at last, in the sunlight, with
fresh water. I believed the priest, he spoke to me of the seminary, he tutored
me daily, he had plenty of time in that Protestant region, where he used to
hug the walls as he crossed the village. He told me of the future and of the
sun, Catholicism is the sun, he used to say, and he would get me to read, he
beat Latin into my hard head (‘The kid’s bright but he’s pig-headed’), my
head was so hard that, despite all [36] my falls, it has never once bled in my
life: ‘Bullheaded,’ my pig of a father used to say. At the seminary they were
proud as punch, a recruit from the Protestant region was a victory, they
greeted me like the sun at Austerlitz. The sun was pale and feeble, to be
sure, because of the alcohol, they have drunk sour wine and the children’s
teeth are set on edge, gra gra, one really ought to kill one’s father, but after
all there’s no danger that he’ll hurl himself into missionary work since he’s
now long dead, the tart wine eventually cut through his stomach, so there’s
nothing left but to kill the missionary.
I have something to settle with him and with his teachers, with my
teachers who deceived me, with the whole of lousy Europe, everybody deceived
me. Missionary work, that’s all they could say, go out to the savages
and tell them: ‘Here is my Lord, just look at him, he never strikes or kills, he
issues his orders in a low voice, he turns the other cheek, he’s the greatest of
masters, choose him, just see how much better he’s made me, offend me
and you will see.’ Yes, I believed, gra gra, and I felt better, I had put on
weight, I was almost handsome, I wanted to be offended. When we would
walk out in tight black rows, in summer, under Grenoble’s hot sun and would
meet girls in [37] cotton dresses, I didn’t look away, I despised them, I
waited for them to offend me, and sometimes they would laugh. At such
times I would think: ‘Let them strike me and spit in my face,’ but their
laughter, to tell the truth, came to the same thing, bristling with teeth and
quips that tore me to shreds, the offense and the suffering were sweet to
me! My confessor couldn’t understand when I used to heap accusations on
myself: ‘No, no, there’s good in you!’ Good! There was nothing but sour wine
in me, and that was all for the best, how can a man become better if he’s not
bad, I had grasped that in everything they taught me. That’s the only thing I
did grasp, a single idea, and, pig-headed bright boy, I carried it to its logical
conclusion, I went out of my way for punishments, I groused at the normal, in
short I too wanted to be an example in order to be noticed and so that after
noticing me people would give credit to what had made me better, through
me praise my Lord.
Fierce sun! It’s rising, the desert is changing, it has lost its mountaincyclamen
color, O my mountain, and the snow, the soft enveloping snow, no,
it’s a rather grayish yellow, the ugly moment before the great resplendence.
Nothing, still nothing from here to the horizon over yonder where the [38]
plateau disappears in a circle of still soft colors. Behind me, the trail climbs
to the dune hiding Taghâsa, whose iron name has been beating in my head
for so many years. The first to mention it to me was the half-blind old priest
who had retired to our monastery, but why do I say the first, he was the only
one, and it wasn’t the city of salt, the white walls under the blinding sun, that
struck me in his account but the cruelty of the savage inhabitants and the
town closed to all outsiders, only one of those who had tried to get in, one
alone, to his knowledge, had lived to relate what he had seen. They had
whipped him and driven him out into the desert after having put salt on his
wounds and in his mouth, he had met nomads who for once were
compassionate, a stroke of luck, and since then I had been dreaming about
his tale, about the fire of the salt and the sky, about the House of the Fetish
and his slaves, could anything more barbarous, more exciting be imagined,
yes, that was my mission and I had to go and reveal to them my Lord.
They all expatiated on the subject at the seminary to discourage me,
pointing out the necessity of waiting, that it was not missionary country, that
I wasn’t ready yet, I had to prepare myself [39] specially, know who I was,
and even then I had to go through tests, then they would see! But go on
waiting, ah, no!—yes, if they insisted, for the special preparation and the
tryouts because they took place at Algiers and brought me closer, but for all
the rest I shook my pig-head and repeated the same thing, to get among the
most barbarous and live as they did, to show them at home, and even in the
House of the Fetish, through example, that my Lord’s truth would prevail.
They would offend me, of course, but I was not afraid of offenses, they were
essential to the demonstration, and as a result of the way I endured them I’d
get the upper hand of those savages like a strong sun. Strong, yes, that was
the word I constantly had on the tip of my tongue, I dreamed of absolute
power, the kind that makes people kneel down, that forces the adversary to
capitulate, converts him in short, and the blinder, the crueler he is, the more
he’s sure of himself, mired in his own conviction, the more his consent
establishes the royalty of whoever brought about his collapse. Converting
good folk who had strayed somewhat was the shabby ideal of our priests, I
despised them for daring so little when they could do so much, they lacked
faith and I had it, I wanted to be acknowledged by the torturers [40]
themselves, to fling them on their knees and make them say: ‘O Lord, here is
thy victory,’ to rule in short by the sheer force of words over an army of the
wicked. Oh, I was sure of reasoning logically on that subject, never quite sure
of myself otherwise, but once I get an idea I don’t let go of it, that’s my
strong point, yes the strong point of the fellow they all pitied!
The sun has risen higher, my forehead is beginning to burn. Around me the
stones are beginning to crack open with a dull sound, the only cool thing is
the rifle’s barrel, cool as the fields, as the evening rain long ago when the
soup was simmering, they would wait for me, my father and mother who
would occasionally smile at me, perhaps I loved them. But that’s all in the
past, a film of heat is beginning to rise from the trail, come on, missionary,
I’m waiting for you, now I know how to answer the message, my new
masters taught me, and I know they are right, you have to settle accounts
with that question of love. When I fled the seminary in Algiers I had a
different idea of the savages and only one detail of my imaginings was true,
they are cruel. I had robbed the treasurer’s office, cast off my habit, crossed
the Atlas, the upper plateaus and the desert, the bus-driver of the [41] Trans-
Sahara line made fun of me: ‘Don’t go there,’ he too, what had got into them
all, and the gusts of sand for hundreds of wind-blown kilometers, progressing
and backing in the face of the wind, then the mountains again made up of
black peaks and ridges sharp as steel, and after them it took a guide to go
out on the endless sea of brown pebbles, screaming with heat, burning with
the fires of a thousand mirrors, to the spot on the confines of the white
country and the land of the blacks where stands the city of salt. And the
money the guide stole from me, ever naïve I had shown it to him, but he left
me on the trail—just about here, it so happens—after having struck me:
‘Dog, there’s the way, the honor’s all mine, go ahead, go on, they’ll show
you,’ and they did show me, oh yes, they’re like the sun that never stops,
except at night, beating sharply and proudly, that is beating me hard at this
moment, too hard, with a multitude of lances burst from the ground, oh
shelter, yes shelter, under the big rock, before everything gets muddled.
The shade here is good. How can anyone live in the city of salt, in the
hollow of that basin full of dazzling heat? On each of the sharp right-angle
walls cut out with a pickax and coarsely planed, [42] the gashes left by the
pickax bristle with blinding scales, pale scattered sand yellows them
somewhat except when the wind dusts the upright walls and terraces, then
everything shines with dazzling whiteness under a sky likewise dusted even
to its blue rind. I was going blind during those days when the stationary fire
would crackle for hours on the surface of the white terraces that all seemed
to meet as if, in the remote past, they had all together tackled a mountain of
salt, flattened it first, and then had hollowed out streets, the insides of
houses and windows directly in the mass, or as if—yes, this is more like it,
they had cut out their white, burning hell with a powerful jet of boiling water
just to show that they could live where no one ever could, thirty days’ travel
from any living thing, in this hollow in the middle of the desert where the
heat of day prevents any contact among creatures, separates them by a
portcullis of invisible flames and of searing crystals, where without transition
the cold of night congeals them individually in their rock-salt shells, nocturnal
dwellers in a dried-up icefloe, black Eskimos suddenly shivering in their
cubical igloos. Black because they wear long black garments, and the salt
that collects even under their nails, that they continue tasting bitterly [43]
and swallowing during the sleep of those polar nights, the salt they drink in
the water from the only spring in the hollow of a dazzling groove, often spots
their dark garments with something like the trail of snails after a rain.
Rain, O Lord, just one real rain, long and hard, rain from your heaven!
Then at last the hideous city, gradually eaten away, would slowly and irresistibly
cave in and, utterly melted in a slimy torrent, would carry off its
savage inhabitants toward the sands. Just one rain, Lord! But what do I
mean, what Lord, they are the lords and masters! They rule over their sterile
homes, over their black slaves that they work to death in the mines and each
slab of salt that is cut out is worth a man in the region to the south, they
pass by, silent, wearing their mourning veils in the mineral whiteness of the
streets, and at night, when the whole town looks like a milky phantom, they
stoop down and enter the shade of their homes, where the salt walls shine
dimly. They sleep with a weightless sleep and, as soon as they wake, they
give orders, they strike, they say they are a united people, that their god is
the true god, and that one must obey. They are my masters, they are
ignorant of pity and, like masters, they want to be alone, to progress alone,
[44] to rule alone, because they alone had the daring to build in the salt and
the sands a cold torrid city. And I...
What a jumble when the heat rises, I’m sweating, they never do, now the
shade itself is heating up, I feel the sun on the stone above me, it’s striking,
striking like a hammer on all the stones and it’s the music, the vast music of
noon, air and stones vibrating over hundreds of kilometers, gra, I hear the
silence as I did once before. Yes, it was the same silence, years ago, that
greeted me when the guards led me to them, in the sunlight, in the center of
the square, whence the concentric terraces rose gradually toward the lid of
hard blue sky sitting on the edge of the basin. There I was, thrown on my
knees in the hollow of that white shield, my eyes corroded by the swords of
salt and fire issuing from all the walls, pale with fatigue, my ear bleeding
from the blow given by my guide, and they, tall and black, looked at me
without saying a word. The day was at its midcourse. Under the blows of the
iron sun the sky resounded at length, a sheet of white-hot tin, it was the
same silence, and they stared at me, time passed, they kept on staring at
me, and I couldn’t face their stares, I panted more and more violently,
eventually I [45] wept, and suddenly they turned their backs on me in silence
and all together went off in the same direction. On my knees, all I could see,
in the red-and-black sandals, was their feet sparkling with salt as they raised
the long black gowns, the tip rising somewhat, the heel striking the ground
lightly, and when the square was empty I was dragged to the House of the
Fetish.
Squatting, as I am today in the shelter of the rock and the fire above my
head pierces the rock’s thickness, I spent several days within the dark of the
House of the Fetish, somewhat higher than the others, surrounded by a wall
of salt, but without windows, full of a sparkling night. Several days, and I was
given a basin of brackish water and some grain that was thrown before me
the way chickens are fed, I picked it up. By day the door remained closed and
yet the darkness became less oppressive, as if the irresistible sun managed
to flow through the masses of salt. No lamp, but by feeling my way along the
walls I touched garlands of dried palms decorating the walls and, at the end,
a small door, coarsely fitted, of which I could make out the bolt with my
fingertips. Several days, long after—I couldn’t count the days or the hours,
but my handful of grain had been thrown me some ten times [46] and I had
dug out a hole for my excrements that I covered up in vain, the stench of an
animal den hung on anyway—long after, yes, the door opened wide and they
came in.
One of them came toward me where I was squatting in a corner. I felt the
burning salt against my cheek, I smelled the dusty scent of the palms, I
watched him approach. He stopped a yard away from me, he stared at me in
silence, a signal, and I stood up, he stared at me with his metallic eyes that
shone without expression in his brown horse-face, then he raised his hand.
Still impassive, he seized me by the lower lip, which he twisted slowly until
he tore my flesh and, without letting go, made me turn around and back up
to the center of the room, he pulled on my lip to make me fall on my knees
there, mad with pain and my mouth bleeding, then he turned away to join
the others standing against the walls. They watched me moaning in the
unbearable heat of the unbroken daylight that came in the wide-open door,
and in that light suddenly appeared the Sorcerer with his raffia hair, his chest
covered with a breastplate of pearls, his legs bare under a straw skirt,
wearing a mask of reeds and wire with two square openings for the eyes. He
was followed by musicians and [47] women wearing heavy motley gowns
that revealed nothing of their bodies. They danced in front of the door at the
end, but a coarse, scarcely rhythmical dance, they just barely moved, and
finally the Sorcerer opened the little door behind me, the masters did not
stir, they were watching me, I turned around and saw the Fetish, his double
ax-head, his iron nose twisted like a snake.
I was carried before him, to the foot of the pedestal, I was made to drink a
black, bitter, bitter water, and at once my head began to burn, I was
laughing, that’s the offense, I have been offended. They undressed me,
shaved my head and body, washed me in oil, beat my face with cords dipped
in water and salt, and I laughed and turned my head away, but each time
two women would take me by the ears and offer my face to the Sorcerer’s
blows while I could see only his square eyes, I was still laughing, covered
with blood. They stopped, no one spoke but me, the jumble was beginning in
my head, then they lifted me up and forced me to raise my eyes toward the
Fetish, I had ceased laughing. I knew that I was now consecrated to him to
serve him, adore him, no, I was not laughing any more, fear and pain stifled
me. And there, in that white house, between those walls that the [48] sun
was assiduously burning on the outside, my face taut, my memory
exhausted, yes, I tried to pray to the Fetish, he was all there was and even
his horrible face was less horrible than the rest of the world. Then it was that
my ankles were tied with a cord that permitted just one step, they danced
again, but this time in front of the Fetish, the masters went out one by one.
The door once closed behind them, the music again, and the Sorcerer
lighted a bark fire around which he pranced, his long silhouette broke on the
angles of the white walls, fluttered on the flat surfaces, filled the room with
dancing shadows. He traced a rectangle in a corner to which the women
dragged me, I felt their dry and gentle hands, they set before me a bowl of
water and a little pile of grain and pointed to the Fetish, I grasped that I was
to keep my eyes fixed on him. Then the Sorcerer called them one after the
other over to the fire, he beat some of them who moaned and who then went
and prostrated themselves before the Fetish my god, while the Sorcerer kept
on dancing and he made them all leave the room until only one was left,
quite young, squatting near the musicians and not yet beaten. He held her
by a shock of hair which he kept twisting around his wrist, she [49] dropped
backward with eyes popping until she finally fell on her back. Dropping her,
the Sorcerer screamed, the musicians turned to the wall, while behind the
square-eyed mask the scream rose to an impossible pitch, and the woman
rolled on the ground in a sort of fit and, at last on all fours, her head hidden
in her locked arms, she too screamed, but with a hollow, muffled sound, and
in this position, without ceasing to scream and to look at the Fetish, the
Sorcerer took her nimbly and nastily, without the woman’s face being visible,
for it was covered with the heavy folds of her garment. And, wild as a result
of the solitude, I screamed too, yes, howled with fright toward the Fetish until
a kick hurled me against the wall, biting the salt as I am biting this rock
today with my tongueless mouth, while waiting for the man I must kill.
Now the sun has gone a little beyond the middle of the sky. Through the
breaks in the rock I can see the hole it makes in the white-hot metal of the
sky, a mouth voluble as mine, constantly vomiting rivers of flame over the
colorless desert. On the trail in front of me, nothing, no cloud of dust on the
horizon, behind me they must be looking for me, no, not yet, it’s only in the
late afternoon that they opened the door and I could go out a [50] little, after
having spent the day cleaning the House of the Fetish, set out fresh
offerings, and in the evening the ceremony would begin, in which I was
sometimes beaten, at others not, but always I served the Fetish, the Fetish
whose image is engraved in iron in my memory and now in my hope also.
Never had a god so possessed or enslaved me, my whole life day and night
was devoted to him, and pain and the absence of pain, wasn’t that joy, were
due him and even, yes, desire, as a result of being present, almost every
day, at that impersonal and nasty act which I heard without seeing it inasmuch
as I now had to face the wall or else be beaten. But, my face up
against the salt, obsessed by the bestial shadows moving on the wall, I listened
to the long scream, my throat was dry, a burning sexless desire
squeezed my temples and my belly as in a vise. Thus the days followed one
another, I barely distinguished them as if they had liquefied in the torrid heat
and the treacherous reverberation from the walls of salt, time had become
merely a vague lapping of waves in which there would burst out, at regular
intervals, screams of pain or possession, a long ageless day in which the
Fetish ruled as this fierce sun does over my house of rocks, and now, as I did
then, I weep with [51] unhappiness and longing, a wicked hope consumes
me, I want to betray, I lick the barrel of my gun and its soul inside, its soul,
only guns have souls—oh, yes! the day they cut out my tongue, I learned to
adore the immortal soul of hatred!
What a jumble, what a rage, gra gra, drunk with heat and wrath, lying
prostrate on my gun. Who’s panting here? I can’t endure this endless heat,
this waiting, I must kill him. Not a bird, not a blade of grass, stone, an arid
desire, their screams, this tongue within me talking, and, since they
mutilated me, the long, flat, deserted suffering deprived even of the water of
night, the night of which I would dream, when locked in with the god, in my
den of salt. Night alone with its cool stars and dark fountains could save me,
carry me off at last from the wicked gods of mankind, but ever locked up I
could not contemplate it. If the newcomer tarries more, I shall see it at least
rise from the desert and sweep over the sky, a cold golden vine that will
hang from the dark zenith and from which I can drink at length, moisten this
black dried hole that no muscle of live flexible flesh revives now, forget at
last that day when madness took away my tongue.
How hot it was, really hot, the salt was melting [52] or so it seemed to me,
the air was corroding my eyes, and the Sorcerer came in without his mask.
Almost naked under grayish tatters, a new woman followed him and her face,
covered with a tattoo reproducing the mask of the Fetish, expressed only an
idol’s ugly stupor. The only thing alive about her was her thin flat body that
flopped at the foot of the god when the Sorcerer opened the door of the
niche. Then he went out without looking at me, the heat rose, I didn’t stir,
the Fetish looked at me over that motionless body whose muscles stirred
gently and the woman’s idol-face didn’t change when I approached. Only her
eyes enlarged as she stared at me, my feet touched hers, the heat then
began to shriek, and the idol, without a word, still staring at me with her
dilated eyes, gradually slipped onto her back, slowly drew her legs up and
raised them as she gently spread her knees. But, immediately afterward, gra,
the Sorcerer was lying in wait for me, they all entered and tore me from the
woman, beat me dreadfully on the sinful place, what sin, I’m laughing, where
is it and where is virtue, they clapped me against a wall, a hand of steel
gripped my jaws, another opened my mouth, pulled on my tongue until it
bled, was it I screaming with that bestial scream, a cool [53] cutting caress,
yes cool at last, went over my tongue. When I came to, I was alone in the
night, glued to the wall, covered with hardened blood, a gag of strangesmelling
dry grasses filled my mouth, it had stopped bleeding, but it was
vacant and in that absence the only living thing was a tormenting pain. I
wanted to rise, I fell back, happy, desperately happy to die at last, death too
is cool and its shadow hides no god.
I did not die, a new feeling of hatred stood up one day, at the same time I
did, walked toward the door of the niche, opened it, closed it behind me, I
hated my people, the Fetish was there and from the depths of the hole in
which I was I did more than pray to him, I believed in him and denied all I
had believed up to then. Hail! he was strength and power, he could be
destroyed but not converted, he stared over my head with his empty, rusty
eyes. Hail! he was the master, the only lord, whose indisputable attribute
was malice, there are no good masters. For the first time, as a result of
offenses, my whole body crying out a single pain, I surrendered to him and
approved his maleficent order, I adored in him the evil principle of the world.
A prisoner of his kingdom—the sterile city carved out of a mountain of salt,
divorced from [54] nature, deprived of those rare and fleeting flowerings of
the desert, preserved from those strokes of chance or marks of affection
such as an unexpected cloud or a brief violent downpour that are familiar
even to the sun or the sands, the city of order in short, right angles, square
rooms, rigid men—I freely became its tortured, hate-filled citizen, I repudiated
the long history that had been taught me. I had been misled, solely
the reign of malice was devoid of defects, I had been misled, truth is square,
heavy, thick, it does not admit distinctions, good is an idle dream, an
intention constantly postponed and pursued with exhausting effort, a limit
never reached, its reign is impossible. Only evil can reach its limits and reign
absolutely, it must be served to establish its visible kingdom, then we shall
see, but what does ‘then’ mean, only evil is present, down with Europe,
reason, honor, and the cross. Yes, I was to be converted to the religion of my
masters, yes indeed, I was a slave, but if I too become vicious I cease to be a
slave, despite my shackled feet and my mute mouth. Oh, this heat is driving
me crazy, the desert cries out everywhere under the unbearable light, and
he, the Lord of kindness, whose very name revolts me, I disown him, for I
know him now. He dreamed and wanted to lie, his [55] tongue was cut out so
that his word would no longer be able to deceive the world, he was pierced
with nails even in his head, his poor head, like mine now, what a jumble, how
weak I am, and the earth didn’t tremble, I am sure, it was not a righteous
man they had killed, I refuse to believe it, there are no righteous men but
only evil masters who bring about the reign of relentless truth. Yes, the Fetish
alone has power, he is the sole god of this world, hatred is his
commandment, the source of all life, the cool water, cool like mint that chills
the mouth and burns the stomach.
Then it was that I changed, they realized it, I would kiss their hands when I
met them, I was on their side, never wearying of admiring them, I trusted
them, I hoped they would mutilate my people as they had mutilated me. And
when I learned that the missionary was to come, I knew what I was to do.
That day like all the others, the same blinding daylight that had been going
on so long! Late in the afternoon a guard was suddenly seen running along
the edge of the basin, and, a few minutes later, I was dragged to the House
of the Fetish and the door closed. One of them held me on the ground in the
dark, under threat of his cross-shaped sword, and the silence lasted for a
[56] long time until a strange sound filled the ordinarily peaceful town,
voices that it took me some time to recognize because they were speaking
my language, but as soon as they rang out the point of the sword was
lowered toward my eyes, my guard stared at me in silence. Then two voices
came closer and I can still hear them, one asking why that house was
guarded and whether they should break in the door, Lieutenant, the other
said: ‘No’ sharply, then added, after a moment, that an agreement had been
reached, that the town accepted a garrison of twenty men on condition that
they would camp outside the walls and respect the customs. The private
laughed, ‘They’re knuckling under,’ but the officer didn’t know, for the first
time in any case they were willing to receive someone to take care of the
children and that would be the chaplain, later on they would see about the
territory. The other said they would cut off the chaplain’s you know what if
the soldiers were not there. ‘Oh, no!’ the officer answered. ‘In fact, Father
Beffort will come before the garrison; he’ll be here in two days.’ That was all I
heard, motionless, lying under the sword, I was in pain, a wheel of needles
and knives was whirling in me. They were crazy, they were crazy, they were
allowing a hand [57] to be laid on the city, on their invincible power, on the
true god, and the fellow who was to come would not have his tongue cut out,
he would show off his insolent goodness without paying for it, without
enduring any offense. The reign of evil would be postponed, there would be
doubt again, again time would be wasted dreaming of the impossible good,
wearing oneself out in fruitless efforts instead of hastening the realization of
the only possible kingdom and I looked at the sword threatening me, O sole
power to rule over the world! O power, and the city gradually emptied of its
sounds, the door finally opened, I remained alone, burned and bitter, with
the Fetish, and I swore to him to save my new faith, my true masters, my
despotic God, to betray well, whatever it might cost me.
Gra, the heat is abating a little, the stone has ceased to vibrate, I can go
out of my hole, watch the desert gradually take on yellow and ocher tints
that will soon be mauve. Last night I waited until they were asleep, I had
blocked the lock on the door, I went out with the same step as usual, measured
by the cord, I knew the streets, I knew where to get the old rifle, what
gate wasn’t guarded, and I reached here just as the night was beginning to
[58] fade around a handful of stars while the desert was getting a little
darker. And now it seems days and days that I have been crouching in these
rocks. Soon, soon, I hope he comes soon! In a moment they’ll begin to look
for me, they’ll speed over the trails in all directions, they won’t know that I
left for them and to serve them better, my legs are weak, drunk with hunger
and hate. Oh! over there, gra, at the end of the trail, two camels are growing
bigger, ambling along, already multiplied by short shadows, they are running
with that lively and dreamy gait they always have. Here they are, here at
last!
Quick, the rifle, and I load it quickly. O Fetish, my god over yonder, may
your power be preserved, may the offense be multiplied, may hate rule
pitilessly over a world of the damned, may the wicked forever be masters,
may the kingdom come, where in a single city of salt and iron black tyrants
will enslave and possess without pity! And now, gra gra, fire on pity, fire on
impotence and its charity, fire on all that postpones the coming of evil, fire
twice, and there they are toppling over, falling, and the camels flee toward
the horizon, where a geyser of black birds has just risen in the unchanged
sky. I laugh, I laugh, the fellow is [59] writhing in his detested habit, he is
raising his head a little, he sees me—me his all-powerful shackled master,
why does he smile at me, I’ll crush that smile! How pleasant is the sound of a
rifle butt on the face of goodness, today, today at last, all is consummated
and everywhere in the desert, even hours away from here, jackals sniff the
nonexistent wind, then set out in a patient trot toward the feast of carrion
awaiting them. Victory! I raise my arms to a heaven moved to pity, a
lavender shadow is just barely suggested on the opposite side, O nights of
Europe, home, childhood, why must I weep in the moment of triumph?
He stirred, no the sound comes from somewhere else, and from the other
direction here they come rushing like a flight of dark birds, my masters, who
fall upon me, seize me, ah yes! strike, they fear their city sacked and
howling, they fear the avenging soldiers I called forth, and this is only right,
upon the sacred city. Defend yourselves now, strike! strike me first, you
possess the truth! O my masters, they will then conquer the soldiers, they’ll
conquer the word and love, they’ll spread over the deserts, cross the seas,
fill the light of Europe with their black veils—strike the belly, yes, strike the
eyes—sow their salt on the continent, all [60] vegetation, all youth will die
out, and dumb crowds with shackled feet will plod beside me in the worldwide
desert under the cruel sun of the true faith, I’ll not be alone. Ah! the
pain, the pain they cause me, their rage is good and on this cross-shaped
war-saddle where they are now quartering me, pity! I’m laughing, I love the
blow that nails me down crucified.
* * *
How silent the desert is! Already night and I am alone, I’m thirsty. Still
waiting, where is the city, those sounds in the distance, and the soldiers perhaps
the victors, no, it can’t be, even if the soldiers are victorious, they’re
not wicked enough, they won’t be able to rule, they’ll still say one must
become better, and still millions of men between evil and good, torn,
bewildered, O Fetish, why hast thou forsaken me? All is over, I’m thirsty, my
body is burning, a darker night fills my eyes.
This long, this long dream, I’m awaking, no, I’m going to die, dawn is
breaking, the first light, daylight for the living, and for me the inexorable sun,
the flies. Who is speaking, no one, the sky is not opening up, no, no, God
doesn’t speak in the [61] desert, yet whence comes that voice saying: ‘If you
consent to die for hate and power, who will forgive us?’ Is it another tongue
in me or still that other fellow refusing to die, at my feet, and repeating:
‘Courage! courage! courage!’? Ah! supposing I were wrong again! Once
fraternal men, sole recourse, O solitude, forsake me not! Here, here who are
you, torn, with bleeding mouth, is it you, Sorcerer, the soldiers defeated you,
the salt is burning over there, it’s you my beloved master! Cast off that hateridden
face, be good now, we were mistaken, we’ll begin all over again, we’ll
rebuild the city of mercy, I want to go back home. Yes, help me, that’s right,
give me your hand. . . .”
A handful of salt fills the mouth of the garrulous slave.

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