Guest Entry: An Etymological Meditation: Humoristic-anguished essay in a register poetico et eleganti

How to not see in this story an allegory of the poetic existence? Like Leto, the poet is haunted by an acute feeling of rupture with the world, making it difficult for him to see himself in it as an honest and serious resident who is never late on his rent. This same feeling pushes him inexorably towards the outermost and most ethereal strata – the outskirts of creation, where there is still something to be created, still possibility to be manifested. In this act, he finds a temporary ground; in this act, for a fleeting moment, the world seems justified. It is Apollo returning to kill Python!

I ask the reader to excuse this tangent and resume immediately. Existence is a thorn in the side. It may be that the poet makes it more of a problem than average, which is to his blame, even if he cannot help it. But to the extent where it is to him a principle of action, it deserves some credit. The world and life are always the co-authors to the one who holds the feather as his  slightly  tyrannical  counsellors.  If  he  often  omits  to  mention  them,  it  is  because  an unspoken acknowledgment suffices, since they are one and the same with him: man is down here nothing but his life, this part of the whole that he occupies and monopolises and that he can never lay off or pretend has never been. A mind that runs on empty is a mind that runs badly, and it is not because all poets are mad in their own way that all madmen have to be in their  own  way poets.  Mallarmé, whose  name  is  par  excellence  that  of  a  poet,  said  that  the world is made to end in a beautiful book.

We  were  saying  a  few  paragraphs  ago  that  even  the  best  poetry  is  only  ever,  properly speaking and, mind you, without detracting from its value, a paraphrase or a plagiarism … A plagiarism?  What  a  heavy word!  And  who  would  then  be,  might  I ask,  the  victim  of  such infamy? – God? Simply because we occupy ourselves as we can by making do with what He left? Let Him manifest himself if it annoys Him so much! He made the world a long time ago (six  thousand  years  according  to  Him,  claim  contested  by  scientific  consensus)  and  since: nothing at all. Mute silence, nights full of doubt and days filled with pain. All of this begs the question if He is dead, or if He ever existed. – Could it be that God writes nowadays under pseudonym?  … Certainly admirable are those who, after having said what they had to say, remain  silent,  furthermore  the  conception  is  sometimes  defended  that  the  author  should always  die  right  after  having  finished  a  work,  but  this  divine  worldbuilder,  who  leaves Hesiod, Dante and Tolkien standing like epigones, could have the courtesy of sending us a little sign! A key, for example, to decipher what He left us, so that we may explain it through something other than never-ending variations on the phrase:

We sit here stranded,
‘Though we’re all doing our best to deny it

DYLAN, Bob: Visions of Johanna. In: Blonde on Blonde, 1966.

We are all, dunces and model students, in that we are here, forced to study this work, and for my part I do not remember ever having asked to be enrolled in this course … Things often turn  into  their  opposite:  love  poisoned  becomes  hatred,  the  great  partisans  make  the  great naysayers, etc. This is an idea beautifully expressed in many an oriental philosophy and that one  can  also  encounter,  albeit  more  sporadically,  in  western  thought  dating  as  far  back  as Heraclitus (who lived on the coast of Turkey, a place the ancients called Asia Minor). Perhaps God has regrets about His creation – explaining why it seems to be His only – and has exiled it to the depths of a drawer in wait for time to carry it away? Perhaps He has already forgotten us? Perhaps we were nothing but a sketch and He has remade the world cleanly somewhere else? Unless the explanation for His silence is that He does not understand anything either?…

~Valère Gaube, quodlibetarius

Pages: 1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: