Tuesday, April 10

Blaise Pascal wrote;
"Nothing is so insufferable to man as to be completely at rest, without passions, without business, without diversion, without study. He then feels his nothingness, his forlornness, his insufficiency, his dependence, his weakness, his emptiness. There will immediately rise from the depth of his heart weariness, gloom, sadness, fretfulness, vexation, despair."

Two centuries later, Charles Baudelaire wrote this poem about Pascals' void:

Pascal had his abyss, it followed him,
but the abyss is All-action and dream,
language, desire - and who could count the times
the wind of Fear has made my blood run cold!

Each way I turn, above me and below,
tempting and terrible too the silence, the space
By night God traces with a knowing hand
unending nightmares on unending dark.

I balk at sleep as if it were a hole
filled with horrors, leading God knows where;
my windows open on Infinity,

and haunted by its vertigo my mind
envies the indifference of the void:
will Numbers and Beings never set me free.
Les Fleurs Du Mal
| The Flowers of Evil |

  • ". . . as I have said often enough, I write for myself in multiplicate,
    a not unfamiliar phenomenon on the horizon of shimmering deserts."
    - Vladimir Nabokov