Paul Delvaux, Skeletons in an Office, 1944
The uncanny is many sided; nothing, however,
Looms larger than the human in strangeness.
He travels on the effervescent tides
Driven by the southern winds of winter,
Crossing peaks of raging waves.
The gods, even the most sublime ones,
He wears down, and
The earth—indestructible and tireless—too
Overturning her from year to year,
Plowing back and forth with stallions
Even the lightly moving race of birds he snares,
And hunts the animals of the wilderness,
With cleverness he overwhelms the animal,
That wanders the mountains through the nights,
He tames the shaggy neck of the stallion and the impetuous bull
Placing them in harness
He has even found his way to the resonance of the word
And to an all encompassing intelligence, swift as the wind,
And even to the courage that rules cities.
He has learned how to flee
Exposure to the weather, of unwelcome frost.
Everywhere moving forward, underway, lacking experience
Having no exit,
He comes to naught.
The sole pressure that he cannot evade by means of any flight is death,
Even if through some skill he has succeeded
In escaping some wasting illness
Ingenious to be sure, mastering skills beyond dreams,
He fall sometimes to malice,
Other times he happens again upon worthiness.
He weaves his way between the laws of the earth
And the oath enjoined by the gods.
Towering high above the city,
He forfeits the place who,
For the sake of risk,
Always takes as existing the non-existing.
Never will one who does such things
Share my hearth,
Neither shall my mind share the phantasms
Of such a creature.
Denis Forkas Kostromitin (Russian) - Burial I, 2011 Drawings: Pastels
The emotions of the ignorant man are continuously kept at a pitch by the most blood-curdling stories about Anarchism. Not a thing too outrageous to be employed against this philosophy and its exponents. Therefore Anarchism represents to the unthinking what the proverbial bad man does to the child,—a black monster bent on swallowing everything; in short, destruction and violence.
Destruction and violence! How is the ordinary man to know that the most violent element in society is ignorance; that its power of destruction is the very thing Anarchism is combating? Nor is he aware that Anarchism, whose roots, as it were, are part of nature’s forces, destroys, not healthful tissue, but parasitic growths that feed on the life’s essence of society. It is merely clearing the soil from weeds and sagebrush, that it may eventually bear healthy fruit.
Misanthropy also has its place in the concert: it is only a dissonance necessary to the harmony of the whole. The misanthrope is a man: therefore the humanist must be misanthropic to a certain extent. But he must be a scientist as well to have learned how to water down his hatred, and hate men only to love them better afterwards.
I don’t want to be integrated, I don’t want my good red blood to go and fatten this lymphatic beast: I will not be fool enough to call myself “anti-humanist.” I am not a humanist, that’s all there is to it.
“I believe,” I tell the Self-Taught Man, “that one cannot hate a man more than one can love him.”