Friday, September 9

"I do not name the people I talk about"

"When I am returning from a trip, the best part is not going through the airport or getting home, but the taxi ride in between: you're still traveling, but not really. [...] I do not name the people I talk about to someone who doesn't know them, I use, despite the trouble of it, abstract descriptions like 'that friend whose parachute got tangled up with another parachute the time he jumped.' [...] Even if it is an odd sort of present, I thank my father and mother for having given me life. I believe the people who make the world are the ones who do not believe in reality, for example, for centuries, the Christians. [...] I get along with old people. A woman's breasts may hold my attention to the point I can't hear what she's saying. [...] I prefer desire to pleasure. My death will change nothing. [...] I have stepped on a rake and had the handle hit me in the face."

-from "When I Look at a Strawberry, I Think of a Tongue" by Édouard Levé, translated from the French by Lorin Stein, originally published in The Paris Review, Spring 2011.

Full-text here.


Bri Lee said...

I like the idea that Christians don't believe in reality. That is really amusing.

James said...

Totally. It's a slam, but also kind of a compliment. The piece as a whole is pretty great: