A lame creature, a cripple like myself, has no right to love. How should I, broken, shattered being that I am, be anything but a burden to you, when to myself I am an object of disgust, of loathing. A creature such as I, I know, has no right to love, and certainly no right to be loved. It is for such a creature to creep away into a corner and die and cease to make other people’s lives a burden with her presence.
The instinct of self-deception in human beings makes them try to banish from their minds dangers of which at the bottom they are perfectly aware by declaring them nonexistent, and a warning such as mine against cheap optimism was bound to prove particularly unwelcome at a moment when a sumptuously laid supper was awaiting for us in the next room.
…et au dessus de moi, avec une résonance imperceptible, le blanc écoulement de ce monde.
Time to leave now, get out of this room, go somewhere, anywhere; sharpen this feeling of happiness and freedom, stretch your limbs, fill your eyes, be awake, wider awake, vividly awake in every sense and every pore.
No guilt is forgotten so long as the conscience still knows of it.
Homeward bound I suddenly noticed before me my own shadow as I had seen the shadow of the other war behind the actual one. During all this time it has never budged from me, that irremovable shadow, it hovers over every thought of mine by day and by night; perhaps its dark outline lies on some pages of this book, too. But, after all, shadows themselves are born of light. And only he who has experienced dawn and dusk, war and peace, ascent and decline, only he has truly lived.
Ambition had never troubled me, so I decided to begin by watching life at my leisure for a few years, waiting until I finally felt tempted to find some circle of influence for myself.
Forget it all, I told myself, escape into your mind and your work, into the place where you are only your living, breathing self, not a citizen of any state, not a stake in that infernal game, the place where only what reason you have can still work to some reasonable effect in a world gone mad.
Celui qui n’est pas passionné devient tout au plus un pédagogue; c’est toujours par l’intérieur qu’il faut aller aux choses, toujours, toujours en partant de la passion.
Arrived at an age when others had already long been married and had children and held important positions, and were obliged to produce the best that was in them with all their energy, I still regarded myself as youthful, a beginner who faced immeasurable time, and I was hesitant about final decisions of any kind.