26 April 2016
Translation: Exercise Without Love
Excerpt translated from French from "L'Elégance du Hérisson" by Muriel Barbery, Gallimard edition, p. 116.
Sometimes though, life looks like a phantom comedy. As if torn from a dream, we look at ourselves acting, and stunned to realize how much of our lives we expend in maintaining our most primitive needs, we ask ourselves stupefied, what is Art? Our frenzy of grins and glances suddenly seems utterly insignificant; our cozy nest, the fruit of a 20-year indebtedness, a pointless barbarian custom; and our position in the social ladder, so painstakingly acquired and so eternally precarious, an unsophisticated vanity. As for our progeny, we contemplate it anew, and we are horrified because without the guise of altruism, the act of reproduction seems profoundly displaced. We are only left with sexual pleasures, but gone down the river of primal abjection, they flounder accordingly — exercise without love does not fall within the bounds of our well-learned lessons.