La Révolution Surréaliste 1925
Source: La Révolution Surréaliste, no. 2, January 15, 1925;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2012.
We live, we die. What is the will’s part in all this? It seems we kill ourselves in the same way we dream. It is not a moral question that we pose:
Is suicide a solution?
Our contemporaries don’t shine by their intelligence, but unfortunately for them they constantly refer to that faculty. There’s no one less muddled than man: ask him a question and he answers another, or he first puts the question on trial. Did we have the right to ask if suicide is a solution? Gentlemen, you get a zero.
If we were to believe the buffoon Jammes it appears that posing the question of suicide means resolving it; that asking if suicide puts cease to man amidst the immense misfortunes that weigh upon him means giving him a glimpse of this final relief and so impels him towards it. We would kill ourselves en masse if only we reflected upon it. This is what allows this fifty-year old to give us lessons. Yes, my dear candidate for the Académie, if suicide was a solution we would glory in pushing people to it, if only we believed in it. If it’s not a solution then what is that heroic rumbling, that fog of legend that men allow to float over it? In any case, the moment appears ripe to accept one’s responsibilities. It is true that we will never retreat before the consequences of ideas and that we'll leave to cockroaches their ridiculous mania for evading problems:
M. FRANCIS JAMMES
The question you pose is absolutely pitiful, and if ever a poor child kills himself because of it it is you who will be the murderer. There are people who are damned. The only thing left to you, if you still have any conscience at all, is to hasten to a confessional.
Not only do I authorize your publishing this letter in extenso, but also that you send it to your mother.
M. JOSEF FLORIAN, for his part, however Catholic he might be, has no worries:
I am not a writer who responds to inquiries. I am Catholic and for me the doctrine of the Church . is the truth, the real truth (perhaps the equal of your “Surrealist” truth), and when it comes to suicide, Gilbert K. Chesterton is my spokesman. The fifth article of his “Orthodoxy” in its Czech translation, under the title, “Prapor Svêta” (the Flag of the World) must be read. The question is a totally moral one.
M.PIERRE REVERDY also views this question strictly on the moral plane, but unlike Messieurs Florian and Jammes and consorts it’s not through deafness. Pierre Reverdy, who doesn’t believe that a man can kill himself and believe in survival, is the prisoner of the same faith that led Robespierre to speak this great phrase: “A man who doesn’t believe in the immortality of the soul renders justice on himself.”
Suicide is an act whose gesture occurs in one world and whose consequences are in another. We probably kill ourselves in the same way we dream, when the quality of the dream is transformed into a nightmare. But man hypnotizes himself with the grandiose mirage that he’s been given the will to encroach upon God’s design. Suicide is one of these encroachments; it’s an act of rebellion and only the weak are so placed as to show themselves rebellious. When we no longer want to continue to submit to the blows of fate, whatever they might be, or when we no longer can, we seek a way out. There are several, counting the narrow door which in reality is nothing but the long corridor by which we assert we reach the throne room; there is also the one everyone passes through, not being able to do otherwise and without thinking too much about it in advance. Suicide is a path through the fields which perhaps leads to what is not the loveliest of gardens.
Since we receive life and death we can give them. It is quite normal that the scope of these events, at both ends of our string, amazes us because it surpasses what we are capable of day by day, but it would be madness if it were to intoxicate us to the point that it persuades us that we are the masters of our entire fate.
The sole mastery that’s been granted us is that over our will, our thoughts, our acts, but not that of either the general orientation of our being or its end. We choose neither the method, nor the place, nor the time of the latter. And if one were to say that suicide, like natural death, is a solution to the affairs of this world one would have to know to what extent the affairs of this world are connected to those of the other. Consequently, it is a solution to the recto alone. As for the verso, it is the hidden side of the page and the most important one, the one where the true denouement must take place.
It is surprising that those who identify death and the void attempt to depart early, for it would appear that the things of the here and now and death must seem the same to them. Life having no continuation, having, in effect, no meaning, is nothing. Otherwise those with a healthy mind reject this voluntary exchange – without hope and for eternity – of something that is, even if it’s evil, for nothing. As for the others, they know the better reasons that hold them back.
It is a question of knowing whether it is these elements of the problem or if it is the solution that matters, and of saying that all we have here are the elements.
In summary, to wish never to depart, whatever the cost, would mean granting too absolute a value to the relative charms of life. On the contrary, trusting in death alone to find a solution to life judged too absolutely as unrewarding, means granting excessive value to the pacifying value of death. Is it not in any case the sole certainty given us that we should wait without disappointment what amply suffices to advise patience? The phase of death that occurs on this side can only provide a solution to what we know of this life. But it isn’t this sudden immobility and suppression that provide the key to the mystery; they are only there to attract our lazy attention to it more strongly.
We will always be surprised to see the decisions taken by some amidst the worst difficulties.
There is no more absurd question than this, writes M. Léon Quint, and M. André LEBEY judges us no less amiably: To say we kill ourselves in the same way we dream is stupid.
M. MAURICE DAVID exercises his ill humor against the questioners:
A solution to what? Mathias Lübeck wrote: “Suicide most often grows out of the incompatibility of one’s humor with oneself;” all your problems as well. Find your solution. Personally my only incompatibility of humor is with economic capitalism and my solution was laid out by Marx and Lenin.”
M.FERNAND DIVOIRE (with their customary good faith didn’t the Thirteen announce our inquiry: La Révolution Surréaliste asks this moral question?) for his part responds.
And this was enough for him.
MME LUDMILA SAVITZKY is only able to answer us by questioning us, and M. J.POTAUT, professor in Wissembourg, cries out:
The moral question must be asked. We don’t kill ourselves the way we dream. It is the act of lazy theory to relegate to the unconscious the explanation of a phenomenon, whatever it might be.
DOCTORS GORODICHE and GILLOT DE SAIX join in affirming that suicide is rather a dissolution.
And M. GEORGES FOUREST:
And why not? An arsenical solution, for example.
And what did M. LÉON WERTH mean by saying:
It’s at least the average solution adopted by almost all men. Society and literature furnishing the arms, this commerce, like that of gunsmiths, is free.
M.LOUIS DE RUSSY strangely abuses the word suicide:
The sole case of suicide: Rimbaud
A defeat cannot be a solution. Suicide is not a solution, not even an end, but an abandonment of the question.
An opinion shared by M. MICHEL GEORGES-MICHEL.
But not by M. PAUL BRACH:
Suicide, this raid into the unknown, can only be considered an attempt to obtain the most unforeseen solution.
M. PIERRE De MASSOT’s opinion is in keeping with modern taste:
Sir, allow me to answer your question by copying out the placard posted on the wall in my room; “You can enter without knocking but are requested to commit suicide in order to leave.”
M. GEORGES DUVAU is apparently a psychologist:
We don’t live the way we live in dreams. Dreams are an amiable revenge granted our desires, and life is full of harsh certainties. In any case, suicide cannot be a solution.
Who is L.P. for whom:
The true solution – and which really is one – is the permanent, continuous, uninterrupted suicide of people who are born and live with the idea of becoming justices of the peace and who finally become precisely that.
If for CLAUDE JONQUIÈRE
Suicide is solution in the same measure that natural death can be one.
For M. PAUL RECHT it isn’t a solution:
Killing oneself in the way one dreams means admitting a conscious and willed metaphysics of dreams.
M. FLORIAN-PARMENTIER takes firm hold of the formula we timidly advanced:
Suicide is the passing from life to death in dreams.
And he believes that it can only be a solution for those who, like him, believe that
Everything is a dream or an appearance.
M.FERNAND GREGH has no fear in announcing that
The country beyond death is Life
Life still, forever for who? – bitter thought-
Your soul is followed from destiny to destiny
As the ship is by the sun, from sea to sea.
And it’s the social side of the question that interests M. MICHEL CORDAY:
It’s a limited edition solution.
It should only be born of a resolution. We shouldn’t throw ourselves into it in a state of vertigo, but determine to do it in accordance with reason. Place on one side of the scale the damage done to the collectivity, the sorrow caused to one’s entourage, and the horrible difficulty in taking one’s life. On the other place the effort of escaping from one of the incurable miseries invented by nature and man. If the second plate wins, take remove yourself: the weighing has been completed.
A remark: Public opinion, that dazzled monster, hesitates in its judgment of suicide. It applauds the death of Lucretius, Petronius, General Boulanger and Mme Sembat. And in families a silence of condemnation and shame is maintained concerning the relative who committed suicide that is more opaque, more massive, more crushing than a tombstone.
Are we dreaming? Asks M. MICHEL ARNAUD, who concludes, suicide is the only elegant solution to life (there could also be a skillful and swift ablation of the brain, but where is the surgeon?).
I find my response to your serious question in the modern Bible and hope that all its terms are rigorously weighed. Suicide is only a solution in the practically avoidable case where
“Those heroes exasperated by playful ills
Ridiculously hang themselves from the lamppost.”
M. LÉON BARANGER:
Sometimes, when the door is closed we encounter another adventure. We dive to the depths of the Atlantic and continue via the Pacific, but it’s all over for the side from which we departed. I've never reached this point and don’t know if we can then decide (cf. Poe) and know if we have resolved or solved.
M. GEORGES POLTI interprets for us:
“Man doesn’t die; he kills himself"’ This observation (by Flourens, I think) concerning our question takes on an unforeseen profundity: we would be immortal (like Adam before sin) if we didn’t, from the depths of our unconscious, under some strange possession, head towards our suicide. Isn’t this what you wanted to say?
M. MARCEL JOUHANDEAU, quotes himself (“M. Godeau Intime”)
The truth is that I and God will always be. Suicide is useless.
M. JEAN PAULHAN imitates himself:
To be sure, one cannot exaggerate the difficulty of the sole act capable of slightly upsetting our life; we could not die in too good a state. But for all that, do we have to commit suicide? There are few people who don’t gain by being ill.
M.MAURICE DE FLEURY, that sinister imbecile, responds from a technical point of view:
Suicide cannot be a solution because it is “pathological.” It is the culmination of the emotive constitution. I can only affirm this here, but I attempted to demonstrate it in the second part of my recent book, “L'Angoisse Humaine.” My many observations touching upon human beings tempted by death’s appeal led me to this conclusion, which I can only briefly explain here.
And Professor PAUL LECÈNE
I've always thought that death was due to a momentary lack of attention to life. Life is natural to man. If he dies it is basically always his fault: if he paid sufficient attention he would be immortal. Unfortunately, in practice continuous attention until an advanced age is difficult and in general (for as long as we have authentic information concerning humanity) men have died. But essentially, it was always through a kind of suicide and through their own fault.
M. CLÉMENT VAUTEL is also technical:
For my part I believe that there is no definitive solution to anything. Obviously the gentleman (or lady) who “destroys himself” because life imposes on him an insoluble or cruel problem finds a solution. But it can only be provisional, for the beyond also reserves troubles for us. Perhaps we are now in the midst of the beyond, an uncomfortable beyond where the suicides of other worlds are interned for a certain time.
How dry all these responses appear, however skillful, literary, or burlesque they might be, and how is it that we hear nothing human in them? “To kill oneself:” haven’t you weighed what such a statement bears of rage and experience; of disgust and passion? What bitterness there is in those who decide upon this act?
And if we killed ourselves instead of leaving?
JACQUES VACHÉ asked, who wrote at the bottom of his final letter:
N.B. Laws are opposed to voluntary homicide.
And RABBE, before doing away with himself:
I have to write my “Ultime lettere.” If every man who felt and thought much, dying before the degradation of his faculties through age left us his “Philosophical Testament,” that is, a sincere and bold profession of faith, written on the plank of his coffin, there would be more truths recognized and saved from the empire of stupidity and the contemptible opinion of the vulgar.
I have other reason to carry out these designs. In the world there are a few people who interested me and who were my friends. I want them to know how I ended. I would even like the indifferent, that is the mass of the public for whom I will be the subject of conversation for ten minutes (which is perhaps an exaggerated supposition), to know that however little I care about the opinion of the many that I didn’t surrender as a coward, and that the measure of my troubles was full when new ones arrived and caused them to overflow; that I did nothing but use with tranquility and dignity the privilege that every man receives from nature: that of disposing of himself.
This is all that interests me on this side of the grave; beyond it are all my hopes, if there is indeed a place for them.
BENJAMIN CONSTANT, in “Le Cahier Rouge:”
I did what other people wanted with perfect docility, not because I was afraid, but because they would have insisted and I would have found arguing about it a bother. When I say that I wasn’t afraid it’s not because I knew how little danger there was. I didn’t know the effects of opium and I thought them much worse than they were. But in keeping with my dilemma I was completely indifferent to the result. Nevertheless, my complacency in allowing myself to be given everything that could stand in the way of the effects of what I'd done must have persuaded the spectators that there was nothing serious about this tragedy. It’s not the first time that after an important act I was suddenly bored by the solemnity that would have been necessary to support it and from boredom undid my own work.
And CARDAM, the pessimist mathematician:
Laboravi interdum Amore Heroic out me ipsum trucidare cogitarem
And SENANCOUR, Obermann, letter XLI
And so who was it that claimed we were living in a period of romanticism? That great sincere voice that went silent, perhaps we'll find its echo in others.
M. Philippe Casanova:
I request that you forgive my response. I don’t want it to be either impertinent or false or literary: it is human, of the moment, and personal. I don’t know anything about it. If I want to know something my will dissipates my intuitions. Free, my intuitions are absurd. Imagine question marks introducing keys of shadow into dark locks. And to this “I don’t know anything about it” I am tempted to add, “Chi lo sa?”
M. YVES GEGEN:
The will is nothing but obedience (Nietzsche where are you?) to a necessity whose accomplishment or non-accomplishment entails a sanction. And would a necessity without a sanction be one? Not to die: living is a sanction. Not to live: Dying is a sanction.
M. ANDRÉ BIANE:
Corporal suicide is a solution. Moral suicide is another. The first is within the grasp of all. The second requires too great a progress in human thought.
M. MAXIME ALEXANDRE
What a great world they made for us, those “great men” Moses, Jesus Christ and M. Poincaré. It’s enough to make the happiest of us vomit up his guts. Straighten all that out? Take the trouble to do it? Recommence creation? Suicide is so much simpler. And anyway, I don’t give a damn about the others. And as for me, when I commit suicide you'll read about it in the papers.
The cortege advances. The night precedes the charming flowers dressed as young girls wearing diamonds and a thousand frivolous things. Good-day night, good-day little girls, come to me.
Boredom, death: none of this is of any importance. We're condemned to this passage between two dreams: life. Let’s not stand around too long. Suicide? If you like. But perhaps there’s another way? It’s true that there’s also alcohol, oblivion, love... Tomorrow perhaps?
We demand another solution.
M. ANDRÉ BRETON
“Suicide is a poorly made word: what kills is not identical to what is killed.”
M. ANTONIN ARTAUD
No, suicide is still a hypothesis. I claim the right to doubt suicide the same way I doubt the rest of reality. For the instant and until further notice, one must horrifically doubt not existence, strictly speaking, which is within the grasp of pretty much anyone, but the internal undermining and the profound sensitivity of things, of acts, of reality. I believe in nothing to which I'm not attached by the sensitivity of a thinking and meteoric cord, and even so I am lacking in a few too many meteors in action. The constructed and feeling existence of all men bothers me, and I resolutely abominate all reality. Suicide is nothing but the fabulous and far-off conquest of men who think straight, but the state itself is incomprehensible to me. The suicide of a neurasthenic lacks any representative value, but the mental state of a man who would have carefully determined his suicide, the material circumstances, and the moment of the pulling of the trigger is marvelous. I am ignorant of things, I am ignorant of everything concerning the human state; nothing of the world revolves for or in me. I suffer terribly from life. I can’t attain any state. And it is absolutely certain that I have long been dead: I already committed suicide. That is to say, I was suicided. But what would you think of an anterior suicide, of a suicide that would make us go back to where we started, but to the other side of existence and not that of death. That one alone would be of value to me. I have no appetite for death; I feel an appetite to not be, to never descend into the pleasures of the imbecilities, abdications, renunciations and obtuse encounters that are the self of Antonin Artaud and are much weaker than he. The self of that wandering sick man who from time to time proposes his shadow, upon which he himself has for a long time spit, this dragging, lame self, this virtual and impossible self, that even so finds itself in reality. No one has felt his weakness as much as he, which is the principal and essential weakness of humanity. To be destroyed, to not exist.
M. VICTOR MARGUERITTE:
Suicide is a solution like any other. Nevertheless, I think that if the human will ever manifests itself in this waking dream that is life it’s at the moment when the being decides to go back to sleep for good. One must believe in the will, at least in that manifestation of it. To doubt it would mean making the dream dull, deprived of the precious salt of death.
I didn’t want to live, for if I could also have thought I would not have asked for this afflux of blows. To live?
On the Place Pigalle I saw someone who was living, but in order to do this he was shirtless, had himself tied up in chains and then freed himself, covered in blood. Then he asked for money.
What part did his will have to play in this, which ordered him to suffer in order to suffer less, to eat?
All that is left me is that which orders dreams, the first death. The second is a matter of indifference. Why? Must I commit suicide again?
Yes, after having sufficiently hallucinated the others, and myself.
M. PIERRE NAVILLE
Life provides no solutions. The many solicitudes of which I am the motive force have no other effect on me than that of being the very object of my desire. A veil filters the universe before the man whose equilibrium has been destroyed by privations and excitement. The world becomes hazy in the eyes of a dying man. I mean by this that at that moment when sleep seems to definitively occupy in us all of existences’ depths there is a sudden attachment to some reality much more frightening that that of our five senses.
I see what is commonly called “death” in this progressive disorientation of the intelligence. If after this man can believe he escapes something in killing himself he nevertheless will not escape the illusion of nothingness. The freedom with which I must live prevents me from existing in any other way than by accident, and I will die in the same way. It is not terror of the act that would lead me to retreat before suicide, and I would prefer to consider it a theft that would give me sweet pleasure to one day accidentally effectuate it at the expense of life, and not as the defeat that I remark every day among the desperate. People will say that I speak calmly of this because I eat every day with no fear of the morrow, but none of this has anything to do with the possibility of living, and for some time I have been aware of my future failure.
The love that is essential to my person is nevertheless there and at certain moments when the universe limits itself to the horizon of two eyelids I almost think that through the violence that constitutes suicide I will more rapidly reach the more beautiful and less desperate personality which I so sharply feel. At those moments this desire to die blossoms the way the idea takes flight from my brain, the way the possibility to kill what they love sometimes agitates my hands, and I think, despite myself, about that approaching day when I will sleep like a dead man.
I do not believe in my existence.
A solution? Yes.
The mosaic of pretenses doesn’t hold together. I mean that the sum total of social arrangements cannot prevail over the anguish from which our very flesh is kneaded. No effort can ever victoriously oppose that profound impulse, that mysterious élan which is not, M. Bergson, the élan vital, but its marvelous opposite, the élan mortel.
Ever since my childhood, as a result of the suicide which I witnessed and whose author/actor was at the time the being who was dearest and closest to my heart; because of this suicide, which for my education or mis-education did more than any later effort of love or hate, I have felt that the man who facilitates his own death is the docile and reasonable instrument of a majuscule force (call it God or Nature) which, having placed us among earthly mediocrities, carries only the courageous along in its trajectory, far from this globe of hope.
It is said that people commit suicide from love, fear, or the pox. This isn’t true. Everyone loves or thinks they love; everyone is afraid; everyone is more or less syphilitic. Suicide is a means of selection. Those who commit suicide are those who lack the near universal cowardice to fight against a certain feeling in the soul that is so intense that one must until further notice take it for a feeling of the truth. That feeling alone allows one to accept the must clearly just and definitive of solutions: suicide.
No love or hate is in all likelihood just or definitive. But despite myself and my despotic moral and religious education, the esteem in which I am forced to hold whoever felt no fear and did not limit his élan – his élan mortel – leads me on a daily basis to envy those whose anguish was so strong they could not continue to accept episodic diversions.
Human success is a worthless currency, feed for wooden horses. If affective happiness allows one to be patient it is only negatively and in the manner of a soporific. A life I accept is the most terrible argument against myself. The death that tempted me several times exceeded in beauty the fear of dying that was of an argotique essence that I could just as well call timid habit.
I wanted to open the door and didn’t dare. I was wrong, I feel, I believe, I want to believe, I want to feel, for finding no solution in life despite my determination in seeking it. Would I have the strength to make more attempts if I didn’t glimpse the solution in the definitive and ultimate act?
Do you remember M. Teste? He sometimes reads reviews and our inquiry so struck him that he had to respond. He responds.
M. E. TESTE
Of the people who commit suicide some do themselves violence, and others, on the contrary, let themselves go and seem to obey some fatal curbing of their destiny.
The former are forced by circumstances, the latter by their nature, and all of fate’s external favors will not hold them back from following the shortest possible path.
We can conceive of a third kind of suicide. Certain men consider life in so cold a fashion and have constructed so absolute and jealous an idea of their freedom that they don’t want to leave to chance the organic events and vicissitudes involved in the disposition of their death. They hate aging, decrepitude, surprises. There can be found among the ancients several examples and elegies to this inhuman firmness. As for the self-murder imposed by circumstances which I spoke of in the first place, it is conceived by its author as an ordered act with a definite design. It proceeds from our powerlessness to abolish a given ill.
We can only reach the part through the detour of the suppression of the all. We suppress the whole and the future in order to suppress the detail and the present. We suppress all of consciousness because we don’t know how to suppress a given thought. We suppress all of our sensibility because we cannot have done with a given invincible and continuous pain.
Herodias had all the newborns slaughtered because he wasn’t able to discern the only one whose death mattered to him. A man frightened by a rat that infests his home and can’t be caught burns down the entire building that he can’t purge of the beast.
And so the exasperation of an inaccessible point of being leads the whole to destroy itself. The desperate man is led or forced to act without distinction.
This suicide is a crude solution.
And it’s not the only one. The history of man is a collection of crude solutions. All of our opinions, most of our judgments, and the greatest number of our acts are pure expedients.
Suicide of the second type is the unavoidable act of individuals who offer no resistance to dark and unlimited sorrow, to obsession, to the vertigo of imitation, or to a sinister and singularly coddled image.
The subjects of this type have been sensitized either to a representation or to the general idea of destroying themselves. They are comparable to the intoxicated: in their pursuit of death we can observe in them the same obstinacy, the same anxiety, the same ruses, the same dissimulation that can be noted among drug addicts searching for their fix.
Some don’t positively desire death, but instead the satisfaction of an instinct. Sometimes it is the type of death that fascinates them. One who sees himself hung will never throw himself in the river. A certain carpenter constructed a solidly built guillotine in order to give himself the pleasure of cleanly cutting off his own head. There is something of the aesthetic in this suicide and his concern to carefully prepare his final act.
All of these twice-mortal beings seem to contain in the shadow of their souls a murderous sleepwalker, an implacable dreamer, a double who is the executor of an inflexible order. They sometimes have an empty and mysterious smile, which is the sign of their secret monomania and which manifests (if we can say this) the presence of their absence. Perhaps they perceive their lives as a vain and painful dream which they are ever more tired of and ever more tempted to awaken from. Everything appears sadder and more pointless than non-being.
I will end these few reflections with the analysis of a purely possible case. It is possible for there to exist a suicide by distraction, which would only be with difficulty be distinguished from an accident. A man handles a pistol that he knows to be loaded. He has neither the desire nor the idea to kill himself. But he grabs the weapon with pleasure, his palm grips the butt and his index finger closes over the trigger with a kind of sexual pleasure. He imagines the act. He becomes the slave of the weapon. It tempts its owner. He turns his mouth towards it. He brings it to his temple, to his teeth. He is almost in danger, for the idea of the functioning, the pressure of an act sketched out by the body and accomplished by the spirit, invades him. The cycle of impulse strives to complete itself. The nervous system itself becomes a loaded pistol and the finger wants to quickly close around the trigger.
A precious vase on the very edge of a table and a man standing on a parapet are in a state of perfect equilibrium. And yet we'd prefer to see them a bit further from the edge of the void. We have a poignant perception of the little it would take to precipitate the fate of the man or the object. Will this little be lacking in the man who has a weapon in hand? If he forgets himself, if the shot goes off, if the idea of the act carries him away and is expended before having set off the braking mechanism and the re-taking of control, would we call what follows suicide by imprudence? The victim allowed himself to act and death escaped him, like an unconsidered word. He imperceptibly advanced into a dangerous region of his voluntary domain, and his complacency towards some unknown felling of contact and power placed him in a zone where the probability of a “catastrophe” is great. He placed himself at the mercy of a slip, of a tiny accident of consciousness or transmission. He kills himself because it was too easy to kill himself.
We have insisted on this imaginary model of a half-fortuitous, half-determined act in order to suggest the fragility of the distinctions and oppositions we attempt to define among perceptions, tendencies, movements, and the consequences of movements; between doing and allowing to be done, between acting and suffering; between wanting to do and being able to do. (In the above example the ability leads to the willing.)
Within the framework of our time it would require all the subtlety of a casuist or a disciple of Cantor to untangle what belongs to the various agents of our destiny. Seen through a microscope the thread that the Parcae unwind and cut is a cable whose multicolored strands shrink, are cut off, substitute for each other and reappear in the development of the torsion that engages and drags them along.
M. ARNOLD BARCLAY
The signatory of these lines effectuated a failed suicide by immersion. He will try again, having kept from this attempt the foretaste of so Dionysian and dark a joy, of so pressing and total a thirst for novelty that nothing either before or after has equaled.
He would attempt to describe this initiation to a feast he will some day throw for himself if it weren’t for the fact that any verbal transposition of the new notion incorporated into him would appear to profane it.
M. MARCEL NOLL
The act of giving my ideas an expression capable of being understood by those who will read it is what passes for my strength, but it is really my weakness. I note on a daily basis that nothing is said because man needs clarity and the despairing signs of his disquiet are always the same.
Let us abandon pride, disappointment, the humiliation of thought in the face of the heart, that winter I bear my head held high.
Who is calling me? (I'm not alone in the world?) I have no other desire than to sit peacefully in the sun, in the shade, to confess my weakness, I who am not weak, and to reach my hands out to others, beautiful ones that I know. But the ignoble exploitation by others of what I love, the feeling that THINGS CANNOT GO ON THIS WAY, forces me to be angry and delirious. My anger orders me to sacrifice myself, and I sacrifice myself daily because I am free. I have long believed in the value of this sacrifice and I don’t hold myself back; my confidence in life becomes stronger with each passing day, becomes blinder with each passing day. I will emerge victorious in the fight to win over man, but I will take no joy in it. Victories and defeats: both of them collide with heroism
But you already attribute to yourself the weapons of mine that I don’t hide. I would like to believe that you dream. You hit me in the head and the belly, but I show you my heart, as new and pure as on the first day. It is you who will execute my tricks and grimaces. They fit you so well.
Lately one of your people came to see me. But he spoke to me from too great a distance. I answered him by pointing out the river that flowed at our feet, the river that had perhaps always separated us. He said, “My immensity is a human body in perdition.” I then looked at him and, understanding what he asked of me, I handed him a dagger. A few hours later he used it; he had “handed in his resignation.”
Others will come. They will all respond in the affirmative to my advice without knowing if I would be happier to see them leave, construct cities, or found kingdoms. And I promise you that none of them will fail.
If I'm still alive it’s because I've never found anything to oppose to eternity but myself. You smile with impunity, men of all periods who isolate me with old words made for you: naïveté, candor, and others that I don’t know. I leave you standing on one foot, your newspaper in hand. Open it: it bears in its headline this phrase of Oscar Wilde’s: What is expressed is no longer worthy of attention.
Here I am still, despair in the place of hope, indulgent rather than implacable. Others have acquired the knowledge of a given destiny. The secret mechanism of that destiny doesn’t frighten them. Even so, I am among them. And they should know that if I drink it’s so I can later smash the glass in my hands.
I am not a desperate man, I’m a dying man. Look at how well my blood flows now.
It is customary for those who carry out an inquiry to then close it, making conclusions, seeking the lowest common denominator of the responses provoked, reconciling them. Our contemporaries having been heard, it seems more natural to pose for the first time this question:
Is suicide a solution?
P.S. La Révolution Surréaliste apologizes to MM. J. Evola, Theo Van Doesburg, Gabriel d'Aubavède, Michel Decouri, Nathan Larrier, Louis de Gonzague Frick, Philippe Estonat, Joseph Depalin, Pierre Viélard, etc, but renounces the publication of their responses, given the abundance of matter in some, and the content of the responses of others.