Jan 2, 2012

...He was walking by Katov's side once more. Yet he could not free himself from her. "A while ago she seemed to me like a mad woman or a blind woman. I don't know her. I know her only to the extent that I love, in the sense in which I love her. One possesses of another person only what one changes in him, says my father.... And then what?" He withdrew into himself as he advanced into the increasingly dark alley, in which even the telegraph insulators no longer gleamed against the sky. His torment returned, and he remembered the records: "We hear the voices of others with our ears, our own voices with our throats." Yes. One hears his own life, too, with his throat, and those of others?... First of all there was solitude, the inescapable aloneness behind the living multitude like the great primitive night behind the dense, low night under which this city of deserted streets was expectantly waiting, full of hope and hatred. "But I, to myself, to my throat, what am I? A kind of absolute, the affirmation of an idiot: an intensity greater than that of all the rest. To others, I am what I have done." To May alone, he was not what he had done; to him alone, she was something altogether different from her biography. The embrace by which love holds beings together against solitude did not bring its relief to man; it brought relief only to the madman, to the incomparable monster, dear above all things, that every being is to himself and that he cherishes in his heart. Since his mother had died, May was the only being for whom he was not Kyo Gisors, but an intimate partner. "A partnership consented, conquered, chosen," he thought, extraordinarily in harmony with the night, as if his thoughts were no longer made for light. "Men are not my kind, they are those who look at me and judge me; my kind are those who love me and do not look at me, who love me in spite of everything, degradation, baseness, treason—me and not what I have done or shall do—who would love me as long as I would love myself—even to suicide.... With her alone I have this love in common, injured or not, as others have children who are ill and in danger of dying...." It was not happiness, certainly. It was something primitive which was at one with the darkness and caused a warmth to rise in him, resolving itself into a motionless embrace, as of cheek against cheek—the only thing in him that was as strong as death.

—AndrĂ© Malraux, Man's Fate

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