Wandering – Hermann Hesse

You see, I’m approaching a pass in the Alps, and here the northern, German architecture, and the German countryside, and the German language come to an end.

How lovely it is to cross such a boundary. The wandering man becomes a primitive man in so many ways, in the same way that the nomad is more primitive than the farmer. But the longing to get on the other side of everything already settled, this makes me, and everybody like me, a road sign to the future. If there were many other people who loathed the borders between countries as I do, then there would be no more wars and blockades. Nothing on earth is more disgusting, more contemptible than borders. They’re like cannons, like generals: as long as peace, loving kindness and peace go on, nobody pays any attention to them — but as soon as war and insanity appear, they become urgent and sacred. While the war went on, how they were pain and prison to us wanderers. Devil take them!

Once again I love deeply everything at home, because I have to leave it. Tomorrow I will love other roofs, other cottages. I won’t leave my heart behind me, as they say in love letters. No, I am going to carry it with me over the mountains, because I need it, always. I am a nomad, not a farmer. I am an adorer of the unfaithful, the changing, the fantastic. I don’t care to secure my love to one bare place on this earth. I believe that what we love is only a symbol. Whenever our love becomes too attached to one thing, one faith, one virtue, then I become suspicious.

Jubal utan Jag – Strindberg

Så kom en vacker dag en handelsresande, som förr varit teatersångare, och när han fick höra Klang, så blev han så förtjust att han bjöd Klangen ut på en kolifej om aftonen.
Och de slog käglor, de åt kräftor med dill, de drack punsch, och de sjöng framför allt.
Mellan skål och vägg och när de druckit duskål sade handelsresanden:
– Varför går du inte till teatern?
– Jag? svarte Klang; inte kan jag nu det?
– Du skall säga: jag vill! så kan du.
Det var en ny lärdom, ty sedan han var tre år, hade unge Klang inte begagnat orden ”jag” och ”vill”.
Nu tordes han varken vilja eller önska, och han bad icke få bli frestad mera.
Men handelsresanden kom igen, många gånger, och hade storsångare med sig. Frestelsen blev för stark; och Klangen tog sitt parti en afton, då han blivit applåderad av en riktig professor.
Så tog han avsked av patronen, och vid ett glas tackade han sin vän handelsresanden, som återgivet honom självförtroendet och viljan; ”viljan, denna järnstång i ryggen, som håller människan upprätt att hon icke faller ner på de fyra”. Och aldrig skulle han glömma sin vän, som lärt honom tro på sig själv.

Kierkegaard to Regine Olsen ~ letter

11 August 1838

You, sovereign queen of my heart, Regina,

hidden in the deepest secrecy of my breast, in the fullness of my life-idea, there where it is just as far to heaven as to hell—unknown divinity!

O, can I really believe the poets when they say that the first time one sees the beloved object he thinks he has seen her long before, that love like all knowledge is recollection, that love in the single individual also has its prophecies, its types, its myths, its Old Testament.

Everywhere, in the face of every girl, I see features of your beauty, but I think I would have to possess the beauty of all the girls in the world to extract your beauty, that I would have to sail around the world to find the portion of the world I want and toward which the deepest secret of my self polarically points—and in the next moment you are so close to me, so present, so overwhelmingly filling my spirit that I am transfigured to myself and feel that here it is good to be.

You blind god of erotic love! You who see in secret, will you disclose it to me? Will I find what I am seeking here in this world, will I experience the conclusion of all my life’s eccentric premises, will I fold you in my arms, or: Do the Orders say: March on? Have you gone on ahead, you, my longing, transfigured do you beckon to me from another world? O, I will throw everything away in order to become light enough to follow you.

Marx to Jenny von Westphalen ~ letter

Manchester, June 21, 1865

My heart’s beloved:

I am writing you again, because I am alone and because it troubles me always to have a dialogue with you in my head, without your knowing anything about it or hearing it or being able to answer…

Momentary absence is good, for in constant presence things seem too much alike to be differentiated. Proximity dwarfs even towers, while the petty and the commonplace, at close view, grow too big. Small habits, which may physically irritate and take on emotional form, disappear when the immediate object is removed from the eye. Great passions, which through proximity assume the form of petty routine,grow and again take on their natural dimension on account of the magic of distance. So it is with my love. You have only to be snatched away from me even in a mere dream, and I know immediately that the time has only served, as do sun and rain for plants, for growth.

The moment you are absent, my love for you shows itself to be what it is, a giant, in which are crowded together all the energy of my spirit and all the character of my heart. It makes me feel like a man again, because I feel a great passion; and the multifariousness, in which study and modern education entangle us, and the skepticism which necessarily makes us find fault with all subjective and objective impressions, all of these are entirely designed to make us all small and weak and whining. But love – not love for the Feuerbach-type of man, not for the metabolism, not for the proletariat – but the love for the beloved and particularly for you, makes a man again a man…

There are many females in the world, and some among them are beautiful. But where could I find again a face, whose every feature, even every wrinkle, is a reminder of the greatest and sweetest memories of my life? Even my endless pains, my irreplaceable losses I read in your sweet countenance, and I kiss away the pain when I kiss your sweet face…

Good-bye, my sweet heart. I kiss you and the children many thousand times.

Yours, Karl

Simone de Beauvoir ~ Mandarinerna

kap 5.

Var hon allt igenom dum, eller lite efterbliven, eller förlamad av blyghet? Hon var så vacker att hon rimligen borde ha varit dum men skönhet fick henne samtidigt att framstå som gåtfull.

En Intellektuell har ingen uppgift längre. Oh, man kan roa sig med att sätta ihop ord, precis som man trär pärlor på ett halsband och akta sig noga för att få något sagt. Men till och med det är farligt. Jag hoppas att det jag skriver blir sant igen. En gång.