23 September 2012

Quote of the day, yay! (+ 'Un Homme Qui Dort' film)

'You have hardly started living, and yet all is said, all is done. You are only twenty-five, but your path is already mapped out for you. The roles are prepared, and the labels: from the potty of your infancy to the bath-chair of your old age, all the seats are ready and waiting their turn. Your adventures have been so thoroughly described that the most violent revolt would not make anyone turn a hair. Step into the street and knock people’s hat off, smear your head with filth, go bare-foot, publish manifestos, shoot at some passing usurper or other, but it won’t make any difference: in the dormitory of the asylum your bed is already made up, your place is already laid at the table of the poète maudit; Rimbaud’s drunken boat, what a paltry wonder: Abyssinia is a fairground attraction, a package trip. Everything is arranged, everything is prepared in the minutest detail: the surges of emotion, the frosty irony, the heartbreak, the fullness, the exoticism, the great adventure, the despair. You won’t sell your soul to the devil, you won’t go clad in sandals to throw yourself into the crater of Mount Etna, you won’t destroy the seventh wonder of the world. Everything is ready for your death: the bullet that will end your days was cast long ago, the weeping women who will follow your casket have already been appointed.'

-- Georges Perec, A Man Asleep, 1967 (translated from the French 1990)

See also the beautiful film version of Un Homme Qui Dort (1974), directed by Georges Perec & Bernard Queysanne:

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