Wednesday, June 16, 2010
"During the course of this malady which attacks impoverished races, sudden calms succeed an attack. Strangely enough, Des Esseintes awoke one morning recovered; no longer was he tormented by the throbbing of his neck or by his racking cough. Instead, he had an ineffable sensation of contentment, a lightness of mind in which thought was sparklingly clear, turning from a turbid, opaque, green color to a liquid iridescence magical with tender rainbow tints.
This lasted several days. Then hallucinations of odor suddenly appeared.
His room was aromatic with the fragrance of frangipane; he tried to ascertain if a bottle were not uncorked--no! not a bottle was to be found in the room, and he passed into his study and thence to the kitchen. Still the odor persisted.
Des Esseintes rang for his servant and asked if he smelled anything. The domestic sniffed the air and declared he could not detect any perfume. There was no doubt about it: his nervous attacks had returned again, under the appearance of a new illusion of the senses.
Fatigued by the tenacity of this imaginary aroma, he resolved to steep himself in real perfumes, hoping that this homeopathic treatment would cure him or would at least drown the persistent odor."
J.K Huysmans, A Rebours (1884)
New post in the works...
Posted by EG at 7:08 PM