03 mai 2007

The Abyss of Human Illusion | Gilbert Sorrentino (Golden Handcuffs Review # 8)


Most of his friends were dead or far away, staggering into the apathy and complaint of old age. He was, that is, virtually alone, his wife dead for many years, his children distantly attentive, formally so, but no more than that. When he thought of his youth he could scarcely believe that his memories had anything at all to do with the absurd life he was now living, an observation, he knew, that was far from original. Somehow, he had thought that his old age would miraculously produce finer, subtler notions of — what? — life? But he was no better, no cleverer, no more insightful than any shuffling old bastard in the street, absurdly bundled against the slightest breeze.

He didn’t know, or knew but refused to believe, that the celebrations and joys, the razzmatazz, so to speak, of his youth and young manhood, were perhaps perversely, yet precisely, what had brought him to this disquiet, this discomfort, this hidden and unacknowledged longing for oblivion. Had his youth been another sort of youth.... But it had not been, it had been his and his alone, and its clichés and blunders had led, almost sweetly, to the clichés and blunders of his senescence. Time to go and leave the world to the young, happily wallowing in the mess he’d left as a small part of their general inheritance.


>> Afterword to The Abyss of Human Illusion | Christopher Sorrentino : là.