Saturday, June 02, 2007

This time, he rings off. He then gets up. He shaves. He has his coffee. Very depressing. Everyone’s in the same state. He tries to laugh it off, defiantly. And in doing so he becomes even more like everyone else. He puts his right foot into his right sock and his left foot into his left sock; he puts on his braces; he buttons up his flies; he takes out a clean handkerchief; he double-locks his door; he doesn’t say good morning to his concierge. Outside, he says: “Good God, what weather!” It is raining. He takes advantage of the fact to perform his little experiment. When the rain is very heavy, it forms a mirror and you can see yourself on all sides. It’s very pleasant for the back and the profile. When he raises his foot, three million feet rise with it. When he scratches his ear, three million hands scratch three million ears. They are my hands, my feet. Or rather my hand, my foot. Oh, look, I’ve put my jacket on inside out. Inside out? Yes, north, south, east and west, three million jackets inside out. Latirail stops. The jackets continue on their way. My God, what’s happening? The other one moves on. It’s me that’s moving. Hey, wait, I’m just coming!

He bumps into a gentleman.

“Oh, excuse me, I thought it was me…”

The gentleman looks very surprised.

Damn, it didn’t work, thinks Latirail. First time I took myself for someone else.

The gentleman has walked on. He is thinking exactly the same thing. He too was performing an experiment and he bumped into Latirail. He is very annoyed. He thought it was an original experiment. So he invents another one and bumps into Latirail again:

“This time, Monsieur, would you please put your jacket on right side out. It’s been annoying me a great deal.”

“But, Monsieur…”

It wasn’t Latirail any more. It was someone else. Latirail was standing off, observing the scene with some concern.
Robert Pinget, Mahu, or the Material

Friday, June 01, 2007

Were they indefinitely inactive?
At Stephen’s suggestion, at Bloom’s instigation both, first Stephen, then Bloom, in penumbra urinated, their sides contiguous, their organs of micturition reciprocally rendered invisible by manual circumposition, their gazes, first Bloom’s, then Stephen’s, elevated to the projected luminous and semiluminous shadow.

The trajectories of their, first sequent, then simultaneous, urinations were dissimilar: Bloom’s longer, less irruent, in the incomplete form of the bifurcated penultimate alphabetical letter who in his ultimate year at High School (1880) had been capable of attaining the point of greatest altitude against the whole concurrent strength of the institution, 210 scholars: Stephen’s higher, more sibilant, who in the ultimate hours of the previous day had augmented by diuretic consumption an insistent vesical pressure.

What different problems presented themselves to each concerning the invisible audible collateral organ of the other?
To Bloom: the problems of irritability, tumescence, rigidity, reactivity, dimension, sanitariness, pilosity. To Stephen: the problem of the sacerdotal integrity of Jesus circumcised (1st January, holiday of obligation to hear mass and abstain from unnecessary servile work) and the problem as to whether the divine prepuce, the carnal bridal ring of the holy Roman catholic apostolic church, conserved in Calcata, were deserving of simple hyperduly or of the fourth degree of latria accorded to the abscission of such divine excrescences as hair and toenails.
James Joyce, Ulysses