W.N.P. Barbellion


Born
in Barnstaple, The United Kingdom
September 07, 1889

Died
October 22, 1919

Genre


Wilhelm Nero Pilate Barbellion was the nom-de-plume of Bruce Frederick Cummings, an English diarist who was responsible for The Journal of a Disappointed Man. Ronald Blythe called it "among the most moving diaries ever created"

Cummings was born in Barnstaple in 1889. He was a naturalist at heart and ended up working at the British Museum's department of Natural History in London. Having begun his journal at the age of thirteen, Cummings continued to record his observations there - gradually moving from dry scientific notes to a more personal, literary style. His literary ambitions changed course in 1914 upon reading the journal of the Russian painter Marie Bashkirtseff, in whom he recognised a kindred spirit (see the 14 October 1914 entry o
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Average rating: 4.08 · 579 ratings · 78 reviews · 15 distinct worksSimilar authors
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The Journal of a Disappoint...

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The Journal of a Disappoint...

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More books by W.N.P. Barbellion…
“Youth is an intoxication without wine, someone says. Life is an intoxication. The only sober man is the melancholiac, who, disenchanted, looks at life, sees it as it really is, and cuts his throat. If this be so, I want to be very drunk. The great thing is to live, to clutch at our existence and race away with it in some great and enthralling pursuit. Above all, I must beware of all ultimate questions- they are too maddeningly unanswerable- let me eschew philosophy and burn Omar.”
W.N.P. Barbellion, The Journal of a Disappointed Man

“I have reveled in my littleness and irresponsibility. It has relieved me of the harassing desire to live, I feel content to live dangerously, indifferent to my fate; I have discovered I am a fly, that we are all flies, that nothing matters. It’s a great load off my life, for I don’t mind being such a micro-organism—to me the honour is sufficient of belonging to the universe—such a great universe, so grand a scheme of things. Not even Death can rob me of that honour. For nothing can alter the fact that I have lived; I have been I, if for ever so short a time. And when I am dead, the matter which composes my body is indestructible—and eternal, so that come what may to my “Soul,” my dust will always be going on, each separate atom of me playing its separate part—I shall still have some sort of a finger in the Pie. When I am dead, you can boil me, burn me, drown me, scatter me—but you cannot destroy me: my little atoms would merely deride such heavy vengeance. Death can do no more than kill you.”
W.N.P. Barbellion, The Journal of a Disappointed Man

“I waste much time gaping and wondering. During a walk or in a book or in the middle of an embrace, suddenly I awake to a stark amazement at everything. The bare fact of existence paralyses me- holds my mind in mortmain. To be alive is so incredible that all I do is to lie still and merely breathe- like an infant on its back in a cot. It is impossible to be interested in anything in particular while overhead the sun shines or underneath my feet grows a single blade of grass.”
W.N.P. Barbellion, The Journal of a Disappointed Man

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