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350 pages, Hardcover
First published January 1, 1918
‘I am the panurgic-pessimist, drunken with the laughing-gas of the Abyss: I gaze upon squalor and idiocy, and the more I see them the more I like them. Flaubert built up his Bouvard et Pécuchet with maniacal and tireless hands, it took him ten years: that was a long draught of stodgy laughter from the gases that rise from the dung-heap.’
‘Sex is nationalized, more than any other essential of life, it’s just the opposite of art there: in german sex there is all the german cuisine, the beer-cellar, and all the plum-pudding mysticism of german thought. But then if it is the sex you are after that does not say you want to identify your being with your appetite: quite the opposite. The condition of continued enjoyment is to resist assimilation. A man is the opposite of his appetite.’
‘Humour and pathos are such near twins that Humour may be exactly described as the most feminine attribute of man – and it is the only one of which women show hardly any trace! Jokes are like snuff, a slatternly habit, whereas Tragedy (and tears) is like tobacco, much drier and cleaner. Comedy being always the embryo of Tragedy, the directer nature weeps. Women are of course directer than men. – But they have not the same resources.’