西苏论画 205

西苏论画 205

To come back to what escapes: we want to draw the instant. That instant which strikes
between two instants, that instant which flies into bits under its own blow, which has
neither length, nor duration, only its own shattering brilliance, the shock of the passage
from night to light. Here, the instant is the height which this executioner’s arm takes (a
single double arm), grand high gesture, extremely fine and rapid line of extreme actuality.
The instant is a drama without a stage.


I wanted to call this text: ‘For the Instant,’ or ‘At the Instant,’ but I changed my mind.
The instant, see how it’s just fallen, between St John: the body is still living, but
already the head is dead. It’s this instant: the cut-off between life and death.
This is what we draw, tripping, because, instead of throbbing, we trace. We want to
throw ourselves ahead and we go backwards. Do you see these footprints? We are
advancing backwards.


How to draw speed?


Thinking about ‘repentance’ is extremely tiring. It’s as though I were trying to think
about the skin of thought with the skin of thought. One must think faster than oneself.
Observing it from very very close up very very fast, thought doesn’t go straight ahead,
as we think, but in a frenetic movement, invisible to the naked-eye-of-thought, it goes
straight ahead of itself like lightning and almost simultaneously returns backwards on its
own streak to step on it and erase it and almost simultaneously shoots forward like a
rocket—if only I could draw one thought!—if I could photograph it—then we would see
that thought is not a sentence at all, but, after several explosions, a fallout in words,
or else take the photograph of a dream!


I want to draw the present, say da Vinci? Picasso, Rembrandt, the fools for truth. How
to make the portrait of lightning? At what speed draw speed? We have all cried out stop!
to the instant. We who are the immoderate, through our slowness rapidity passes, through
our narrow head the lightning of a thought passes.

The truth is approaching.



Arrives the Vision that neither we, nor even the saint, can predict. Be careful! It’s
coming…! Salvation! What agony! We fall like a dead body.


We don’t have salvation: it is dealt us like a blow, we faint. We awake with a start,
quick a pencil, and take down the ultimate glimmer of illumination, however much we
say: ‘what’s the difference, we’ve seen our vision already,’ we never resign ourselves.
At a gallop, the snail! We scribble while crawling in the wake of God.


We live more quickly than ourselves, the pen doesn’t follow. To paint the present
which is passing us by, we stop the present.


One cannot after all write a book with only one stroke, of only one page, and yet we
But we are born for lateness.
Time, the body, are our slow vehicles, our chariots without wheels.


Stigmata 26

Look, I’ve just this instant ‘seen’ a book—now I’m going to need two years and two
hundred pages in order to recount it with my hands, with my staggering feet, and my
breath harnessed to my chest, and from forward to backward and inversely.

This is why we desire so often to die, when we write, in order to see everything in a
flash, and at least once shatter the spine of time with only one pencil stroke. And with
only one word draw God…

圣痕 26



N.B. There is not one single sentence in this text which I didn’t write twenty times—
As soon as I said the word ‘Repentance,’ it jumped on to my page, it spread everywhere,
however much I denied it. One says this word and that’s it.


N.B. N.B. Because after all that which they call Repentance is no one other than the
demon of writing.


And now, what to call this essay?
– ‘Without End’—No.—‘The Executioner’s Taking Off’—No. Rather:
Oh no, enough already, it’s time! No more repenting! Not another word!



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