to destroy a toy, or, writing with teeth

the child used nature, as Baudelaire presciently observed, as ‘pure excitation,’ as a point of departure for the presentation of an inner state, suppressing all detail and going to the essence of the thing-as when it destroyed a toy to reach its heart.

see ‘morale du joujou,’ baudelaire

like baudelaire, and somewhat like Hart Crane in America, Nerval wrote in the teeth of the utilitarian concept of the universe, and all these men died, like Cyrano, fencing with their shadows, their invisible, yet deadly enemy ‘la Sotisse,’ and exclaiming, ‘c’est bein plus beau lorsque c’est inutile.’

p. 39 geoffrey wagner

when we had reached a junction of three streets, however, i refused to go any further.  it seemed that my friend was employing superhuman strength to make me move.  he grew larger in my eyes and took on the aspect of an apostle.  the spot on which we stood seemed to rise up and lose its urban appearance:  on a hill, surrounded by enormous solitudes, that scene became a struggle between two spirits, like a biblical temptation.

‘no,’ i cried, ‘i don’t belong to your Heaven.  those in that star are waiting for me.  they went before the revelation you have announced to me.  let me go to them, for the one i love belongs to them, and it is there we are to meet again.’

p. 120 nerval’s Aurelia

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