A Long Sentence from a Renounced Novel

“And if sometimes Hebdomeros let himself be too trusting, that signified neither that he was an innocent nor a fanatic; he wanted to believe: he forced himself to believe that such and such a man was intelligent; and then he solemnly stated so among his friends and acquaintances and tried to dupe himself; and yet he knew that in reality it was not just exactly like that; among those with the anxious irritated expressions, among those impotent and annoyed intellectuals who feared and hated irony and true talent and haunted certain cafés where they arrived carrying under their arms, like a relic, the latest volume of their favorite poet, who was inevitably and like them impotent, sterile and constipated, and in whom they recognized themselves perfectly, but whom a benign fate and a combination of circumstances had brought into prominence, giving him the swet illusion of fame, those who then placed the adored volume, printed in a few numbered copies, of which the middle of each page of Japanese vellum was disfigured by two or three short lines of pseudoesoteric foolishness and pretentious twaddle, in all those whom he recognized at once by certain exterior signs which never failed him, in all these manufacturers of superfluous art and literature, men with suspicious expressions, whose mouths had never laughed with candor, Hebdomeros sensed a binding; he sensed that a knot prevented them from moving their arms and legs freely, from running, climbing, jumping, swimming and diving, from recounting something with wit, from writing, painting—in a word, from comprehending.”

—Giorgio de Chirico, Hebdomeros

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