By Paul Valery
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Additional info for Monsieur Teste
There we read whether we admire ourselves, adore ourselves, despise ourselves, or should blot ourselves out; and some living pointer, trembling over the secret dial, flickers with terrible nimbleness between the zero of a beast and the maximum of a god. Now, my kind friend, if you want to understand something about a good many things, just imagine that so vital and so delicate an apparatus is a plaything for anyone that comes along. And, no doubt, there are strange men in whom this hidden needle always indicates the point opposite the one you might suppose.
Well and good," I replied. "Yet, in every imaginable case, you will admit, being is still strange. To be in some particular way, is stranger still. " "So," said M. Teste, "you want to know what you are doing here. . " "And yet, why? The really odd thing is that I should wonder. Why do I want to know . . " "Doubtless," said M. Teste. ) " I wonder," M. Teste thought out loud, "what it is about man's 'destiny' (as you say) that interests me. About as much as . . the goddess Barbara — who has never been heard of, and I suddenly invent her name.
But in the sense that we are sources of pain or sensual pleasure. We feel "coming from ourselves" certain . . ) modifications — certain values — grandeurs, "sensations" — certain "accelerations" which are at once most ours and most strange, our masters, our selves of the moment, and the coming moment. HO Monsieur Teste How can depths so variable and referenceless be described, depths which have the most important but most unstable bearing on "thought"? Music alone can do it. A kind of field that dominates the phenomena of consciousness — images, ideas, which without it would only be combinations, a symmetrical arrangement of combinations.