Oh La Vache! and other Mercurial Inunctions


And if you should require more than a thousand, maybe check out The Cosmological Eye by H. Miller.

I should say that ever since the dawn of history–all through
the great civilizations, that is to say–we have been living like lice.
Once every thousand years or so a man arises who is not a louse–
and then there is even more hell to pay. When a MAN appears
he seems to get a stranglehold on the world which it takes cen-
turies to break. The sane people are cunning enough to find these
men “psychopathic.” These sane ones seem to be more interested
in the technique of the stranglehold than in applying it. That’s a
curious phenomenon, one that puzzles me, to be frank. It’s like
learning the art of wrestling in order to have the pleasure of letting
someone pin you to the mat.

What do I mean to infer? Just this–that art, the art of living,
involves the act of creation. The work of art is nothing. It is only
the tangible, visible evidence of a way of life, which, if it is not
crazy is certainly different from the accepted way of life. The dif-
ference lies in the act, in the assertion of a will, and individuality.
For the artist to attach himself to his work, or identify himself
with it, is suicidal. An artist should be able not only to spit on his
predecessor’s art, or on all works of art, but on his own too. He
should be able to be an artist all the time, and finally not be an
artist at all, but a piece of art.