Friday, January 30, 2009

"which is the real one?"

i read this...thing a couple years ago and it still sticks with me as one of the most affecting little pieces of literature i've ever read. this is a translation from french.

"Which is the real one?" Charles Baudelaire

I once knew a certain Bénédicta who filled earth and air with the ideal, and whose eyes scattered the seeds of longing for greatness, beauty and glory, for everything that makes a man believe in immortality.

But this miraculous girl was too beautiful to live long; and so it was that, only a few days after I had come to know her, she died, and I buried her with my own hands one day when Spring was swaying its censer over the graveyards. I buried her with my own hands and shut her into a coffin of scented and incorruptible wood like the coffers of India.

And while my eyes still gazes on the spot where my treasure lay buried, all at once I saw a little creature who looked singularly like the deceased, stamping up and down on the fresh earth in a strange hysterical frenzy, and who said as she shrieked with laughter: "Look at me! I am the real Bénédicta! A perfect hussy! And to punish you for your blindness and your folly, you shall love me as I am."

But I was furious and cried: "No! no! no!" And to emphasize my refusal I stamped so violently on the earth that my leg sank into the new dug grave up to my knee; and now, like a wolf caught in a trap, I am held fast, perhaps forever, to the grave of the ideal.

1 comment:

chad said...

this reminds me of this one tv show i saw my freshman year of high school. i can't remember the name - it was some sci-fi series that i never watched, but this one episode just sucked me in. it was about this guy and girl who were, of course, in love. but then she got deathly ill/comatose, so there was this machine where the two of them could meet in their collective imagination. but there was this ugly monster lady trying to kill his girlfriend, so he ended up killing the monster, only to find out that his comatose girlfriend was the monster, and his beautiful "girlfriend" was just a figment of his own imagination.

yours is better, and much shorter.