comment on paie ses dettes quand on a du génie


Les feuilles mortes
paroles : Jacques Prévert ; musique : Joseph Kosma

Oh! je voudrais tant que tu te souviennes
des jours heureux où nous étions amis
En ce temps-là la vie était plus belle
et le soleil plus brûlant qu’aujourd’hui
Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle…
Tu vois je n’ai pas oublié
Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle
les souvenirs et les regrets aussi
et le vent du nord les emporte
dans la nuit froide de l’oubli
Tu vois je n’ai pas oublié
la chanson que tu me chantais

C’est une chanson qui nous ressemble
Toi tu m’aimais
et je t’aimais
Et nous vivions tous deux ensemble
toi qui m’aimais
et que j’aimais
Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s’aiment
tout doucement
sans faire de bruit
et la mer efface sur le sable
les pas des amants désunis
Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle
les souvenirs et les regrets aussi
Mais mon amour silencieux et fidèle
sourit toujours et remercie la vie
Je t’aimais tant tu étais si jolie
Comment veux-tu que je t’oublie
En ce temps-là la vie était plus belle
et le soleil plus brûlant qu’aujourd’hui
Tu étais ma plus douce amie…
Mais je n’ai que faire des regrets
Et la chanson que tu chantais
toujours toujours je l’entendrai

C’est une chanson qui nous ressemble
Toi tu m’aimais
et je t’aimais
Et nous vivions tous deux ensemble
toi qui m’aimais
et que j’aimais
Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s’aiment
tout doucement
sans faire de bruit
et la mer efface sur le sable
les pas des amants désunis.

1950
—Jacques Prévert, Œuvres complètes, tome II, Gallimard, 1996, pp. 785-786


La chanson de Prévert
paroles et musique : Serge Gainsbourg

Oh je voudrais tant que tu te souviennes
Cette chanson était la tienne
C’était ta préférée
Je crois
Qu’elle est de Prévert et
Kosma

Avec d’autres bien sûr je m’abandonne
Mais leur chanson est monotone
Et peu à peu je m’in-
Diffère
À cela il n’est rien
À faire

Peut on jamais savoir par où commence
Et quand finit l’indifférence
Passe l’automne vienne
L’hiver
Et que la chanson de
Prévert

Cette chanson LES FEUILLES MORTES
S’efface de mon souvenir
Et ce jour-là
Mes amours mortes
En auront fini de mourir

1958
—Serge Gainsbourg, Mon propre rôle I, Denoël, 1987, 1991, pp. 56-57

Gréco avait chanté « Les feuilles mortes » ; Gainsbourg compose « La chanson de Prévert ». Il a l’intention de frapper un grand coup, mais se fait tout petit quand il s’agit d’aller demander à Jacques Prévert l’autorisation d’utiliser son nom.
    GAINSBOURG : « Il m’avait reçu chez lui. À dix heures du matin, il attaquait au champagne. Il m’a dit : “Mais c’est très bien mon p’tit gars !” et timidement je lui ai tendu un papier qu’il m’a signé. »

—Gilles Verlant, Gainsbourg, Editions Albin Michel, 1992, p. 55


Jacques Prévert est un con
Jacques Prévert est quelqu’un dont on apprend des poèmes à l’ecole. Il en ressort qu’il aimait les fleurs, les oiseaux, les quartiers du vieux Paris, etc. L’amour lui paraissait s’épanouir dans une ambiance de liberté ; plus généralement, il était plutôt pour la liberté. Il portait une casquette et fumait des Gauloises ; on le confond parfois avec Jean Gabin ; d’ailleurs c’est lui qui a écrit le scénario de Quai des brumes, des Portes de la nuit, etc. Il a aussi écrit le scénario des Enfants du paradis, considéré comme son chef d’œuvre. Tout cela fait beaucoup de bonnes raisons pour détester Jacques Prévert ; surtout si on lit les scénarios jamais tournes qu’Antonin Artaud écrivait à la même époque. Il est affligeant de constater que ce répugnant réalisme poétique, dont Prévert fut l’artisan principal, continue à faire des ravages, et qu’on pense faire un compliment à Leos Carax en l’y rattachant (de la même manière Rohmer serait sans doute un nouveau Guitry, etc.) Le cinéma français ne s’est en fait jamais relève de l’avènement du parlant ; il finira par en crever, et ce n’est pas plus mal.
    Après-guerre, à peu près à la même époque que Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Prévert a eu un succès énorme ; on est malgré soi frappé par l’optimisme de cette génération. Aujourd’hui, le penseur le plus influent, ce serait plutôt Cioran. À l’époque on écoutait Vian, BrassensAmoureux qui se bécotent sur les bancs publics, baby-boom, construction massive de HLM pour loger tout ce monde-là. Beaucoup d’optimisme, de foi en l’avenir, et un peu de connerie. À l’évidence, nous sommes devenus beaucoup plus intelligents.
    Avec les intellectuels, Prévert a eu moins de chance. Ses poèmes regorgent pourtant de ces jeux de mots stupides qui plaisent tellement chez Bobby Lapointe ; mais il est vrai que la chanson est comme on dit un genre mineur, et que l’intellectuel, lui aussi, doit se détendre. Quand on aborde le texte écrit, son vrai gagne-pain, il devient impitoyable. Et le « travail du texte », chez Prévert, reste embryonnaire : il écrit avec limpidité et un vrai naturel, parfois même avec émotion ; il ne s’intéresse ni à l’écriture, ni à l’impossibilité d’écrire ; sa grande source d’inspiration, ce serait plutôt la vie. Il a donc, pour l’essentiel, échappe aux thèses de troisième cycle. Aujourd’hui cependant il rentre à la Pléiade, ce qui constitue une seconde mort. Son œuvre est la, complète et figée. C’est une excellente occasion de s’interroger: pourquoi la poésie de Jacques Prévert est-elle si médiocre, à tel point qu’on éprouve parfois une sorte de honte à la lire? L’explication classique (parce que son écriture « manque de rigueur ») est tout à fait fausse ; à travers ses jeux de mots, son rythme léger et limpide, Prévert exprime en réalité parfaitement sa conception du monde. La forme est cohérente avec le fond, ce qui est bien le maximum qu’on puisse exiger d’une forme. D’ailleurs quand un poète s’immerge à ce point dans la vie, dans la vie réelle de son époque, ce serait lui faire injure que de le juger suivant des critères purement stylistiques. Si Prévert écrit, c’est qu’il a quelque chose à dire ; c’est tout à son honneur. Malheureusement, ce qu’il a à dire est d’une stupidité sans bornes ; on en a parfois la nausée. Il y a de jolies filles nues, des bourgeois qui saignent comme des cochons quand on les égorge. Les enfants sont d’une immoralité sympathique, les voyous sont séduisants et virils, les jolies filles nues donnent leur corps aux voyous ; les bourgeois sont vieux, obèses, impuissants, décores de légion d’honneur et leurs femmes sont frigides ; les curés sont de répugnantes vieilles chenilles qui ont inventé le péché pour nous empêcher de vivre. On connaît tout cela ; on peut préférer Baudelaire. Ou même Karl Marx, qui, au moins, ne se trompe pas de cible lorsqu’il écrit que « le triomphe de la bourgeoisie a noyé les frissons sacrés de l’extase religieuse, d l’enthousiasme chevaleresque et de la sentimentalité quatre sous dans les eaux glacées du calcul égoïste ». (La lutte des classes en France. [Mais non, il s’agit plutôt du Manifeste du parti communiste. —MZ]) L’intelligence n’aide en rien à écrire de bons poèmes ; elle peut cependant éviter d’en écrire de mauvais. Si Jacques Prévert est un mauvais poète c’est avant tout parce que sa vision du monde est plate, superficielle et fausse. Elle était déjà fausse de son temps ; aujourd’hui sa nullité apparaît avec éclat, à tel point que l’œuvre entière semble le développement d’un gigantesque cliché. Sur le plan philosophique et politique, Jacques Prévert est avant tout un libertaire ; c’est-à-dire, fondamentalement, un imbécile.
    Les « eaux glacées du calcul égoïste », nous y barbotons maintenant depuis notre plus tendre enfance. Or peut s’en accommoder, essayer d’y survivre ; on peut aussi se laisser couler. Mais ce qu’il est impossible d’imaginer, c’est que la libération des puissances du désir soit à elle seule susceptible d’amener un réchauffement. L’anecdote veut que ce soit Robespierre qui ait insisté pour ajouter le mot « fraternité » à la devise de la République ; nous sommes aujourd’hui en mesure d’apprécier pleinement cette anecdote. Prévert se voyait certainement comme un partisan de la fraternité ; mais Robespierre n’était pas, loin de là, un adversaire de la vertu.

Michel Houellebecq, “Jacques Prévert est un con” in Interventions, Flammarion, 1998, pp. 9-14
Cet article est paru dans le numéro 22 (juillet 1992) des Lettres françaises.

nobel laureates, 1953 / 2009

“You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.”

—Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, 13 May 1940

“This isn’t a football game, so I’m not interested in victory; I’m interested in resolving the problem.”

—Barack Hussein Obama, 25 September 2009

cthe edge wounds, the point kills

Accounting for the fighting arts that enabled his countrymen to dominate most of the known world, Roman strategist Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus explained that a sword stroke with the edges, though made with ever so much force, seldom kills, as the vital parts of the body are defended both by the bones and armor. On the contrary, a stab, though it penetrates but two inches, is generally fatal.[1]


POMPEII-TYPE GLADIUS, TINNED BRONZE SCABBARD AND IRON SPEAR HEAD
THE AXEL GUTTMANN COLLECTION

Roman swordsmanship doctrines took root among the erstwhile barbarians dedicated to besting their cultural laggards and social inferiors. Thus the Nineteenth Century Gauls agreed with the Eighteenth Century Britons: “le tranchant blesse, la pointe tue,”[2]—“the Edge Wounds, but the Point Kills.”[3] The sword lore of the day was rife with fears of the “stabber”, a.k.a. the “rusher”, an uncouth but dangerous creature possessed but of the rudiments of sword-play, who inflicted himself upon the most prominent swordsman present, by drawing his sword-hand as far back as he possibly could, putting his head down, rushing upon his opponent, and stabbing at him with his foil as hard as he possibly could, regardless of aim or outcome.[4] Far beyond the bounds of Christendom, Japanese ronin agreed with the lesson dealt by Renatus: their swords, fashioned for expert cutting, served the novice best as stabbing implements:[5]

“…and that’s how you kill a man.”

The pen is mightier than the sword,” gushed Cardinal Richelieu in the eponymous play penned by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839. But could the same be said of the pencil with its ephemeral traces? Lord Coke, treating of a deed, wrote: “And here it is to be understood, that it ought to be in parchment or in paper. For if a writing be made upon a peece of wood, or upon a peece of linen, or in the barke of a tree, or on a stone, or the like, &c. and the same be sealed or delivered, yet it is no deed, for a deed must be written either in parchment or paper, as before is said, for the writing upon these is least subject to alteration or corruption.”[6] For the same reasons, argued his successors, a writing ought to be made with materials least subject to alteration or corruption. Yet this presumption was rebutted when the Court of King’s Bench ruled on 6 February 1826, that “a bill or note may be drawn or indorsed in pencil as well as in ink.”[7] Thus the stage was set for the lowly pencil besting the noble sword.

***
On 30 March 1858, U.S. Patent Office issued Patent Number 19,783 for the combination of the lead and india-rubber or other erasing substance in the holder of a drawing-pencil, to Hymen L. Lipman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 1862 Lipman sold his patent to Joseph Reckendorfer of New York City, New York, for $100,000. On 4 November 1862, Reckendoffer received another patent for an improvement upon the invention of Lipman.

He then sued the pencil manufacturer Faber for infringement.[8] In 1875 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled against Reckendorfer in Reckendorfer v. Faber, 92 U.S. 347 (1875) declaring the patent invalid because the invention was actually a combination of two already known things with no new use. As Justice Ward Hunt put it on behalf of the Court:

A combination, to be patentable, must produce a different force, effect, or result in the combined forces or processes from that given by their separate parts. There must be a new result produced by their union; otherwise it is only an aggregation of separate elements.
    A combination, therefore, which consists only of the application of a piece of rubber to one end of the same piece of wood which makes a lead pencil is not patentable.

But contrary to this ruling of the highest court in our land, a conspicuous new result was indeed produced by the union of a piece of rubber with the piece of wood that made a lead pencil. This novelty was to manifest itself in the wake of a case that came up before the U.S. Supreme Court over eighty years later.

***
It is said that early in the XXth century, when The Times invited several eminent authors to write essays on the theme “What’s Wrong with the World?”, the contribution of Gilbert Keith Chesterton took the form of a letter:[9]

Dear Sirs,
I am.
Sincerely yours,
G. K. Chesterton

Not satisfied with exhausting the subject matter by a pithy witticism, Chesterton followed up his missive with a book-length treatment that included a fantasy of “the Universal Stick”:

Cast your eye round the room in which you sit, and select some three or four things that have been with man almost since his beginning; which at least we hear of early in the centuries and often among the tribes. Let me suppose that you see a knife on the table, a stick in the corner, or a fire on the hearth. About each of these you will notice one speciality; that not one of them is special. Each of these ancestral things is a universal thing; made to supply many different needs; and while tottering pedants nose about to find the cause and origin of some old custom, the truth is that it had fifty causes or a hundred origins. The knife is meant to cut wood, to cut cheese, to cut pencils, to cut throats; for a myriad ingenious or innocent human objects. The stick is meant partly to hold a man up, partly to knock a man down; partly to point with like a finger-post, partly to balance with like a balancing pole, partly to trifle with like a cigarette, partly to kill with like a club of a giant; it is a crutch and a cudgel; an elongated finger and an extra leg. The case is the same, of course, with the fire; about which the strangest modern views have arisen. A queer fancy seems to be current that a fire exists to warm people. It exists to warm people, to light their darkness, to raise their spirits, to toast their muffins, to air their rooms, to cook their chestnuts, to tell stories to their children, to make checkered shadows on their walls, to boil their hurried kettles, and to be the red heart of a man’s house and that hearth for which, as the great heathens said, a man should die.
    Now it is the great mark of our modernity that people are always proposing substitutes for these old things; and these substitutes always answer one purpose where the old thing answered ten. The modern man will wave a cigarette instead of a stick; he will cut his pencil with a little screwing pencil-sharpener instead of a knife; and he will even boldly offer to be warmed by hot water pipes instead of a fire. I have my doubts about pencil-sharpeners even for sharpening pencils; and about hot water pipes even for heat. But when we think of all those other requirements that these institutions answered, there opens before us the whole horrible harlequinade of our civilization. We see as in a vision a world where a man tries to cut his throat with a pencil-sharpener; where a man must learn single-stick with a cigarette; where a man must try to toast muffins at electric lamps, and see red and golden castles in the surface of hot water pipes.

—Gilbert Keith Chesterton, What’s Wrong With The World, Dodd, Mead and Company, 1910, pp. 146-148

In at least one of its respects, Chesterton’s adaptationist vision was not too long in coming. Not a half century later, in a case styled Scales v. United States (1958-1962), the U.S. Supreme Court considered the membership clause of the Smith Act, which prohibited membership in organizations advocating the violent or forceful overthrow of the United States government. Junius Scales was criminally charged with membership in the Communist Party of the United States. The criminal charge arose because the Communist Party advocated the overthrow of the government “as speedily as circumstances would permit.” Challenging his felony charge, Scales claimed that the Internal Security Act of 1950 stated that membership in a Communist organization shall not constitute a per se violation of any criminal statute. After failing in both a district and appellate court, Scales’ appeal to the Supreme Court was granted certiorari to consider the question of whether or not a Communist Party member’s conviction under the Smith Act, which made a felony the knowing membership in organizations advocating the violent or forceful overthrow of the United States government, violated the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause in light of the apparent protections afforded to such members under the Internal Security Act. In a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that the Security Act protected “per se” members of an organization from criminal prosecution. By contrast, the Smith Act went beyond “per se” participation by targeting those, whose membership in an organization entailed their knowing and deliberate participation in criminal activity. In light of this distinction, the Court noted, the two Acts were not conflicted. Since Scales, at the very least, knew, encouraged, and provoked illegal Party activities over the course of his eight year membership, he became the only American ever to be convicted under the Smith Act’s membership clause, of complicity in the commission of criminal activity.

Witnesses to Scales’ complicity in the commission of criminal activity included a certain Charles Childs, a paid informer of the FBI from the age of 18. Childs testified that he had been taught at a Party school how to kill a man with a sharpened pencil. In 1952, Childs attended a “Party Training School” of which Scales was a director. The school was given “for outstanding cadres in the North and South Carolina and Virginia Districts of the Communist Party.” It was held on a farm and strict security measures were taken. The District Organizer of Virginia instructed at the school. He told the students that “the role of the Communist Party is to lead the working masses to the overthrow of the capitalist government.” With respect to the preliminary task of gaining the “broad coalition” necessary to achieve this task, he stated that,

… the Communist Party has a program of industrial concentration in which they try to get people, that is, people who are Communist Party members, into key shops or key industries which the Party has determined or designated to be industrial concentration industries or plants. This is so that the Communist Party members in a particular plant will be able to have a cell, or a Communist Party group in which they will be able to more effectively plan for such things as attempting to control the union in that particular plant.

And, in a compulsory recreation period, this same instructor gave a demonstration of jujitsu and, explaining that the students “might be able to use this on a picket line,” how to kill a person with a pencil. According to Childs’ testimony,

what he showed us to do was to take our pencil, … just take the pencil and place it simply in the palm of your hand so that the back will rest against the base of the thumb, and then we were to take it, and the person, and give a quick jab so that it would penetrate through here [demonstrating], and enter the heart, and then if we could not do that, we just take it and grab it at the base of the throat.

Thus the Communist homicide technology repurposed and redeployed the lowly pencil after the fashion of Chesterton’s Universal Stick. Regrettably, the record of Childs’ testimony left the details of this deployment to the readers’ imagination. It took several more decades for detailed instructions to surface in the U.S. media. No one was better qualified to spell them out, than G. Gordon Liddy.

In the aftermath of the Watergate scandal resulting in Liddy’s conviction and imprisonment, rumors of his martial prowess circulated through various channels. Muckraking journalist J. Anthony Lukas recounted his demonstrations of how to kill someone with a freshly sharpened pencil by bracing the eraser end in your palm and ramming the point into the victim’s neck.[10] Upon his release, Liddy supplemented this rumor with a boast in an interview given to Playboy:

Playboy: What are the most effective ways to kill a man without employing a conventional weapon?
Liddy: Well, they are innumerable, depending, of course, on the skill of the practitioner. For someone with no special training, our old-faithful pencil is very efficient, just your common garden-variety standard wooden pencil with a good sharp point and a strong, substantial eraser. The eraser’s quite important, actually. With those prerequisites, and if you can reach your opponent, any novice could kill his enemy in one second or less. But I don’t want to go any further into the details, lest we have a sudden rash of pencil killings in junior high schools across the country. Assuming, of course, that adolescent males concentrate on Playboy’s Interviews.

—Eric Norden, “Playboy Interview: G. Gordon Liddy”, 1 October 1980

Enterprising adolescent males were served the details in Liddy’s contemporaneously issued autobiography, which disclosed his contemplation of killing star witness for prosecution John Dean by driving up a pencil through the underside of his jaw, through the soft-palate and deep into his brain.[11] Another of his journalistic nemeses, Jack Anderson, eventually spelled out the last piece of the puzzle by quoting Liddy’s warning: “Be sure the eraser is in good condition. It will protect the palm of your hand when you drive the pencil into an attacker’s throat.”[12] Thus the patents of Lipman and Reckendorfer received their belated vindication.

***
It bears notice that the Latin term for pencil, peniculus, is a diminutive of, and a euphemism for, penis. This derivation affords an insight into wishful aggressive deployment of that modest writerly implement. Lasting cultural impact of notional penicular homicide remains periodically attested in our day. Thus in his 2008 autobiography, William Shatner recounts his summer camp meetings with “kids who had survived the Holocaust, kids who had seen their parents slaughtered, kids who just as easily could kill you with a pencil as become friends.”[13] More pointedly, Steve Geng, the brother of writer and editor Veronica Geng, writes in a memoir of his drug addiction, imprisonment, and bodily decay, intermingled with tributes to his sister, of his response to being stabbed in the calf with a pencil in the course of resisting a jailhouse rape attempt:

I knew I’d have more trouble with Slim, so I carefully plotted my revenge. That night I would take a sharpened pencil, now that I knew what an effective weapon it could be, creep up to Slim’s bunk while he slept, carefully place the point of the pencil into Slim’s ear, and drive it into whatever tiny brain he had with a quick stroke of the flat of my hand. Along about two in the morning when everyone was asleep, I actually did tiptoe over to Slim’s bunk, pencil in hand, but discovered him sleeping with a blanket over his head and I couldn’t determine exactly where his ears or eyes were. It was one of the most fearful and rage-ridden nights I ever spent, and my determination wavered as I put it off until the next night. There was an off chance that I might actually kill him, but I’d read somewhere that such an attack, if done quickly and efficiently, would produce no outcry from the victim, leaving me to creep back to my bunk undetected.
    Fortunately, my new friends from the mess hall persuaded the assignment captain to move me to another dorm before I got a chance to test that theory.

But the pride of place in imaginary penicular slaying belongs to Derek Raymond:

‘You’re not very good at it, are you?’ said Gust, ‘they ought to have sent heavies in.’ He thought the man very likely could have got a job playing Hess in this new TV series they were doing on the war, and he would have had a word with a few directors he knew in Soho if he had been a mate of his. But, as he wasn’t, Gust kicked him in the stomach as he tried to drag himself up on one leg with the help of the bar-rail, then turned back to the other man.
    ‘You all right?’ he said. ‘How are you feeling now? Chipper?’ He took one of the man’s ears in his thumb and forefinger; the ear was tiny, considering the size of his head, and it had little hairs inside it. Gust picked up a cocktail stick out of a dirty glass on the bar and jabbed it down into the eardrum as far as he could; when he pulled it out the stick was half-way red, and there was some grey stuff in it as well. He shouted down his ear: ‘I think I just broke your foot!’ but the man wasn’t making sense any more; he was wailing with his hand clapped to the side of his head, swaying up and down from the waist like a bereaved widow, or else perhaps he just didn’t hear, or maybe the music was too loud. Gust realised then that he had pushed the stick in too far and that the man would probably die. Dirty cocktail-stick in the brain? What a bleeding way to go! Now the man with the broken leg tried another naughty stroke; although he only had one hand free because he was using the other one to hold onto the rail, he still managed to smash a glass and try putting it in Gust’s face.
    ‘This is just self-defence after all,’ Gust said to himself. He stamped on the man’s feet again; this time he definitely felt bones go and the man screamed, dropped the glass and let go of the rail; but instead of letting him fall Gust took him round the waist, ripped his fly open and searched inside his pants till he found his testicles, which he yanked right out into his hand. Their owner can’t have been much into baths because they smelled like something tepid from a canteen counter. Gust wrung them like the devil having a go at a set of wedding bells with all the grip he had, until the man was shrieking on the same D minor as the music.
    ‘It’s nothing personal,’ said Gust, ‘but I’m afraid you’re going to have to learn to fuck all over again.’ He wiped the blood off the man’s prick down his face, then pulled the face towards him and drove his nose into his brain with his head. The music boosted into E major on a key change, and the man doubled up under a bar-stool, leaving a lot of blood behind him while Gust receded into the half darkness towards the black drapes on the walls.

—Derek Raymond, Not Till the Red Fog Rises, Time Warner Books UK, 1994, pp. 86–87

In the realm of homicidal devices of opportunity, there is no difference between G. Gordon Liddy’s common garden-variety standard wooden pencil with a good sharp point and a strong, substantial eraser, and Derek Raymond’s cocktail stick picked up out of a dirty glass on the bar. Indeed, both of these devices answer G.K. Chesterton’s vision of a world where a man gives up trying to cut his throat with a pencil-sharpener, to stab his neighbor’s throat with a freshly sharpened pencil. As Monty Python’s criminologist helpfully pointed out, after all a murderer is only an extroverted suicide.

And that’s all she wrote. Footnotes:

your anecdotal life!

Your anecdotal life! A phrase of M. Borowski’s. It is on Wednesdays that I have lunch with Borowski. His wife, who is a dried-up cow, officiates. She is studying English now — her favorite word is “filthy.” You can see immediately what a pain in the ass the Borowskis are. But wait. …
    Borowski wears corduroy suits and plays the accordion. An invincible combination, especially when you consider that he is not a bad artist. He puts on that he is a Pole, but he is not, of course. He is a Jew, Borowski, and his father was a philatelist. In fact, almost all Montparnasse is Jewish, or half Jewish, which is worse. There’s Carl and Paula, and Cronstadt and Boris, and Tania and Sylvester, and Moldorf and Lucille. All except Fillmore. Henry Jordan Oswald turned out to be a Jew also. Louis Nichols is a Jew. Even Van Norden and Chérie are Jewish. Frances Blake is a Jew, or a Jewess. Titus is a Jew. The Jews then are snowing me under. I am writing this for my friend Carl whose father is a Jew. All this is important to understand.
    Of them all the loveliest Jew is Tania, and for her sake I too would become a Jew. Why not? I already speak like a Jew. And I am as ugly as a Jew. Besides, who hates the Jews more than the Jew?
    —Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer, Grove Press: New York, NY, 1961, p. 3


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad revealed to have Jewish past

yee yon hopped to bellevue

YEE YON HOPPED TO BELLEVUE.

All the Way from “San Flancisclo” Looking for His Wife.

The New York Times, September 20, 1904, Tuesday

    Yee Yon Ying, gorgeous in a purple silk blouse, with tasseled cap, upon the front of which was a round, red knob that suggested a mandarin of the button, appeared at Bellevue yesterday afternoon.
Nobody knew where Yee Yon Ying came from, or how he passed the hospital gateman. His gorgeous apparel lent an air of Oriental mysticism to his appearance when he suddenly slipped from behind a tree and said to Roundsman Smith:
    “H’lo!”
    “H-h-h’lo!” gasped Smith. “Wh-where did you come from?”
    “Me?”
    “Yes, you.”
    “San Flancisclo.”
    “How did you get here?”
    “Here?” pointing to the ground.
    “Yes—here!” shouted Smith, who felt nervous.
    “Me just hoppee ’long.”
    “From San Francisco? You must be strong on hopping, or I am on the hop myself.”
    “Oh,” said Yee Yon Yin, blandly, “me hoppee all place, all tlime.”
    Smith wiped the perspiration from his brow and tried to lay the apparition to his luncheon.
    “What do you want, anyway?”
    “Me?”
    “Oh, don’t ‘me’ me any more,” Smith gasped. “Answer me direct. What do you want? Yes—you!”
    “Me lookee find me wife. Me no see her. Me hoppee back San Flansisclo.”
    “Don’t hop just yet,” Smith said. “Wait.”
    The Roundsman rushed to the psychopathic ward and found Dr, Gregory. When Smith returned, bringing the doctor, Yee Yon Ying was standing on a pathway looking at the blue sky.
    “You see that?” queried the Roundsman, anxiously.
    “The chink?” said Dr. Gregory.
    Smith heaved a sign of relief and got up enough courage to grip the solid substance of Yee Yon Ying, as the Chinaman said his name was, and take him to the pavilion.
    There the mysterious Celestial made the remark that when he did find his wife he would be obliged for the loan of a pistol. Dr. Gregory is keeping him under surveillance as to his sanity.