There I am on the beaches of Brittany. Cities blaze in the night. My day is done: I’m leaving Europe. The marine air will burn my lungs; unknown climates will tan my skin. To swim, trample grass, hunt, and above all, smoke; drink liquors as strong as molten metal— like our cherished ancestors around their fires. I’ll return with iron limbs, dark skin, an imperious gaze: my mask will mark me as member of a powerful race. I’ll have gold: be lazy and merciless. Women pamper fierce invalids returned from hot countries. I’ll enter politics. Saved. Now, though, I’m cursed: I can’t stand my country. The best I can hope for is drunken sleep, by the shore.
One must be absolutely modern. No more hymns: remain on the road you’ve chosen. Brutal night! Dried blood burns on my face, and nothing is near me, only that unbearable bush … Spiritual combat is as brutal as battle between men; but the vision of justice is God’s pleasure alone.