Uit: The Elementary Particles (Vertaald door Frank Wynne)
“Young people in France were particularly repressed, a time bomb of resentment under the legacy of Gaullist patriarchy, which, according to Jane, a single spark would be enough to detonate. For some years now, Francesco’s sole pleasure had been to smoke marijuana cigarettes with very young girls attracted by the spiritual aura of the movement and then fuck them among the mandalas and the smell of incense. The girls who arrived at Big Sur were, for the most part, stupid little WASP bitches, at least half of whom were virgins. Toward the end of the sixties the flow began to dwindle and he thought that perhaps it was time to go back to Europe. He found it strange that he thought of it as “going back,” since he had left Italy when he was no more than five years old. If his father had been a militant revolutionary, he was also a cultivated man, an aesthete who loved his mother tongue. This had undoubtedly left its mark on Francesco. In truth, he had always thought of Americans as idiots.
He was still a handsome man, with a tanned, chiseled face and long, thick, wavy hair, but his cells had begun to reproduce in a haphazard fashion, damaging the DNA of neighboring cells and secreting toxins into the body. The specialists he consulted differed on most points, but on one they were agreed: he was dying. The cancer was inoperable and would continue inexorably to metastasize.Overall his consultants were of the opinion that he would die peacefully and, with medication, probably would not suffer any physical pain; and to date he had experienced only a general tiredness. However, he refused to accept the diagnosis; he could not even imagine accepting it. In contemporary Western soiety, death is like white noise to a man in good health; it fills his mind when his dreams and plans fade. With age, the noise becomes increasingly insistent, like a dull roar with the occasional clang. In another age it was the expectant sound of the kingdom of God, it is now an anticipation of death. Such is life.”
Michel Houellebecq (Réunion, 26 februari 1958)