the nerve meter

*bitten by endless nightmares. “in a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o’clock in the morning”, and it always hurts the same.*

 

I have aspired no further than the clockwork of the soul, I have transcribed only the pain of an abortive adjustment.
I am a total abyss. Those who believed me capable of a whole pain, a beautiful pain, a dense and fleshy anguish, an anguish which is a mixture of objects, an effervescent grinding of forces rather than a suspended point
—and yet with restless, uprooting impulses which come from the confrontation of my forces with these abysses of offered finality
(from the confrontation of forces of powerful size),
and there is nothing left but the voluminous abysses, the immobility, the cold—
in short, those who attributed to me more life, who thought me at an earlier stage in the fall of the self, who believed me immersed in a tormented noise, in a violent darkness with which I struggled
—are lost in the shadows of man.

In sleep, nerves tensed the whole length of my legs.
Sleep came from a shifting of belief, the pressure eased, absurdity stepped on my toes.

Antonin Artaud, from The Nerve Meter

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