May 12, 2009


A Matter of Enthusiasm

I am rereading Malone Dies
just to mock death a little
and boost my cancerous spirit.

I shall soon be quite dead at last
Malone tells us at the beginning
of his story.

What a superb opening
what a fabulous sentence.

With such a sentence
Malone announces his death
and at the same time delays it.

In fact all of Malone’s story
is but an adjournment.

Malone even manages
to defer his death
until the end of eternity.

soon is such a vague word.

How much time is soon?
Hoe does one measure soon?

Normal people say
I’ll be dead in ten years
or I’ll be dead before I’m eighty
or I’ll be dead by the end of this week
Quite dead at last
Malone specifies.

Unlike Malone prone in bed
scribbling the story of his death
with his little pencil stub
normal standing people
like to be precise
concerning their death.

Oh how they would love
to know in advance
the exact date and time
of their death.

How relieved they would be
to know exactly when
they would depart from
the great cunt of existence
in Malone’s own words
to plunge into the great lie
of the afterlife.

How happy they would be
if when they emerge into life
the good doctor
or the one responsible
for having expelled them
into existence
would tell them you will die at 15:30
on December 22, 1989.

Could Sam have written
I shall soon be quite dead at last
had he known in advance
when he would change tense?

Certainly not
because as Malone tells us
a bit further in his story

I shall die tepid
without enthusiasm.

Does that mean on the contrary
of those idiots on this bitch of an earth
who explode themselves with fervor
to reach the illusion of paradise
while taking with them other mortals
that Malone’s lack of enthusiasm
towards his own death is a clever way
of delaying the act of dying?

A lack of enthusiasm for something
is always a way of postponing
the terms of that something.

The soon of Malone mocks
the permanence of death
and his lack of enthusiasm
ridicules the expression at last.

And so before he reaches the end
of the first page of his story
Malone has already succeeded
in postponing his death to
Saint John the Baptist’s Day
and even the Fourteenth of July.
Malone even believes he might be able
to resist until the
not to speak of the Assumption
which certainly throws some doubt
as to what really happened
on that mythical day
or what will happen to Malone
if he manages to hang on until then.

In fact Malone defies his own death
by giving himself
birth into death
as he explains at the end of his story.

All is ready. Except me. I am being
given, if I may venture the expression,
birth to into death, such is my impression.
The feet are clear already,
of the great cunt of existence.
Favorable presentation I trust.
My head will be the last to die.
Haul in your hands. I can’t.
The render rents, My story ended
I’ll be living yet. Promising lag.
That is the end of me. I shall say I no more.

Nothing more to add this evening.
Malone said it all for me.
I can go to sleep calmly now.
Good night everybody.

Raymond Federman

Good night, Raymond.
You are a great writer.
Moreover, you are one of my very favorites.
I am sad.
Quand on est dans la merde jusqu'au cou, il ne reste plus qu'à chanter.

Hey mister Federman!
This is Coralie (the young woman who works on La Fourrure at Rennes, France) =)
J'ai appris que vous aviez voulu à tout prix rencontrer mon directeur de recherche (Frank Wagner) à Nantes mais qu'en raison de l'indisponibilité de ce dernier cela n'a pu se faire... Il a néanmoins très envie d'entreprendre un contact avec vous et je trouve ça très chouette =) Je l'aime beaucoup et il est grandement bien, comme dirlo, il en sait beaucoup et c'est quelqu'un de passionné. Donc oui, c'est très très chouette.
Mon travail à moi avance et je pense pouvoir vous envoyer très tôt la partie que je suis en train de rédiger, sauf si FW s'arrache les cheveux devant, natürlich.
And so very good sentences on this page, it makes me want to read Beckett this summer (I tried L'Innommable but it was very difficult, nevertheless I WANT to discover Beckett it seems very important to me)
And a lot of courage of course sending for you, don't stop laughing, laughing, laughing... [La mort c'est plus marrant, c'est moins désespérant en riant comme disait (presque) l'autre] Promis, j'y jetterai un oeil le mois prochain quand la fac aura cessé de m'enquiquiner.
Bien à vous, and see you soon I hope.
Thanks for ALL.
You have to be a philosophe to understand Federman's understatement

Happy Birthday, und so weiter...

pour être venu à Paris
- et - pour Malone
Hello Monsieur Federman,

I think this project, A BOOK ABOUT DEATH, is for you... it has the possibility to combine your humor and intelligence, your lightness and deft movements through the darkness.



Her whole family is preditory. That father of hers complaining HARD about his $150,000/year salary.
Now we all know where she gets it.
Should be automated anyways. You let the blacks in New Orleans off.
Barely skilled labor.
Reincarnated as milking cows, ironically.
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