Les paradoxes de l'échafaud

— Vous croyez donc qu'ils sont morts parce qu'on les a guillotinés, vous?
— Sans doute.
— Eh bien! On voit que vous ne regardez pas dans le panier quand ils sont là tous ensemble; que vous ne leur voyez pas tordre les yeux et grincer des dents pendant cinq minutes encore après l'exécution. Nous sommes obligés de changer de panier tous les trois mois, tant ils en saccagent le fond avec les dents. C'est un tas de têtes d'aristocrates, voyez-vous, qui ne veulent pas se décider à mourir, et je ne serais pas étonné qu'un jour quelqu'une d'elles se mit à crier: Vive le roi!


Alexandre Dumas apud Pierre-Jean-Georges Cabanis, Note sur le supplice de la guillotine.


High windows

When I see a couple of kids 
And guess he’s fucking her and she’s   
Taking pills or wearing a diaphragm,   
I know this is paradise 

Everyone old has dreamed of all their lives—   
Bonds and gestures pushed to one side 
Like an outdated combine harvester, 
And everyone young going down the long slide 

To happiness, endlessly. I wonder if   
Anyone looked at me, forty years back,   
And thought, That’ll be the life; 
No God any more, or sweating in the dark

About hell and that, or having to hide   
What you think of the priest. He 
And his lot will all go down the long slide   
Like free bloody birds.
And immediately 

Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:   
The sun-comprehending glass, 
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows 
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.

Philip Larkin
, Collected Poems, Faber & Faber, 2003



dois quartos e uma cozinha

 She asked if I would like her to sing something. I replied no, I would like her to say something. I thought she would say she had nothing to say, it would have been like her, and so was agreeably surprised when she said she had a room, most agreeably surprised, though I suspected as much. Who has not a room? Ah I hear the clamour. I have two rooms, she said. Just how many rooms do you have? I said. She said she had two rooms and a kitchen. The premises were expanding steadily, given time she would remember a bathroom. Is it two rooms I heard you say? I said. Yes, she said. Adjacent? I said. At last conversation worthy of the name. Separated by the kitchen, she said. I asked her why she had not told me before. I must have been beside myself, at this period. I did not feel easy when I was with her, but at least free to think of something else than her, of the old trusty things, and so little by little, as down steps towards a deep, of nothing. And I knew that away from her I would forfeit this freedom.

Samuel Beckett, (1970). First love. In: First love and other novellas, 78. London: Penguin Modern Classics, 2000