Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Boil 1.85

What he really wanted to do was to tear a hole in his world and escape.
The system of his delusions had been the subject of an elaborate paper in a scientific monthly - "Referential mania," Herman Brink had called it. In these very rare cases the patient imagines that everything happening around him is a veiled reference to his personality and existence. He excludes real people from the conspiracy - because he considers himself to be so much more intelligent than other men. Phenomenal nature shadows him whereever he goes. Clouds in the staring sky transmit to one another, by means of slow signs, incredibly detailed information regarding him. His inmost thoughts are discussed at nightfall, in manual alphabet, by darkly gesticulating trees. Pebbles or stains or sun flecks form patterns representing in some awful way messages which he must intercept. Everything is a cipher and of everything he is the theme.
V. Nabokov, "Signs and Symbols". Collected Stories, 599.

(text online)


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