F R A N C I S P O N G E
PREFACE TO A BESTIARY
Translated by Serge Gavronsky
7 - 30 -59
How [was he called] (1) did the lion live [who] whose portrait Rembrandt drew which is to be found on page X . . . ? What kind of an individual was he? [how did he live?] You'll say that's of little import: All lions look alike. Thus, that lion is beautiful because Rembrandt marked him with the essential traits of the species? Or was it because [ ] (2) [those] traits were those of a single individual of that species?
[whatever it may be,] That lion has a magnificent expression — rancor pitted against destiny [looked at straight ahead with despair, pity, astonishment, resolution (o! victim, I shall be forced to eat you up)] Goodness forced into becoming murderous and which [weakened] resting [stares at destiny in the face and thinks about the tragedy of life] [of which it is both the victim and the hangman (the executor)]
(Who is that hero (Shakespeare's) who successively tries out generosity then, becoming a misanthrope, cupidity, ferociousness? — It's Timon of Athens)
Victorious force (and saddened by its victory)
they are those similar to
of my Level a Bach architecture
[those] of my a Schubert melody
[Those of as in a Greek or Egyptian temple
my lofty as in ideas
Life at the level of art ceremonious moments
of the eternal: lofty sentiments
1. Crossed out.
2. Crossed out and illegible.
Notes from the 29th to 31-7-1959
There are monster-animals (or demons)
and animals-charming marvels (angels)
nevertheless each one [ ] has its
Does? particular damnation
The weak ones? The innocent ones?
The angels. The fugitives? The vegetarians?
The vegetarians? Not a trace of ferocity
n e x t
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