Nauseous Quote

New York - Times Square - July 1977

“C’est un garçon sans importance collective, c’est tout juste un individu.” — Louis-Ferdinand Céline, L’Église

I read the quote quickly. An individual, a boy whose contribution to the collective is insignificant.

Her crossed legs point towards me, the skirt is short. I am distracted, hoping to catch the uncrossing.

The name of the quote’s author is familiar. I look him up. I remember.

Sartre chose the quote to open his book before Céline’s anti-Semitic rants, before Céline’s conviction for collaboration, before apologists tried to make the author palatable.

I reread the quote; It is hard to read objectively.

The skirt has stood up. I managed to concentrate enough to miss the uncrossing.

The contempt is undeniable: “barely an individual.” It is said of his avatar. He wrote it.

A new neighbour. She is complaining to her friends: “Why does the weather decide to go bad on our day out?”


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