“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?”