Full text: The little review (12 (1926), 1)

Facing my mirror I would imitate the shivers that ended at 
the steady base of her clavicles. The judges could not condemn 
a woman who had such beautiful twitches between her chin and 
After her acquittal, the lady with the bare neck published 
her memoirs. Out of respect I refrained from reading them. 
She married a foreigner of high descent. I wanted to write to 
the husband: “Kiss slowly her whole neck, her beautiful neck.” 
I—became a man. 
And now it’s early dawn in the Bois de Boulogne. 
That other one thinks that the contemplation has lasted long 
I hear. We must return. 
It is true, dawn inspires love. 
At home, I touch this body as I already have had the honor 
of touching others, with the sole obsession of getting rid of the 
most precise of my desires with no hope of satisfying any of them 
or lingering with them, for although I had for a long time be 
lieved myself forced to do this, I have always been ashamed of 
these detours which leave man not in an elevating solitude, but 
in the deep fog with other men. 
So the cry which, by chance escaped from the mouth that 
wandered all over my nude body, the cry “kill me” as it 
responded to my prayer, that shame alone kept unspoken, was 
for my sad secret, both a comfort and an exaltation. For the will 
to act whether exerted against a mere sex, the “heads or tails” of 
an individual, dressed or undressed, visible or imaginary, a mass, 
of a mob, has always seemed to be caused by the sole need to 
evade. And certainly if science offered a way to kill oneself if 
not entirely pleasant but at least decent and sure, I would have 
no more attempted love than those evasions, one of which has 
enabled me to know solitude at last, this evening on the moun 
So to-day it is not any longer from myself, but from others 
that I pretend to escape. I had begun by wanting to get lost 
through these others, my friends, my foes. 
Thus this first haunting vision: their eyes, my own fixed 
upon their liquids of different density, never being able to pene 
trate them, to mingle. I love their eyes, vain and candid, for I 
wanted to believe that through their transparence I could dis 
cover myself, and besides I had wanted them for so long, with 
the certitude that they would avenge me for the insufficient mys 
tery of the mirrors of my childhood! The intention being to 
drown myself, Narcissus. Along walls a cold river had refused 
to take me. BAKERY, gilded letters proclaimed, and in the 

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