Relate comic things in pompous fashion. Irregularity, in other words the unexpected, the surprising, the astonishing, are essential to and characteristic of beauty. Two fundamental literary qualities: supernaturalism and irony. The blend of the grotesque and the tragic are attractive to the mind, as is discord to blasé ears. Imagine a canvas for a lyrical, magical farce, for a pantomime, and translate it into a serious novel. Drown the whole thing in an abnormal, dreamy atmosphere, in the atmosphere of great days the region of pure poetry.
Do you remember the sight we saw, my soul,that soft summer morninground a turning in the path,the disgusting carcass on a bed scattered with stones,its legs in the air like a woman in needburning its wedding poisonslike a fountain with its rhythmic sobs,I could hear it clearly flowing with a long murmuring sound,but I touch my body in vain to find the wound.I am the vampire of my own heart,one of the great outcasts condemned to eternal laughterwho can no longer smile.Am I dead?I must be dead.
With heart at rest I climbed the citadel'sSteep height, and saw the city as from a tower,Hospital, brothel, prison, and such hells,Where evil comes up softly like a flower.Thou knowest, O Satan, patron of my pain,Not for vain tears I went up at that hour;But like an old sad faithful lecher, fainTo drink delight of that enormous trullWhose hellish beauty makes me young again.Whether thou sleep, with heavy vapors full,Sodden with day, or, new appareled, standIn gold-laced veils of evening beautiful,I love thee, infamous city! Harlots andHunted have pleasures of their own to give,The vulgar herd can never understand.
Tell me, enigmatical man, whom do you love best, your father,Your mother, your sister, or your brother?I have neither father, nor mother, nor sister, nor brother.Your friends?Now you use a word whose meaning I have never known.Your country?I do not know in what latitude it lies.Beauty?I could indeed love her, Goddess and Immortal.Gold?I hate it as you hate God.Then, what do you love, extraordinary stranger?I love the clouds the clouds that pass up thereUp there the wonderful clouds!