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Archive for April 14th, 2009

From page 22-23 of english translation of The Elegance of the Hedgehog:

“Apparently, now and again adults take the time to sit down and contemplate what a disaster their life is.  They complain without understanding and, like flies constantly banging against the same old windowpane, they buzz around suffer, waste away, get depressed then wonder how they got caught up in this spiral that is taking them where they don’t want to go.  The most intelligent among them turn their malaise into a religion: oh, the despicable vacuousness of bourgeois existence! […] “What has become of the dreams of our youth?” they ask, with a smug, disillusioned air. “Those years are long gone, and life’s a bitch.”  I despise this false lucidity that comes with age.  The truth is that they are just like everyone else: nothing more than kids without a clue about what has happened to them, acting big and tough when in fact all they want is to burst into tears.

And yet there’s nothing to understand.  The problem is that children believe what adults say and, once they’re adults themselves, they exact their revenge by deceiving their own children. “Life has meaning and we grown-ups know what it is” is the universal lie that everyone is supposed to believe.  Once you become an adult and you realize that’s not true, it’s too late.  The mystery remains intact, but all your available engergy has long ago been wasted on stupid things.  All that’s left is to anesthetize yourself by trying to hide the fact that you can’t find any meaning in your life, and then, the better to convince yourself, you deceive your own children.

Perhaps an overly negative sentiment, but is the depiction not at least a little true for many people?

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