something you have never thought about

“Anyone whom God has given a fate of continuous encounters with Evil has been dealt a terrible blow, though Catholics, of course, don’t make the best example. For Catholics, Evil lies finally and exclusively in the absence of the Pleasures, whereas Protestants furnish a truer measure of the portent of really believing in the Devil, sometimes hanging him by the neck, sometimes cutting off his head, sometimes burning his body with billions of fiery sparks on a modernly invented chair. So, a terrible destiny has been allotted to people who have been thrown by God or their own ambitions (this is not yet clear) into continual conflict with perversity. But have you ever given a thought to the desperate plight of Perversity or Wickedness itself, deprived for virtually mathematical reasons of all possible struggle with itself, or of flight from itself, and therefore condemned to the constant horror of its own desperate presence, this presence being nothing other than itself? No, that’s something you have never thought about.”

(Anna Maria Ortese, The Iguana, pp. 92–3, trans. Henry Martin.)

2 thoughts on “something you have never thought about

  1. Ah, kind of suspected you would have read it. It’s been on my shelves (with the selected stories that McPherson put out) for a while & I’ve been kicking myself for not reading it earlier.

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