"I want to become more and more childish..."

“Until we were pushed out to work the world was very small and we were living on the fringe of it, on the frontier, as it were, of the unknown. A small Greek world which was nevertheless deep enough to provide all manner of variation, all manner of adventures and speculation. Not so very small either, since it held in reserve the most boundless potentialities. I have gained nothing by the enlargement of my world; on the contrary, I have lost. I want to become more and more childish and to pass beyond childhood in the opposite direction. I want to go exactly contrary to the normal line of development, pass into a superinfantile realm of being which will be absolutely crazy and chaotic but not crazy and chaotic as the world about me. I have been an adult… a responsible member of society. I have earned my daily bread. I have adapted myself to a world which never was mine. I want to break through this enlarged world and stand again on the frontier of an unknown world which will throw this pale, unilateral world into shadow. I want to pass beyond… responsibility to the irresponsibility of the anarchic man who cannot be coerced nor wheedled nor cajoled nor bribed nor traduced. I want to take as my guide Oberon the nightrider who, under the spread of his black wings, eliminates both the beauty and the horror of the past; I want to flee toward the perpetual dawn with a swiftness and relentlessness that leaves no room for remorse, regret, or repentance. I want to outstrip the inventive man who is a curse to the earth in order to stand once again before an impassible deep which not even the strongest wings will enable me to traverse. Even if I must become a wild and natural park inhabited only by idle dreamers I must not stop to rest here in the ordered fatuity of responsible, adult life. I must do this in remembrance of a life beyond all comparison with the life of a child who is strangled and stifled by the mutual consent of those who had surrendered. Everything which the fathers and the mothers created I disown. I am going back to a world even smaller than the old Hellenic world, going back to a world which I can always touch with outstretched arms, the world of what I know and see and recognize from moment to moment. Any other world is meaningless to me, and alien and hostile. In retraversing the first bright world which I knew as a child I wish not to rest there but to muscle back to a still brighter world from which I must have escaped. What this world is like I do not know, nor am I even sure that I will find it, but it is my world and nothing else intrigues me.”

–Henry Miller, Tropic of Capricorn

Il passeggiatore solitario , by Alinari Luca, courtesy of  Fondazione Cariplo  (Creative Commons)

Il passeggiatore solitario, by Alinari Luca, courtesy of Fondazione Cariplo (Creative Commons)