This is the first amphiony work.

title:Solitaire or Solidaire ver.1.0e
by Taro Kimura

for "Jan Hote in Tsurugi"


it would have to be
done in secret-it was the only way he would be able to
carry it off. But then when he had got settled in the hotel,
and they had started their little pattern of cafe life at the
Eckmuhl-Noiseux, there had been nothing to write about-
absurd trivialities which filled the day and the serious
business of putting words on paper. He thought it was
probably Tunner who prevented him from being completely
at ease. Tunner's presence created a situation, however
slight, which kept him from entering into the reflective state
he considered essential. As long as he was living his life, he
could not write about it. Where one left off, the other began,
and the existence of circumstances which demanded even
the vaguest participation on his part was sufficient to place
writing outside the realm of possibility. But that was all
right. He would not have written well, and so he would
have got no pleasure from it. And even if what he might
have written had been good, how many people would have
known it? It was all right to speed ahead into the desert
leaving no trace.


All of a sudden the names of the last authors whose works
he has consulted come back to my mind: Lambert, Langlois,
Larbaletrier, Lastex, Lavergne. It is a revelation; I have
understood the Autodidact's method: he is teaching himself
in alphabetical order.
I contemplate him with a sort of admiration. What will-
power he must have to carry out, slowly, stubbornly, a plan
on such a vast scale! One day, seven years ago (he told me
once that he has been studying for seven years) he came
ceremoniously into this reading room. He looked round at
the countless books lining the walls, and he must have said,
rather like Rastignac: "It is between the two of us, Human
Knowledge." Then he went and took the first book from
the first shelf on the far right; he opened it at the first page,
with a feeling of respect and fear combined with unshake-
able determination. Today he has reached "L". "K" after "J",
"L" after "K". He has passed abruptly from the study of cole-
opterae to a Catholic pamphlet agaist Darwinism: not for a
moment has he been put off his stride. He has read every-
thing; he has stored away in his head half of what is known
about parthenogenesis, half the arguments against vivisec-
tion. Behind him, before him, there is a universe. And the
day approaches when, closing the last book on the last shelf
on the far left, he will say to himself: "And now what?"


I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am
the happiest man alive. A year ago, six months
ago, I thought that I was an artist. I no longer
think about it, I am.
Everything that was literature
has fallen from me. There are no more books
to be written, thank God.
This then? This is not a book. This is libel,
slander, defamation of character. This is not book,
in the ordinary sense of the word. No, this is a prolonged
insult, a gob of spit in the face of Art, a kick
in the pants to God, Man, Destiny, Time, Love
Beauty...what you will. I am going to sing for you,
a little off key perhaps, but I will sing. I will sing
while you croak, I will dance over your dirty corpse....
To sing you must first open your mouth. You
must have a pair of lungs, and a little knowdge of
music, It is not necessary to have an accordion, or
a guitar. The essential thing is to want to sing.
This then is a song. I am singing.

"I hate Paris!" he whines. "All these
stupid people playing cards all day...look at them!
And this writting. What's the use of putting words
together? I can be a writer without writing, can't I?
What does it prove if I write a book? What do we
want with books anyway? There are too many
books already."

"I'm not saying
that I want to be better than them, but I want
to be different," he explains. And so, instead of
tackling his book, he reads one author after another
in order to make absolutely certain that he is not
going to tread on their private property. And the
more he reads the more disdainful he becomes.
None of them are satisfying; none of them arrive
at that degree of perfection which he has imposed
on himself. And forgetting completely that he has
not written as much as a chapter he talks about
them condescendingly, quite as though there existed
a shelf of books bearing his name, books which
everyone is familiar with and the titles of which it
is therefore superfluous to mention.


Let us
not generalize about exceptional cases, that is all I ask: yet
my character is in the order of possible things. No doubt
between the two furthest limits of your literature, as you
understand it, and mine, there is an infinity of intermediate
points, and it would be easy to multiply the divisions; but
there would be no point at all in that, and there would be the
danger of narrowing and falsifying an eminently philosophic
conception which ceases to be rational, unless it is taken as it
was conceived, that is, expansively.

Today I am
going to fabricate a little novel of thirty pages; the estimated
length will, in the event, remain unchanged. Hoping to see
the establishment of my theories quickly accepted one day by
some literary form or another, I believe I have, after some
groping attempts, at last found my definitive formula. It is the
best: since it is the novel! This hybrid preface has been set out
in a fashion which will not perhaps appear natural enough, in
the sense that it takes, so to speak, the reader by surprise, and
he cannot well see quite what the author is trying to do with
him; but this feeling of remarkable astonishment, from which
one must generally endeavour to preserve those who spend
their time reading books and pamphlets, is precisely what I
have made every effort to produce. In fact, I could do no less,
in spite of my good intentions: and only later, when a few of
my novels have appeared, will you be better able to under-
stand the preface of the fuliginous renegade.

The donouement is about to rush in on us; and, in
tales of this sort, where a passion, whatever its nature, is
given, and fears no obstacles as it makes its way, there is no
occasion for diluting in a godet the shellac of eighty banal
pages. What can be said in half-a-dozen pages must be said
and then, silence.

Plagiarism is necessary. It is implied in the idea of progress.
It clasps an author's sentence tight, uses his expressions,
eliminates a false idea, replaces it with the right idea.


But in art there are no initiators or precursors (at least in the
scientific sense). Everything is in the individual, each individual starts
the artistic or literary endeavour over again, on his own account; the
works of his predecessors do not constitute, unlike in science, an
acquired truth from which he who follows after may profit. A writer
of genius today has everything to do. He is not much further advanced
than Homer.

All that remains to him of his
immense culture, of his high literary training, is the refusal of anything
inflated, anything banal, any loose expression;


The old man was silent for a space; his face became
sterner. Taking his companion by the hand, he uttered
with quiet solemnity:
"Listen, Giovanni:, and store it away in thy mind. Our
masters are the ancient Greeks and Romans. They have
accomplished all that man can accomplish on this earth.
As for us, all that is left us is to follow in their footsteps,
and emulate them. For it is said: the pupil is not greater
than his master."

Leonardo maintained his silence. His face was calm and
pensive. He perceived his isolation among these people,
who deemed themselves servants of science; saw the un-
crossable abyss that separated them from him, and felt
vexed, -not with his antagonists, but himself, because he
had not been able to stop speaking in time, had not de-
clined the dispute; because once more, despite countless
experiences, he had been tempted by the hope that it was
sufficient to reveal the truth to men to have them accept it.



I won't go on, spinning it out word for word. In any case
not many more passed before she snatched the book out of
my hands. "You booky bastard," she screamed, "nowt but
books, books, books, you bleddy dead-"ead"-and threw the
book on the heaped-up coals, working it further and further
into their blazing middle with the poker.


"A Greek lexicon, Homer in the original. He knows
Greek! (Wrong, those books belong to my brother-in-law.)
Shakespeare, The Golden Bough, a Holy Bible bookmarked
with tapes and paper. He even reads it! Euripides and the
rest, and a dozen mouldering Baedekers. What a funny idea
to collect them! Proust, all tweve volumes! I never could
wade through that lot. (Neither did I.) Dostoevsky. My
God, is he still going strong?"


"You prefer to stay here and imagine that all
the world is gaping at your pictures? Just think
how full an average man's life is of his own pursuits
and pleasures. When twenty thousand of him find
time to look up between mouthfuls and grunt some-
thing about something they aren't the least inter-
ested in, the net result is called fame, reputation, or
notoriety, according to the taste and fancy of the
speller my lord."


"Jacpues, yesterday I read your Kafka's castle.
interesting, very interesting, but what is he driving at?
It's too long for dreaming. All allegories should be short.


The lamp stayed lighted all night and all the next morning.
To those who came, Rateau or Louise, Jonas answered merely:
"Forget it, I'm working." At noon he asked for some kerosene.
The lamp, which had been smoking, again shone brightly
until evening. Rateau stayed to dinner with Louise and the
children. At midnight he went to say good night to Jonas.
Under the still lighted loft he waited a moment, then went
away without saying a word. On the morning of the second
day, when Louise got up, the lamp was still lighted.
A beautiful day was beginning, but Jonas was not aware
of it. He had turned the canvas against the wall. Exhausted,
he was sitting there waiting, with his hands, palms up, on
work, he was happy. He heard his children grumbling, water
running, and the dishes clinking together. Louise was talking.
The huge windows rattled as a truck passed on the boulevard.
The world was still there, young and lovable. Jonas listened
to the welcome murmur rising from mankind. From such a
distance, it did not run counter to that joyful strength within
him, his art, these forever silent thoughts he could not ex-
press but which set him above all things, in a free and crisp
air. The children were running through the apartment, the
little girl was laughing, Louise too now, and he hadn't heard
her laugh for so long. He loved them! How he loved them!
He put out the lamp and, in the darkness that suddenly
returned, right there! wasn't that his star still shining? It
was the star, he recognized it with his heart full of gratitude,
and he was still watching it when he fell, without a sound.
"It's nothing," the doctor they had called declared a little
later. "He is working too much. In a week he will be on his
feet again." "You are sure he will get well?" asked Louise
with distorted face. "He will get well." In the other room
Rateau was looking at the canvas, completely blank, in the
centre of which Jonas had merely written in very small
letters a word that could be made out, but without any
certainty as to whether it should be read solitary or solidary.