Monday, 4 January 2010

Immortality

hedi_lace
Hedi Slimane

"A person is nothing but his image. Philosophers can tell us that it doesn't matter what the world thinks of us, that nothing matters but what we really are. But philosophers don't understand anything. As long as we live with other people, we are only what other people consider us to be. Thinking about how others see us and trying to make our image as attractive as possible is considered a kind of dissembling or cheating. But does there exist another kind of direct contact between my self and their selves except throught the mediation of the eyes? Can we possibly imagine love without anxiously following our image in the mind of the beloved? When we are no longer interested in how we are seen by the person we love, it means we no longer love. [...]
It's naive to believe that our image is only an illusion that conceals our selves, as the one true essence independent of the eyes of the world. The imagologues have revealed with cynical radicalism that the reverse is true: our self is a mere illusion, ungraspable, indescribable, misty while the only reality, all too easily graspable and describable, is our image in the eyes of others. And the worst thing about it is that you are not its master. First you try to paint it yourself, then you want at least to influence and control it, but in vain: a single malicious phrase is enough to change you forever into a depressingly simple caricature."

Immortality. Milan Kundera

"El hombre no es más que su imagen. Los filósofos pueden decirnos que es irrelevante lo que el mundo piense de nosotros, que sólo vale lo que somos. Pero los filósofos no comprenden nada. En la medida en que vivimos con la gente, no somos más que lo que la gente piensa que somos. Pensar en cómo nos ven los demás e intentar que nuestra imagen sea lo más simpática posible se considera una especie de falacia o de juego tramposo. ¿Pero acaso exsite alguna relación directa entre mi yo y el de ellos sin la mediación de los ojos? ¿Acaso es concebible el amor sin que controlemos angustiados nuestra imagen en la mente de la persona amada? Cuando ya no nos interesamos por la forma en que nos ve aquel a quien amamos, significa que ya no le amamos. [...] Es una ilusión ingenia creer que nuestra imagen no es más que una apariencia tras la cual está escondido nuestro yo como la única esencia verdadera, independiente de los ojos del mundo. Los imagólogos han descubierto con cínico radicalismo que es precisamente todo lo contrario: nuestro yo es una mera apariencia, inaprehensible, indescriptible, nebulosa, mientras que la única realidad, demasiado aprehensible y descriptible, es nuestra imagen a los ojos de los demás. Y lo peor es que no eres su dueño. Primero intetas dibujarla tú mismo, después quieres al menos influir en ella y controlarla, pero en vano: basta con una frase malintencionada y te conviertes para siempre en una caricatura tristemente simple."

La inmortalidad. Milan Kundera.

12 comments:

joanne said...

oh, milan. how he steals my heart time and time again...

i wish i understood spanish so i could read your translation as well!

Allure said...

^Actually, is not my translation as I am reading the book in Spanish. Is better for me, that way I get to understand every single thing, you know...

Kirstie Marié said...

A really intriguing insight. Thank you for the advice by the way :)

fashionable palette said...

I found this passage so interesting...I think I shall pick up the book.

Juliet said...

Immortality is something I'd like to find. I want to believe that soul never dies, bodies just change.

juliet xxx

Silje said...

Such thought provoking words... this is something I often think about.

I must add it to my amazon wish list.
Very interesting post!

Sally said...

God I have to start reading Milan Kundera.

Fashion Cappuccino said...

That makes me think...very interesting! I need to look it up! xoxoxoxo

Tamara said...

Qué bonita la imagen. Y qué grande Kundera, siempre.

Nina said...

What a beautiful words!

Phiephie + Minnie said...

Really interesting and thought provoking. I hope you can check out The Fashion Smoke...

http://thefashionsmoke.com

beatrice said...

Very pretty!

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