The High Life by Jean-Pierre Martinet


“I felt very peculiar with the twenty-year-old widows. I felt this urge to drink their tears. If they were burying their husband, I imagined that they had poisoned him.”

“There’s no drama with us, messieurs, nor tragedy: there is only burlesque and obscenity. We may not be happy, but we get a good laugh A hollow one, of course, but still. And then, let’s admit it, sorrow is funny. It’s hypocrites who claim the opposite (besides, those great humanists of ours secretly chuckle when they admire the disorder of the world).”

“I became unctuous, dull. I forgot my timidity. I sank into redundant chatter. They would cast me weary glances. I knew they did and those glances gave me pleasure. I loved coming off like a pompous idiot. High-flown commonplaces didn’t scare me. I quotes Boussuet, my favorite author. I was irksome, I circled about my victims while reveling over phrases from the ‘Sermon on the Mount,’ or the ‘Funeral Oration for  Henrietta of England.’ I laughed inwardly. I got fabulous erections. One time, one of these young ladies in mourning mischievously retorted that I would do much better to reread the ‘Treatise on Concupiscence.’ I was overwhelmed. How was such intelligence in a woman possible?”

“Sometimes, I amused myself by shooting butterflies, like that, just for the fun of it. They vanished in a puff of dust in the summer light. I felt a sense of power I’d never felt before. And to think that I had so long thought of myself as a runt! I’d had no idea there was such strength in me!”

some quotes I enjoyed from Martinet’s The High Life



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