25 April 2016

Translation: A Thirsty Tick on a Large, Warm Dog

Excerpt translated from French from "L'Elégance du Hérisson" by Muriel Barbery, Gallimard edition, p. 115-116.

So, how do we go about life? Day after day, we bravely strive to maintain our role in this phantom comedy. Since we are primates, the basis of our daily activity is the maintenance and upkeep of our territory, so that it may protect us and flatter us. We strive to climb rather than fall in the hierarchical ladder of the tribe and to fornicate in all possible ways — even as phantoms — as much out of pleasure as for the promised progeny. Also, we use a significant part of our energy to intimidate and seduce. These two strategies alone ensure the territorial, hierarchical and sexual quest that animates our conatus. But we do not realize any of this. We speak of love, good and evil, philosophy and civilization, and we hang onto these respectable icons like a thirsty tick on large, warm dog.

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