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  • Writer's pictureCorbin Allardice

August 25, 1911

I don’t experience moods. Moods are lies. No, they are true, my truth, but a truth I do not want.* It’s depressing outside. Already autumn--something is dying. Focusing on myself--something is near, a physical sensation that my days are useless--useless-useless--useless.


When you get that sensation, you can die, maybe you must die, or maybe you just can’t live. I have a strong desire to live by virtue of that moment. That is ugly, a lie; but it’s in me, and I can’t tear it from my heart.It is no lie, it’s my truth. Someone long dead who lives--how could his life be anything but a lie? I have to raise my spirits, to stop complaining. And to stop dreaming; what would it be like if----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

God is a cruel man!** You want to console me and you can--so console me! But there is no consolation. Complain all you want, the same poem never blossoms twice.

I killed my poem before it bloomed, so nobody could notice.***

That is death, and there is no salvation.


By Moyshe Varshe

Translated by Corbin Allardice


*- The word for mood is shtimung, an exact cognate of the German Stimmung. Indeed, while written well before Heidegger’s Being and Time, it does not seem inappropriate to hear some Heideggarian echoes in Varshe’s (depressive) attempt to reject his interrelationship with the world, of which his rejection of mood (which he cannot simply dismiss as a “lie,” unlike so much) is part and parcel. To, perhaps somewhat lazily, quote from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Heidegger argues that moods are not inner subjective colourings laid over an objectively given world…For Heidegger, moods...are aspects of what it means to be in a world at all, not subjective additions to that in-ness.” One might also listen to this very self-indulgent podcast.

**- The word for cruel man (אַכזר) is also found in Job 30:21, and Varshe’s use of it is a clear reference, linking the two figures.

***- Literally, the second line reads “I killed my poem before it bloomed, and nobody will hear it.”

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