Academic journal article Philosophy Today

Stigmata: Job the Dog

Academic journal article Philosophy Today

Stigmata: Job the Dog

Article excerpt

At present when I return to the age of the Clos Salembier, to which I have not come back for forty years and I will never come back, where conserved in the blue amber air of the immemorial past, the house awaits me in the garden where still each year rows of flowers and vegetables that my father had planted grow, of all the animated beings that pursue their immortal life in the enclosed dwelling of my childhood, the one that remains the most alive, the most intensely vibratile, powerful, agitated, the one that also takes the most space in the garden that contains my meticulous memory, yes, I see the one that is incomparably the biggest, an effect of perspective naturally, the one that comes before me like an arrow, when having made the corner of the boulevard Laurent-Pichat at the pace of a dream I devour the dozen meters that lead to the portal, the portal with rusted bars from the first day, the one that awaits me the first and that I find standing at the entrance and immediately everywhere, is neither the phantom of my German grandmother who stays in the background, nor any of the inhabitants, who were nonetheless strong, of that era kept like an ancient century, all are there but a bit faded by the light of the times, a bit slowed in the immobile air of memory,

the only one of the strong animated beings that still inhabit Bd. Laurent-Pichat, and among whom I am myself, the only one that is not affected and weakened by the great distances is Fips the dog. The most miserable of the gods and the most divine of the miserable.

To see him burst forth yelping like the spirit of survival, not like one of the slightly effaced phantoms that we ourselves are, but like a unique case of triumph of life over all the conditions and customs of gradual lessening of the things that were, I marvel, my heart is loaded with a bitter joy and with shame, and I admire this dog, with the humility that in the past I was never able to feel, because a sacred terror prevented me. I admit, Fips you are unforgettable, you have attained the rank that was always denied you while you lived, you are the most living of the departed. The manifestation of Fips is the proof that there is no universal or absolute law of effacement. At this very moment he is piercing the frail but solid cloud that separates our now from before, and I see him as if I saw him right here in reality, as if he saw me, as he looks at me, cast up more than standing, violently addressed, as if he could throw his eyes at my eyes, in the superhuman effort that thrust him almost to the point of killing him, well beyond his dog's border. Just revenge, I say to myself, just reward. Fips, you wanted so much to cross, all your forms outstretched every day to try to pass through, to shatter the walls, you wanted to break the prisons, lacerate the skins, your soul called for deliverance, never have I seen a being in such furious rebellion against the ancient fates that fix our bounds right from birth, the polices, the stupidity, les betises that have debasing powers over every creature who goes beyond. The eyes almost torn from their orbits, the soul darted as an arrow, the entire being in a flash, the ultimate groan with naked teeth, the nose soft imploring, he stands up to the attacking worlds.

Behold a being that would not be tamed living and dead for a very long time he resists every attempt of nothingness.

Today when I return home to 54 Bd. LaurentPichat, the one who comes out to meet me, the one who calls just as I turn the corner, fawnsthreats on me, the one who reminds me of myself and who turns out to be the character the most secretly necessary and marking of the flesh of my soul, I see him, it is he. I am the result of his visit. Indelible are the traces of his cruel stay in my flesh and my soul. It is to him that I owe my scars. He is the innocent author of the signatures that inaugurated my book on my feet and my hands.

I have his teeth and his rage, painted on my left foot and on my hands, I never think about it, because the little mute lips of the wounds have traveled, what remains of them on my feet and my hands is only an insensible embossment, the marks of the cries are lodged on the sensitive very sensitive membranes of my brain. …

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