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Viscount Lascano Tegui (1887-1966)

It's so refreshing to read something that takes you outside of the current norms. I've just picked up a book that does this and it's just wonderful. It was on my shelf and I've read it before but I'd forgotten all about it.

Here's a line: "To live is the victory of the fetus. Being born is its only end. During its nine months of reflection, death doesn't seem at all the tragedy the Christian philosophers make of it."

And then: "The triumph of the fetus can never be more than melancholy; see its wide forehead, as though its tiny frontal lobe has already begun to consider, despite itself, the likelihood of its eventual death by stroke...."

Depressing? Many would say so. But for me it's uplifting. Amidst the numerous photos of babies and toddlers that I now get sent from friends (being in my early thirties there are a great many of them) this is actually wonderful stuff.

Life is, of course, precarious, and it's better to see it that way and remember it, than to lose sight of it and become so entrenched in a cosy, civilised, Western mind-set that it's all too shocking to bear and too unthinkable to get a grip on.

Of course, thinking constantly like this is also depressing; and losing oneself in junk TV and forgetting the intensity of our absurd existence is something I do a lot and think important. But sometimes I take that too far and it's good to be reminded of how things really are.

The reading matter was, by the way, On Elegance While Sleeping, by Viscount Lascano Tegui.

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