A handsome man's head needn't carry with it--except, perhaps, in the eyes of a woman--this idea of voluptuousness which, in a woman, is a provocation all the more attractive the more generally melancholy is the face. But the man's head will also contain something both fiery and sad--spiritual longings, ambitions darkly suppressed--the idea of a deep and rumbling power without employ--sometimes the idea of a vengeful hard-heartedness (because the ideal type of the Dandy is not to be ignored when considering this subject)--sometimes also--and it is one of the most interesting characteristics of beauty--mystery; and finally (that I may have the courage to avow to just what point I feel myself to be modern and aesthetic) *misfortune*. --I do not pretend that Joy can have no association with Beauty, but I would say that Joy is one of its most vulgar ornaments; whereas Melancholy could be said to be its most illustrious companion, to the extent that I can hardly conceive of (is my head, then, an enchanted mirror?) a type of the Beautiful in which there would not be *Misfortune*. --On the basis of (others would say: *obsessed by*) these ideas, one concludes that it would be difficult for me not to come to the conclusion that the most perfect type of masculine Beauty is *Satan*--in the manner of Milton.
God is the only being that, in order to rule, needn't even exist. [N1]
The color violet (love restrained, mysterious, and veiled; the canoness' color).
That the Church wants to do everything and be everything--a law of the human spirit.
The people adore authority.
Priests are the servants and sectarians of the imagination.
*Throne and altar*--a revolutionary maxim.
"Just a minute, just a minute! The same with me--I don't believe in the Devil; except that--and here's what bothers me--whereas you can serve God only if you believe in Him, the Devil does not require you to believe in him before you can serve him. On the contrary, he is never so well served as when he is unperceived. It's always to his interest not to let himself be recognized; and there, as I said, is what bothers me: to think that the less I believe in him, the more I strengthen him.... Of course, in spite of all I have just told you, in perfect sincerity I do not believe in the Devil. I take him, such as he may be, as a puerile oversimplification, an apparent explanation, of certain psychological problems--for which my mind vigorously rejects any solutions other than the perfectly natural, scientific, and rational ones. But, let me repeat, the Devil himself would agree with me here; he is delighted; he knows he has no better hiding place than behind such rational explanations.... Indeed, in spite of everything I am saying about him, in spite of everything I think and am not telling you, one fact nevertheless remains: from the moment I admit his existence--and this happens in spite of me, if only for an instant now and then--from that moment everything seems to be clarified, I seem to understand everything; it seems to me that at one fell swoop I discover the explanation of my life, of all the inexplicable, of all the incomprehensible, of all the dark corners of my life. Some day I should like to write--oh, I don't know how to explain it to you--I see it in my mind in the form of a dialogue, but there would be more to it. In short, it might possibly be called 'Conversation with the Devil'--and do you know how it would begin? I have discovered his first remark, the first one for him to say, you understand; but just to find that opening remark you have to be already very well acquainted with him.... I am having him say at first: *Why should you be afraid of me? You know very well I don't exist.*"
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