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I don’t have any use for books

I like to read books, but the books are just an excuse. The books are just a mask I developed when I was fourteen to tell people who I was. I am not the sporty one, I am the one who reads books—now you must listen to me because I read books, now I am protected. Now you want to fight me, we will fight about what you do not know—now I am in charge (knowledge is power). To be the sporty one is also a mask. These are both masks.

I think if I can convince you I am intelligent I can control you—I think if I can make you feel you are ignorant, I can control you. I think I can cheat death. I cannot cheat death. That is a mask I have worn for a long time. When I was young it helped me negotiate the world—I accept the negotiation. I have lived in that negotiation too long. There is no truth in books—books are dead. There is truth in life, there is truth in experience. You do not know anything until you have experienced it.

There is no truth in sport, sport is not life either. You cannot be good at both books and sport, that is a lie. You can be intellectual or sporty—or you can be mediocre at both. It does not make sense to be mediocre at both, it makes sense to specialise. People specialise. People who pretend not to specialise, to be sporty and intellectual, just want to convince you they are a reasonable well-rounded person and not a narrow-minded monomaniac—they want to look good, just like I want to look good when I read difficult books.

Muscles are power, knowledge is power—knowledge is a higher power than muscles (look at the nuclear bomb—you can’t). But knowledge is not in books, I read books to make you think I have the higher knowledge—it isn’t there. I am powerless. You have the higher knowledge or not—people do many things with it, some read books and some not.

When I was seventeen I was at a bar with a little dance floor and the floor was sticky. The floor was so sticky that I could hear my shoes detach from the floor, I could hear the sucrose that gummed me down (did you know alcohol is sweeties for grown-ups?). I wore a white suit because I was black inside—today, I wear a black suit because I’m white inside. I took a notebook out from my internal breast pocket, because I couldn’t stand to dance—so I pretended to take notes, and a girl pushed my hand down and then took my other hand (because I was ridiculous, because I wouldn’t experience—I still don’t want to experience, I still don’t want to die, I am still taking notes in my notebook).

That is how it is. I do not think books have much value—I think you could burn all the books in the world and it wouldn’t matter (even the Bible—it’s just paper). I think the books by Ernst Jünger are boring—I think he had a rigid act and he just wouldn’t quit. I think only his diaries are alive, because he starts to be honest there—and even there he falls short. I think the uniforms of the SS are worth more than all Ernst Jünger’s books. I think he wrote On the Marble Cliffs because he resented Hitler’s power. I think people who pose as good Christians or good people just don’t want experience—or want to destroy powerful people, Nietzsche was right about that. To go to the trenches and watch the blood blossom on your tunic and then describe it in lapidary prose is also a way to avoid experience.

I thought I wanted to be a writer—I thought that very young (I never said it, because I was afraid if I said it then it wouldn’t come true—and you can’t fail at what you don’t announce). I didn’t want to be a writer—I wanted to understand death. I didn’t want fans to line up to buy my books, I wanted to found a new religion. I wanted to see the face of God. I wanted to know why people die. I wanted not to die. I don’t have any use for books.


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