From The Heart’s Domain (La Possession du monde) (1919)
Translated by Eleanor Stimson Brooks
I remember seeing hills that had been disemboweled by a bombardment and were sown with long splinters of twisted iron; the base of a monstrous shell appeared before me, one day, under these conditions, and it seemed to me truly inhuman, this product of the work of men: the noble metal, with which so many good and beautiful things can be made, took on a hateful appearance. Man had achieved the mournful miracle of denaturing nature, rendering it ignoble and criminal.
An unhealthy curiosity and the taste for anomalies incline us to take pleasure in seeing a creature perform an action for which its own organism seems unsuited. It palls very quickly. For a long time now, for…
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