Staged-reading of the Animal of Time by Valère Novarina, translated in English by Amin Erfani, with Chris Kayser, directed by Valéry Warnotte, in the presence of Valère Novarina, at the Logan Center, University of Chicago, April 16 2013.
Excerpt from the Animal of Time:
“To the Animal of Time!”, “To the dog that!”, “To the meat and Others!” Cerebral animals, see this inscription: they engraved their graves on the floorboards. “Here lays to rest the man without objects: the world without me.” Here’re the engraved graves: I saw names of sentences printed on a pebble. He who wrote in the night: “the light of the world’s without reason.” And he: “Here lies my hole without thirst.” The other one here: “I’ve lived without a country of inscription.” Says here: “The world’s built with no pedestal and no choice left for us but to live on stretchers and no column in the world may carry no body who is.” These words are those of a dancer. He says: “Glory to the musculasteelers, shame on the medicinians!” He must’ve suffered from hopistal. “Glory to the succedessors, shame on the predecessings.” Although bodies have disappeared, the tombstone’s always still answering our questions and we’re still reading the stones of names stumbling from the spheres and the sounds of tumblers. Stride along, little one !
The tomb responds.
“Man’s a hell of a hole-chaser” this sentence was written on his stone by the Schoolboy Loafer. The other has engraved spurts in eighty three vowels: “when Grandma’s tomb had to be dug up, there’s nothing down there to be found, ‘cept Grandpa’s loafers and their eighty six nails sticking out from underneath pebbles from one life before.” Let’s banish these thoughts from the horizons on foot.
“When all’s said and done I’ll be all-alone ‘tween me and my bones after I was been lefted in peace,” signed by Dog One. Words of Dog Two: “Born on.” “Here John of Advis and John of Advis did mate, six five seven eight.” “We, the two sparnassians, George Eliot, Desmond Wilfred, picnicked at this spot one second on May thirty eight.” So on and so forth.
This one says: « Everything man-written by man is a falsehood, so is this inscription.” As his neighbor who was his father son and neighbor. “The Dumas Family.” Behold, dog in my head: here’s the grave of the Child in Short Sentences. Here lays to rest the grave of the Child Tube who’s carried the short sentence his whole life: “I ran from school very early on. I now recite all the tenses to my bare bones.” “Here he lain, he will lay and would lay to rest were he here, John Off-Piste, profound skiist who went downhill.” “The oppressing world of the living pressed me to leave you here alone in the present on this plot of revengerie. My spirit here don’t give the willies no more to those four-wheels.” ‘Tis the befallen of Boulevard Blanqui.
One further down: “earth seen from upside down.” Lays further down another one that says: “The world came unbeknownst to us. People of the West stretch their feet to the plebs of the East.” “Everybody tumbles when the lights go out.” In latin-signed. This one, three tombs later: “Heaven, heaven, heaven, thirty six times seven,” signed I-said, John Thirty Six Thousand. John Grand Caïn,” signed his mother. “Plain Peopless,” “Jane-Baptist Domphrise, for her birthday of when.” “From Paul, to Louis, for His Capital of Beasts.” And the one here, lying beneath thistles? “No initials.” Here’s the sentence by the Man of What: “Living without me would make me happy.” “The world arrived in stupor, here it goes in vapor.” Here’s the sentence from the Man of Trees: “In ones, in twos, in threes, never too late to say and repeat: who left me here that I be lain?” Signed Man of Threes. Here’s one by a woman four: “I have lived all my term.” Here’s the sentence by the man of eight, John Besom: “I have lain, I was lying, lained, I ly, ma ain’t lainin’ no more, oh dear soul, come visit me some more !” But she can’t because we are who we are.
From John Languide to his friend Herbert: “For one thousand sixty three biceptbilliards one second two, in vain I wanted to succeed myself every minute.” So say, they do.
A loner’s grave: “I’ve known death only in my lifetime; I lay now in the arms of the fourth person singular.” Signed John of Man, son of end, pseudo-Henry, splendid boy dressed in nude and left hole.
And there’s one that’s the lowest on earth, Archidrite of Hime’s grave, where I decipher the following scribble: “here lays myife, bringing delight all through my life, though from it I took a flight. Child of yore I used to flee from landscapes on bike; presently old-hand I have fled all humans.” “Passerby, here am I laying in grass: I’ve passed without a word where nothing to be scribed.” Here’s priest Ardin’s grave: “God is in glebe, signed his mother; God is English, signed Rocroy; God is englobe, signed Dunlope; God is in two signed it’s me. Passerby, stop passing by: none of these declarations are false, except one which one. Be on your way if benighted: you’ll end in a ditch which one.”
Nameless grave of Saple’s wife, Gymnester spouse. Gabby epitaph for the Salic man from the globe of what: “Oh you of me, move off me instead of stamping my body, stop eyeing me through a hole so high and let animals be in your stead! John Post-scriptum signed scribbled.”
They were, undid life, did and hushed, not even I.
I am the mistake who lives. I am John who’s kept playing the Living in spite of himself.
Animals, animals, I was brought to life without a hole within my reach. I was named the one who before life was given death like everyone here. I ate much too early the earth’s excrement, and from my anus poured back onto the world all their fruits. Take off my head leaning in three! Blessed be the curse! Doctor of the heart, doctor of the liver, make the believer come out of what: take off my head so I allot it to naught to once for all restore all of this darkness in my eyes.
I lived like a hare in the earth, sole soul clueless about the adventure of dances above. World’s a hole for me. Take out from the world the hole in yourself. Take out from the world the tomb in yourself. Take out from the hole-world the one within, though his hole is one. Take out the hole inside you and give, ‘cause I am. Ergo, I wrote to him: God, if you’re God, don’t show yourself: take everything out.