How not to feel the horrible burden of Time

Lapham’s Quarterly (Winter 2013 edition) opens with the following mission statement by Charles Baudelaire (circa 1867). It suits the holiday mood, which for an atheist like me is every day. (Why? Read Every Day is an Atheist Holiday by Penn Jillette.) Cheers!

One should always be drunk. That’s the great thing, the only question. Not to feel the horrible burden of Time weighing on your shoulders and bowing you to the earth, you should be drunk without respite.

Drunk with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you please. But get drunk.

And if sometimes you should happen to awake, on the stairs of a palace, on the green grass of a ditch, in the dreary solitude of your own room, and find that your drunkenness is ebbing or has vanished, ask the wind and the wave, ask star, bird, or clock, ask everything that flies, everything that moans, everything that flows, everything that sings, everything that speaks, ask them the time; and the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, and the clock will all reply, “It is Time to get drunk! If you are not to be the martyred slaves of Time, be perpetually drunk! With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you please.”

 

 

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