Before deciding what is wrong and what is right

first we must find out what we are


do not know myself

No sooner have I discovered something

than I begin to doubt it

and I have to destroy it again

What we do is just a shadow of what we want

to do

and the only truths we can point to

are the ever-changing truths of our own


I do not know if I am hangman or victim

for I imagine the most horrible tortures

and as I describe them I suffer them myself

There is nothing that I could not do and every-

thing fills me with horror

And I see that other people also

suddenly change themselves into strangers

and are driven to unpredictable acts

A little while ago I saw my tailor

a gentle cultured man who liked to talk philo-


I saw him foam at the mouth

and raging and screaming attack with a cudgel

a man from Switzerland

a large man heavily armed

and destroy him utterly

and then I saw him

tear open the breast of the defeated man

saw him take out the still beating heart

and swallow it

Marat, Peter Weiss