Besse...a schizio out for a walk, a stroll/ a saunter/broken knees...
“The women are not the only ones who reject me. The north refuses me and I do not make it to the Seine. I turn onto the rue des Beaux-Arts to trudge back toward the Luxembourg Gardens. I will find a bench there and will perhaps see the situation more clearly. It is around 3 pm” (Besse 1999 , 31, my translation).
I’ve been slowly making headway on a translation of Jacques Besse’s novella La Grande Pâque, which informed Deleuze and Guattari’s comments in Anti-Oedipus about the schizo out for a walk:
“In a great book by Jacques Besse, we encounter once again the double stroll of the schizo, the geographic exterior voyage following nondecomposable distances, and the interior historical voyage enveloping intensities: Christopher Columbus calms his mutinous crew and becomes admiral again only by simulating a (false) admiral who is simulating a whore who is dancing” (87).
I am about a third of the way through the translation, which presents a unique set of challenges: first, it’s fiction so the language is much different than the theory that I am more accustomed to translating, but second, it is nothing if not a map of intensities. The references to historical events, religious imagery, the geography of Paris, the changing states of Besse’s nerves, etc., careen across the pages. A great book, indeed.