But I never looked like that! - How do you know? What is the you you might or might not look like? Where do you find it - by which morphological or expressive calibration? Where is your authentic body? You are the only one who can never see yourself except as an image; you never see your eyes unless they are dulled by the gaze they rest upon the mirror or the lens (I am interested in seeing my eyes only when they look at you): even and especially for your own body, you are condemned to the repertoire of its images.
The art of living has no history: it does not evolve: the pleasure which vanishes vanishes for good, there is no substitute for it. Other pleasures come, which replace nothing. No progress in pleasures, nothing but mutations.
Valéry used to speak of those people who die in an accident because they are unwilling to let go of their umbrellas; how many subjects repressed, refracted, blinded as to their true sexuality, because they are unwilling to let go of a stereotype.
What right does my present have to speak of my past? Has my present some advantage over my past? What "grace" might have enlightened me? except that of passing time, or of a good cause, encountered on my way?