The Material Question

But if, for some reason or other, I fail to accomplish the task I have set myself, then I will be forced to recognize the illusory nature of all the ideas expounded in this narrative, as well as my own extravagant imagination; and, true to my principles, I will have to creep with my tail between my legs, as Mullah Nassr Eddin would say, ‘into the deepest old galoshes that have ever been worn on sweaty feet’.

And if this should be the case, I would then categorically decide to do as follows:

To give for publication only the manuscripts I have just revised in final form, that is, the first series of my writings and two chapters of the second; to cease writing for ever; and, on returning home, to light in the middle of the lawn before my windows a huge bonfire and throw on it all the rest of my writings.

After which I will begin a new life by using the capacities I possess for the sole purpose of satisfying my personal egoism.

A plan is already outlining itself in my madcap brain for my activities in such a life.

I picture myself organizing a new ‘Institute’ with many branches, only this time not for the Harmonious Development of Man but for instruction in hitherto undiscovered means of self-satisfaction.

And there is no doubt that a business like that would run as if on greased wheels.