In any case I have begun just thus, and as to how the rest will go I can only say meanwhile, as the blind man once expressed it, “we shall see.”
First and foremost, I shall place my own hand, moreover the right one, which—although at the moment it is slightly injured owing to the misfortune which recently befell me—is nevertheless really my own, and has never once failed me in all my life, on my heart, of course also my own—but on the inconstancy or constancy of this part of all my whole I do not find it necessary here to expatiate—and frankly confess that I myself have personally not the slightest wish to write, but attendant circumstances, quite independent of me, constrain me to do so—and whether these circumstances arose accidentally or were created intentionally by extraneous forces, I myself do not yet know. I know only that these circumstances bid me write not just anything “so-so,” as, for instance, something of the kind for reading oneself to sleep, but weighty and bulky tomes.
However that may be, I begin . . .
But begin with what?
Oh, the devil! Will there indeed be repeated that same exceedingly unpleasant and highly strange sensation which it befell me to experience when about three weeks ago I was composing in my thoughts the scheme and sequence of the ideas destined by me for publication and did not know then how to begin either?
This sensation then experienced I might now formulate in words only thus: “the-fear-of-drowning-in-the-overflow-of-my-own-thoughts.”
To stop this undesirable sensation I might then still have had recourse to the aid of that maleficent property existing also in me, as in contemporary man, which has become inherent in all of us, and which enables us, without experiencing any remorse of conscience whatever, to put off anything we wish to do “till tomorrow.”
I shall begin by placing my own hand—though somewhat injured through a misfortune which recently befell me, yet nevertheless indeed my own—upon my heart, of course also my own, and frankly confess that, for myself, I have not the slightest wish to write; but unfortunately for me, I am constrained to do so by surrounding circumstances, not dependent on my individuality, which have either arisen accidentally, or perhaps have been intentionally created by an outside force, and which constrain me to write not just “so-so” but “weighty-fat-tomes.”
And so I begin. But how?
Just in this case, experienced people, “who-know-what’s-what,” always talk about “being-on-three-horns-of-a-dilemma.”