Praise to the Cave: Will we accept fiction as the edge and border of these things ours – How does one value what they can sense?
Has Plato been fair to the Cave? He made the immemorial shelter of the prime human into the allegory of illusion. He made the first outlines of human art, the vestiges of wall painting, these hands that move us so, born as a mould or a bas relief, hollow or full, this animal farandole, ochre and black, all of this, into the worst dependancy, within which the very world is replaced by a projection of nonexistences.
In these caves, decorated with our prehistory, shamans may very well have been playing around with the light from a fire, with the shape of the rock, with the dance of shadows and all their suggestions. I may concede that it is them who thus invented the worst form of ontological lie, which one can find rendered in any religion, or in any show, even now, in plays or films.
Let us admit that these plays on words, on shapes and on lightings could have been the crucible and birthplace of fiction. Will we eternally blame falsehood for being like a lying shadow of what is real and true? Will we instead accept fiction to be the edge and border of these things ours? Science opposes truth to falsehood in the same way Epicurus opposes atoms to vacuum. But any thing radiates and beams. It is, as am I, filled with every possible story. What could its purpose be, and what could I do myself, were I not surrounded at all times by a thousand possible tales about its purpose and my actions, which are bound by another thousand tales none of which is real, but who are all possible? Leave the thing be along with its shadowplay, my scenarios and its legends. Its mythology is my freedom.
(Traduit du français par Paul Aupetitgendre.)