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First entry: The narrator self-identifies. Hes actually a number, instead of just number-like.

I shall merely attempt to record what I see and think, or, to be more exact, what we think (precisely sowe, and let this We be the title of my record). You will subjugate the unknown beings on other planets, who may still be living in the primitive condition of freedom, to the beneficent yoke of reason. If they fail to understand that we bring them mathematically infallible happiness, it will be our duty to compel them to be happy. (1) But I am ready, like every one, or almost every one, of us. I am ready. (2) then, to myself: Why is this beautiful? Why is dance beautiful? Answer: because it is unfree motion, because the whole profound meaning of dance lies precisely in absolute, esthetic subordination, in ideal unfreedom. And if it is true that our forebears abandoned themselves to dance at the most exalted moments of their lives (religious mysteries, military parades), it means only one thing: the instinct of unfreedom is organically inherent in man from time immemorial, and we, in our present life, are only consciously.... (3) Third entry: theres a purpose for writing this, and he coincidentally wrote it with us as his audience. Table of Hours: Crystal palace? It feels like this whole book is one of the underground mans delusional fears written out. Scientific ethics: ethics based on subtraction, addition, division, and multiplication (8) Fourth entry At all other times we live behind our transparent walls that seem woven of gleaming airwe are always visible, always washed in light We have nothing to conceal from one another. Besides, this makes much easier the difficult and noble task of the Guardians. For who knows what might happen otherwise? (11) Fifth entry Clearly, this leaves no possible reasons for envy; the denominator of the happiness fraction is reduced to zero, and the fraction is transformed into a magnificent infinity. (14) Seventh entry: I woke: soft, bluish light, glimmer of glass walls, glass chairs and table. This calmed me; my heart stopped hammering. Sap, Buddha... what nonsense! Clearly I must be ill. I have never dreamed before. They say that with the ancients dreaming was a perfectly ordinary, normal occurrence. But of course, their whole life was a dreadful whirling carouselgreen, orange, Buddhas, sap. We, however, know that dreams are a serious psychic disease. And I know that until this moment my brain has been a chronometrically exact gleaming mechanism without a single speck of dust. But now... Yes, precisely: I feel some alien body in my brain, like the finest eyelash in the

eye. You do not feel your body, but that eye with the lash in ityou cant forget it for a second.... Liberation? Amazing, the extent to which criminal instincts persist in human nature. I use the word criminal deliberately. Freedom and crime are linked as indivisibly as... well, as the motion of the aero and its speed: when its speed equals zero, it does not move; when mans freedom equals zero, he commits no crimes. That is clear. The only means of ridding man of crime is ridding him of freedom. And now, just as we have gotten rid of it (on the cosmic scale, centuries are, of course, no more than just), some wretched halfwits... (20) Ninth: The prone body enveloped in a light, glowing mistand melting, melting before our eyes, dissolving with appalling speed. Then nothingonly a small puddle of chemically pure water, which but a moment ago had pulsed redly, wildly in the heart.... (27) Tenth: What followed can be described only approximately, only by more or less close analogies. It has never occurred to me before, but this is truly how it is: all of us on earth walk constantly over a seething, scarlet sea of flame, hidden below, in the belly of the earth. We never think of it. But what if the thin crust under our feet should turn into glass and we should suddenly see... I became glass. I sawwithin myself. Eleventh Entry: TOPICS: No, I cannot, Ill simply write, without a plan Why, its about us, about today. Yes! Just think. Those two, in paradise, were given a choice: happiness without freedom, or freedom without happiness. There was no third alternative. Those idiots chose freedom, and what came of it? Of course, for ages afterward they longed for the chains. The chainsyou understand? (35) The eleventh entry shows D-503s appolonian and Dionysian fighting. Thirteenth: That means you love it. You are afraid of it because it is stronger than you; you hate it because you are afraid of it; you love it because you cannot subdue it to your will. Only the unsubduable can be loved. (41) Fourteenth: Now I no longer live in our clear, rational world; I live in the ancient nightmare world, the world of square roots of minus one. Fifteenth: I also know that I dont want to be cured. I dont, and thats all there is to it. We ascended the glass stairs. Everything below was as clearly visible as if it were spread out on the palm of my hand. (46) Sixteenth: Well, thentake a plane, a surfacethis mirror, say. And on this surface are you and I, you see? We squint against the sun. And here, the blue electric spark inside that tube, and therethe passing shadow of an aero. All of it only on the

surface, only momentary. But imagine this impermeable substance softened by some fire; and nothing slides across it any more, everything enters into it, into this mirror world that we examined with such curiosity when we were children. Children are not so foolish, I assure you. The plane has acquired volume, it has become a body, a world, and everything is now inside the mirrorinside you: the sun, the blast of the whirling propeller, your trembling lips, and someone elses. Do you understand? The cold mirror reflects, throws back, but this one absorbs, and everything leaves its trace forever. A moment, a faint line on someones faceand it remains in you forever. Once you heard a drop fall in the silence, and you hear it now.... Oh, great, divinely bounding wisdom of walls and barriers! They are, perhaps, the greatest of mans inventions. Man ceased to be a wild animal only when he built the first wall Man ceased to be a savage only when we had built the Green Wall, when we had isolated our perfect mechanical world from the irrational, hideous world of trees, birds, animals.... 21: Not to mention the fact that all unknowns are organically inimical to man, and homo sapiens is human in the full sense of the word only when his grammar is entirely free of question marks, when it has nothing but exclamation points, periods, and commas. 24: I am like a machine set at excessive speed: the bearings are overheated; another minute, and molten metal will begin to drip, and everything will turn to naught. Quickcold water, logic. I pour it by the pailful, but logic hisses on the red-hot bearings and dissipates into the air in whiffs of white, elusive steam. Great Benefactor! How absurdto long for pain. Who doesnt know that pain is a negative value, and that the sum of pain diminishes the sum we call happiness? And hence... (74) Twenty-seventh Entry: TOPICS: NoneImpossible (86) 28: Mephi? It is an ancient name, its he who... Do you rememberout there, the image of the youth drawn on the stone? Or no, Ill try to say it in your language, it will be easier for you to understand. There are two forces in the worldentropy and energy. One leads to blissful quietude, to happy equilibrium; the other, to destruction of equilibrium, to tormentingly endless movement. Entropy was worshiped as God by ouror, rather, your ancestors, the Christians. But we antiChristians, we... (92)

30: Yes, revolution! Why is this absurd? It is absurd because there can be no revolution. Because ourI am saying this, not youour revolution was the final one. And there can, be no others. Everyone knows this.... The mocking, sharp triangle of eyebrows. My dearyou are a mathematician. Moreyou are a philosopher, a mathematical philosopher. Well, then: name me the final number. What do you mean? I... I dont understand: what final number? Well, the final, the ultimate, the largest. But thats preposterous! If the number of numbers is infinite, how can there be a final number? (97) We? We know for the time being that there is no final number. We may forget it. No, we are even sure to forget it when we get old as everything inevitably gets old. And then we, too, shall droplike leaves in autumn from the treelike you, the day after tomorrow.... No, no, my dear, not you. For you are with us, you are with us! (98) 31: No, I said. You... you are mocking me.... She laughed, loudlytoo loudly. Quickly, in a second, she laughed herself to some unseen edge, stumbled, fell.... A silence. She rose and placed her hands upon my shoulders, and looked at me slowly and long. Then pulled me to herselfand there was nothing, only her hot, sharp lips. Farewell! It came from far, from above, and took a long time to reach mea minute, perhaps, or two. What do you mean, Farewell? Well, you are sick, you have committed crimes because of mehas it not been a torment to you? And now, the Operationand you will cure yourself of me. And that meansfarewell. No, I cried out. A pitilessly sharp, dark triangle on white: What? You dont want happiness? (103) 32: preposterous feeling, but I know: yes, I must. Preposterous, because this duty of mine is yet another crime. Preposterous, because white cannot at the same time be black, duty and crime cannot coincide. Or is there no black or white in life, and the color depends only on the initial logical premise? And if the premise was that I unlawfully gave her a child... (106) All of Entry 40.

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