Polaroids from China
by Sergey MelniTchenko
“The Consciousness of Misery,” from E. M. Cioran’s A Short History of Decay
Translated by Richard Howard
Everything conspires, elements and actions alike, to harm you. Arm yourself in disdain, isolate yourself in a fortress of disgust, dream of superhuman indifference? The echoes of time would persecute you in your ultimate absences… When nothing can keep you from bleeding, ideas themselves turn red or encroach on each other like tumors. There is no specific in our pharmacies against existence; nothing but minor remedies for braggarts. But where is the antidote for lucid despair, perfectly articulated, proud, and sure? All of us are miserable, but how many know it? The consciousness of misery is too serious a disease to figure in an arithmetic of agonies or in the catalogues of the Incurable. It belittles the prestige of hell, and converts the slaughterhouses of time into idyls. What sin have you committed to be born, what crime to exist? Your suffering like your fate is without motive. To suffer, truly to suffer, is to accept the invasion of ills without the excuse of causality, as a favor of demented nature, as a negative miracle…
In Time's sentence men take their place like commas, while, in order to end it, you have immobilized yourself into a period.
Sergey Melnitchenko was born in 1991 in Mykolayiv, Ukraine. Today he lives and works in China. He is a member of UPHA – Ukrainian Photographic Alternative. His photography has recently been spotlighted in Feature Shoot, and his first printed publication was Loneliness Online, centering on loneliness and video chats in the modern age. His work has recently been exhibited in Sweden, Israel, Germany, and Chile. Order prints of his work on Eyemazing Editions, and visit his website here.