The Hideous Shape of an Abortion

The Diary of a Country Priest by Georges Bernanos (Da Capo Press)

“The world of evil is so far beyond our understanding! Nor can I really succeed in picturing hell as a world, a universe. It is nothing, never will be anything but a half-formed shape, the hideous shape of an abortion, a stunted thing on the very verge of all existence. I think of sullied, translucent patches on the sea. Does the Monster care that there should be one criminal more or less? Immediately he sucks down crime into himself, makes it one with his own horrible substance, digests without once rousing from his terrifying eternal lethargy.

“Yet historians, moralists, even philosophers refuse to see anything but the criminal, they re-create evil in the image and likeness of humanity. They form no idea of essential evil, that vast yearning for the void, for emptiness; since if ever our species is to perish it will die of boredom, of stale disgust.”

~ Georges Bernanos (translated by Pamela Morris, 2002), The Diary of a Country Priest (1936)


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