paul griffiths


Bright roses she loves, and that black vase. ambience! I’ll take the leaves off. the scent! excellent! a girl in my room! I hadn’t expected she would. she’s so refined. but who doesn’t seize. I’ve always been too nervous. Then the red one. I want to enjoy it too. the roses just by her place. splendid. here on the sofa’s where she’ll sit. me beside her. I can embrace her. feel her breasts. no! no anticipating. at all. I’ll let myself be courted. completely cool I’ll be. she’s in my room. come into my room. if I play it cool. I’ll tear them apart. Rip the clothes from her body. naked she’ll be standing here. lying in front of me. her hair I’m rooting out from her head. nonsense! where’s the wine? heavier truer! Burgundy! yes raise. that’ll be a bother later. two glasses. that’s enough. move. raise. uncork. the skin on me’s too tight! a goodlooking guy! yes. Body. Build. even in the mirror. really? I’ve not had much luck with women. too tough! too tough! too tough! yes. make up for it today! pull back the bedclothes. what! we’re by no means going to bed. I want to go wild! wild! I’ll have a drink before. flames. blood! blaze! forget it all. right! pastries. Christmas. yes. my mother. haha! if she knew what I was using them to catch. doesn’t suspect, absolutely not. bad boy. bad? me. no. I’d rather not do it. rather not. if she comes. she’s a decent girl. completely, without a doubt. you can tell from how she looks. she just is. she loves me. I’m the seducer. hell! seducer! I want life. life. life. yes. I want. and if she’ll believe in it. she should believe in it. she must believe in it. the devil take her. I’ll tear them apart. that soft skin I’ll stroke. every secret. another glass. wild. wild. wild. a bull. I’ll run through the wall. here she’ll be. sit yourself there. yes. if you’d sit there. you you you! Crazy! I kiss the filthy sofa. everything’s shaking. poor thing. legs. veins swelling. I can’t hold out any longer. if she came. if she’d just come? if she doesn’t come now? doesn’t come? Certainly not. not come! Christ! I’ll get her. I’ll drag her out of her house. beat. I’ll give her a beating out in the street. I’ll push her down in the gutter. in the gutter. the whore! whore! whore! ooh! I’ll shoot her. I’ll shoot her dead. all this pain. muscles. sinews. fever. with my revolver I’ll shoot you dead. how light it feels in my hand. dainty. flat. the muzzle forward. and round. choice. kissable. lips. haha! I’m in love. the revolver a girl! I still haven’t shot with it. virginal. and the little cartridges. they fit inside. slide. hell! it’s time now! she must be here soon. really. she’s not coming. no. she’s not coming. I wanted. I didn’t want her to come. God! don’t let her come. don’t let her come. let her be prevented. prevented. flow a bit of shyness into her. shyness. shyness. stay away. yes. away. better. yes. I can keep a clear conscience. my whole life long I won’t have to reproach myself any more. I’m not a seducer. I don’t want to be a seducer. my mother. yes. but there’s no need right away? need then? if she came now? we chat. chat. sure. no. there’s no need. haha! man and wife. sure. friends real friends. why not? I laugh. she’ll laugh at me. laugh. me redheaded as I was then. insidious. furtive. the look. ugh! looks! I can’t stand them! I can’t bear it! no more. no. I’m going. I’m not there any more. she won’t come. but I’m going. it’s for the best. I’m feeling easier in my mind. completely easy. won. yes. me. indeed. is it? yes? is it? oh? shuffles? tripping? yes? and? it? yes? knocks? hell. really. knocking? argh! impudence. unabashed. shameless. whore. whore. she wants me. seductress. she wants me no. argh. no. I can’t. no. I won’t. no. just knock. yes. knock. I can’t. won’t. can’t. won’t. don’t knock! don’t knock! knock! yes! go on knocking! go on knocking! knock! yes! knock! pff!

This piece was published in the April 1926 issue of Der Sturm​ but of course must date from before – perhaps soon before – the writer's death, on September 1, 1915. It is therefore an early example of interior monologue, possibly predating anything by Dorothy Richardson or James Joyce of this kind. The original text may be found in this selection of Stramm's works.