Temporary Legendary Psychasthenia Can Occur…

A provocative quotation from the great sur-rationalist Roger Caillois, in a footnote to his 1935 essay “Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia”:

Pour ma part, d’ailleurs, si l’on veut réduire l’instinct esthétique à une tendance de métamorphose en objet ou en espace, je ne m’y oppose pas.
“In any event, I myself have nothing against the attempt to reduce the aesthetic instinct to the tendency to become transformed into an object or space.”

One admires Caillois’s decision to write “tendance de métamorphose” rather than a mere “désir de métamorphose.” The absence of a qualifying “temporaire,” however, is troubling.