Translated by Jacques Chwat

…Daily life for many people is like an enormous restaurant or bar where everyone is just looking for drinks, around which is an entire psychodrama of fear and illusory aspirations. If I don't do what is accepted then it's catastrophic: begin dinner in France with cheese, before soup and the main course: an outrage! It's the same in the theater if a director, instead of mounting one production after another, says, "No, I don't want to continue along this route." Or let's say that you have achieved a certain position; agreeable as it may be, you have already achieved it: to hold onto it is stupid; you must let go. But that means having your cheese before your soup: the world expects you to hold onto it – these are the conventions and illusions of the bar. Some cry, some say they're failures, many are drunk. Each makes his confession revealing his nostalgia. Half of modern creation consists of cries of nostalgia shared with spectators, of a nostalgia for a different way of living, a different life. Like Marmeladov in Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment who, when drunk, says that he is drinking up all the family money, a fool who sends his daughter into the streets to sell herself. It's all true: he is drinking up all the family money. What he reveals is a great nostalgia for living differently. And this moment where Marmeladov reveals this nostalgia, this is habitual creation. All agree that it must change. Marmeladov begins his day with drink, remains drunk, never leaving the bar: the moments of drunkenness and blithering about it free him from any effort to do anything else. You must know how to crash through this drunkenness and do away with it. Or admit, as many do, that it's a natural part of your existence. Because for many it is natural… Some are very wise and accept; they are, after all, the people who built our whole civilization. It may not be perfect; you either accept it or leave the bar. It takes courage. Each of our experiences of leaving for five minutes only to return is one that has failed… Often one can only let go of what one already possesses. Gandhi once said that in order not to use violence you must be capable of violence – because otherwise it is not non-violence, it is simply a lack of courage… Take care of your needs. If you need to live on the margin of society, live on the margin, consciously, without thinking of it as a temporary measure. (For me, personally, that's not at all the way. I think that one must live in the very heart of society, then when one wishes, to turn toward the margin). If you are constantly on the margin, don't regret it by thinking, "I can't live the way my parents did; I wish to live differently; I'll do this for three or four years, and then I shall return to my parents' way." Very strange! In that case, isn't it then better to compete with your parents' good example and do what your parents dreamt of but never dared to do? What's essential is whether you go into the bar the way Marmeladov did or just in good humor, just with some interest in it. The planetary bar is a very interesting place: have a drink and become part of it. Live outside the bar. Return to it?

(C) 1978 jerzy grotowski