If you prick me, I hurt. But then I am I suppose the sum of all the thoughts and delusions and feelings which I hold. In a sense I am the fiction I choose to be. At the same time I am the ghoul or the harmless young man others take me for. I am what the rock dropping on my head makes me. I am my lungs breathing. My memory remembering. My desires reaching. My audience reacting with an impacient sneer. I am all those things. Are they illusions? I do not know. And that I think is the point. That we never do know for certain. There are so many points from which different lenses are focusing upon us and we are the picture in each one of them. Those lenses may even be the several instants of our whole lives focusing simultaneously on us — creating what? A monster? A human being? A prismatic delusion? Those lenses may be the several places and spaces in which we have lingered our whole lives and in one single moment they suddenly bear down, focus upon us. It is this multiplicity of our singleness which I think gives the illusory depth to living. What we consider deep and abiding is perhaps the result of technique rather than a Creator’s purpose. So much for religion. But even mathematics works from the same basic source, these underlying techniques. Man walks on the crust, the surface, and he draws conclusions that may be nothing at all. The thing that seems more real is that we are here and what we do with each other. But where we are and what we do with each other have been subjected to that sum of allowable knowledge and know-how which diminishes the very life in us. Our material means or lack of them, our belief in this or that ideology, our needs, our wants, they take up more room in us that do humane considerations. When they do not, one, of course, is elevated into sainthood. Or trampled down. Day-to-day reality is therefore itself any illusion created by the mass of our needs, our ideas, our wants. Transform the needs, the ideas, the wants, and at once, as though with a magic wand, you transform the available reality. To write as though only one kind of reality subsists in the world is to act out a mentally retarded mime, for a mentally deficient audience. If I am an illusion, then that is a delusion what is very real indeed.

—Dambudzo Marechera, Black Sunlight