The Marmot with the Collar
Diary of a Philosopher

Part I - Clover Moon
First Summer

M. / M.001 - M. / M.003



Last Quarter


First Day

M. / M.001

I make today the vow to devote myself entirely to Philosophy and to the study of the mystery of our existence. I pray that the Gods will grant me the strength to hold to this commitment, which I undertake before them and toward myself. I pray that they will grant me also the acuity of intellect and the necessary persistence to fathom such great problems.

Second Day

M. / M.002

I do not think that I commit any wrong to society by passing in an honest celibacy the three or four years which are left for me to live, according to the ordinary course of things. Married for five years, my wife was the good fortune of my life until the fatal event that separated us; I have been five times father of a family, and my twenty-three children, my grand-children and my great-grand-children set me among the number of those who have fulfilled their dues toward society.


Besides, it is not my fault if I retreat. I am condemned to it. I am received like an evildoer. The collar which I wear has proved a curse on me. My former neighbours, my friends, my children have refused to recognise me. Society drives me away. I declare myself finished with it.

Fourth Day

M. / M.003

I harbour no hope that the fruit of my observations and my reflections will ever prove useful to anyone. Learned Marmots are becoming fewer day by day. One lives nowadays only to play and to amuse oneself. Nevertheless, I have undertaken the resolve to write a diary of my thoughts, likewise my deeds and actions. What has no interest for present generations may perhaps have interest for Marmots of the future. Our fathers’ fathers had learned from the elders of their time that Marmots once constituted a powerful people, the friend of knowledge and the pleasures of the intellect. Could what happened once not happen twice? If this hope is realised, our children’s children will not be offended to know what one of their ancestors thought.

E. Rambert: La marmotte au collier (1889)

trans. R. L. Hewitt: The Marmot with the Collar (2020)

The Marmot with the Collar
A Trilingual Edition

Part 01.01 (English)

Richard L. Hewitt
Kamuzu Academy, Malawi

2020 - 2022