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lundi, 08 novembre 2010

Résister au sublime

Vallée de l'Escandorgue, Hérault. 7 août 2010.


       Clive kept on because the shrinking and apprehension were precisely the conditions – the  sickness – from which he sought release, and proof that his daily grind – crouching over that piano for hours every day – had reduced him to a cringing state. He would be large again, and unafraid. There was no threat here, only elemental indifference. There were dangers of course, but only the usual ones, and mild enough; injury from a fall, getting lost, a violent change of weather, night. Managing these would restore him to a sense of control. Soon human meaning would be bleached from the rocks, the landscape would assume its beauty and draw him in; the unimaginable age of the mountains and the fine mesh of living things that lay across them would remind him that he was part of this order and insignificant within it, and he would be set free.

Today however, this beneficent process was taking longer than usual. He had been walking for an hour and a half and was still eyeing certain boulders ahead for what they might conceal, still regarding the sombre face of rock and grass at the end of the valley with vague dread, and still pestered by fragments of his conversation with Vernon. The open spaces that were meant to belittle his cares, were belittling everything: endeavour seemed pointless. Symphonies especially: feeble blasts, bombast, doomed attempts to build a mountain in sound. Passionate striving. And for what? Money. Respect. Immortality.

 Amsterdam, III, iii

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