Friday, February 1, 2008

the sea: void, darkness, mysterious, not a sound

the bay of arcachon and lighthouse on cape ferret, 1871

seascape by moonlight, 1873-76
(both images from manet and the sea, by juliet wilson-bareau and david degener
yale university press 2003)

after sunset i came out on deck again to meet only a still void. the thin, featureless crust of the coast could not be distinguished. the darkness had risen around the ship like a mysterious emanation from the dumb and lonely waters. i leaned on the rail and turned my ear to the shadows of the night. not a sound. my command might have been a planet flying vertiginously on its appointed path in a space of infinite silence. i clung to the rail as if my sense of balance were leaving me for good. how absurd. i hailed nervously.

(page 71 from the shadow-line: a confession by jósef teodor konrad korzeniowski, 1917)

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