Marguerite Duras, ‘Cabourg’ (translated by Barbara Bray)
I find this totally devastating. Last night, reading it brought me to tears. And I don’t cry at anything. Mostly.
What Is a Person
capable of feeling
while in contact with another?
I look at the red-tiled roofs outside,
at all the angles
facing the white-blue cloudless sky
like the creases in Bellini’s angel’s
silver-blue dress, Tintoretto’s white one
that’s practically transparent in his
Annunciazione at the San Rocco
— cloth complex as thought!
Then the bells start, flood the void.
Geryon is thinking. We are neighbours of fire.
“Describe the forest.”
“Two emaciated horses, describe the horses.”
“Describe the air, the soldiers.”
“Describe the bazaar, baskets of cherries, the inside of the tavern.”
“Describe this unendurable rain.”
“Describe ‘rapid fire.’”
“Describe the wounded.”
“The intolerable desire to sleep - describe.