my.little.Versailles

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my.little.Versailles

"When we wake up tomorrow, she said, I shall wish you every happiness, and it will be like telling a machine working by some unknown mechanism that I hope it will run well. Can't you tell me the reason, she asked, said Austerlitz, why you remain so unapproachable? Why, she said, have you been like a pool of frozen water ever since we came here? Why do I see your lips opening as if you were about to say something, maybe even cry out loud, and then I hear not the slightest sound? Why did you never unpack when we arrived, always preferring to live out of a rucksack, as it were? We stood there a couple of paces apart, like two actors on a stage. the color of Marie's eyes changed as the light dimmed. And once again I tried to explain to her and to myself what incomprehensible feelings had been weighing on me over the last few days, how I kept thinking, like a madman, that there were mysterious signs and portents all around me here; how it even seemed to me as if the silent facades of the building knew something ominous about me, how I had always believed I must be alone, and in spite of my longing for her I now felt it more than ever before. But it isn't true, said Marie, it isn't true that we need absence and loneliness. It isn't true. It's only in your mind. You are afraid of I don't know what. You have always been rather remote, of course, I could tell that, but now it's as if you stood on a threshold and you dared not step over it. That evening in Marienbad, said Austerlitz, I could not admit to myself how right everything Marie said was, but today I know why I felt obliged to turn away when anyone came too close to me, I know that I thought this turning away made me safe, and that at the same time I saw myself transformed into a frightful and hideous creature, a man beyond the pale" (W.G. Sebald, 'Austerlitz').