At Last, I’ve Started Living in the Artist’s Life

The apartment was dark when I got back. I sank into the sofa, lit a cigarette, and gave myself up to merry reflections for a while. In the dim living room, it looked better than ever. The dining table, which was in a state of huge disorder with the manuscript, the dictionary, books, and notes, greeted me charmingly. “At last, I’ve started living in the artist’s life,” I thought to myself pleasingly. In this cheerful mood, I picked up Last Joy on the table lay open at pages where I had left off reading and pored over the enchanting words of Hamsun:

“And here I lie, left behind with the scree and the little juniper bushes. How strange it all is! The stones in this rubble, maybe there is a meaning to them, they have lain here for thousands of years but maybe they travel too, going on indescribable journey. The glaciers withdraw, the land rises, the land sinks, there is no hurry, it just happens. But since my mind doesn’t connect anything with such an idea, it grows blind with anger and braces itself against it: the scree’s migration doesn’t exist, it’s just words, a little joke. Well, then, the scree is a town, and all over the ground here and there lie parishes of stone. It’s a peaceful community, no big events, no suicides, and there may be a well-formed soul in each of these stones. Still God preserve me from some of the inhabitants of these towns, heh-hen: rolling stones. They can’t bark, nor are they of interest to pickpockets, they are only dead weight. Well behaved, to be sure, but I do hold it against them that they display no fiery gestures, it would suit them to roll a little. But there they lie, no one even knows their sex exactly. On the other hand, did you see the eagle? You just be quiet….”

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