The year is 1643. Roberto, a young nobleman, survives war, the Bastille, exile and shipwreck as he voyages to a Pacific island straddling the date meridian. There he waits now, alone on the mysteriously deserted Daphne, separated by treacherous reefs from the island beyond: the island of the day before. If he could reach it, time – and his misfortunes – might be reversed. But first he must learn to swim…
The Island of the Day Before 1 csillagozás
Eredeti megjelenés éve: 1994
As a rule Roberto does not abuse those capital letters in which the writers of his day excelled: but when he attributes sayings to Padre Emanuele, he employs many, as if the priest not only wrote but also spoke them, enforcing his words with special dignity—a sign that he was a man of great and attractive eloquence.
88. oldal The Aristotelian Telescope
Finally, when my whole corporeal fabric has been reduced to pure skeleton, in the course of the months and the years – or perhaps the millennia – that armature will also slowly become a powder of atoms on which the living will walk, not understanding that the whole globe of earth, its seas, its deserts, its forests, and its valleys, is nothing but a living cemetery.
How is it to be cured? Roberto thought he knew the remedy above all remedies, which, however, was denied to him: to possess the beloved person. He did not know that this is not enough, for melancholics do not become such through love; rather, they fall in love to express their melancholy – preferring desolate places for spiritual converse with the absent beloved, thinking only of how to arrive in her presence; although arriving there, they become all the more afflicted, and would like still to attain some other goal.
„But what am I to do in the meantime?”
„But…she knows nothing yet, and I must confess I have difficulty approaching her….”
„Write her a letter and tell her of your love.”
„But I have never written a love-letter! Indeed, I am ashamed to say, I have never written any letter.”
„When nature fails, we turn to art. I will dictate to you. A gentleman often enjoys writing letters to a lady he has never seen, and I am equal to the task. As I do not love, I can speak of love better than you, who are struck dumb by love.”
I see you weeping…."
„Oh, that is not sorrow. It must be my head wound, which has affected my eyes….”
„You should drink coffee.”
„I swear that in a short while it will be the fashion. It is a panacea. I will procure you some. It dries the cold humors, dispels wind, strengthens the liver, it is the sovereign cure for hydropsy and scabies, it restores the heart, relieves bellyache. Its steam, in fact, is recommended for fluxions of the eyes, buzzing in the ears, catarrh, rheum or heaviness of the nose, as you will. And then bury with your father the cumbersome brother you created for yourself. And, above all, fall in love.”
"Better even than coffee.
None of those flowers or those fruits was known to him; each seemed generated by the fancy of a painter who had wanted to violate the laws of nature and invent convincing absurdities, riven delights and sapid falsehoods: such as that corolla covered with a whitish fuzz that blossomed into a tuft of violet feathers, but no, it was a faded primrose that extruded an obscene appendage, or a mask that covered a hoary visage with goat’s beards. Who could have conceived this bush, its leaves dark green on one side, with wild red-yellow decorations, and the other side flaming, surrounded by other leaves of the most tender pea-green, of meaty consistency, conch-shaped to hold the water of the latest rain?
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