Every day the words that Keep-on-Dancin' and the Gypsy imparted to me - theories, observations, advice and warnings - are substantiated and acquire deeper meaning. 'It's not for nothing there are so many bistrots in Paris, ' Keep-on-Dancin' asserted. 'The reason so many people are always crowded into them isn't so much they go there to drink but to meet up, congregate, come together, comfort each other. Yes, comfort each other: people are bored the whole time, and they're scared, scared of loneliness and boredom. And they all carry around in their heart of hearts their own pet little arch-fear: fear of death, no matter how devil-may-care they might appear to be. They'd do anything to avoid thinking about it. Don't forget, it's with that fear all temples and churches were built. So in cities like this, where forty different races mingle together, everyone can always find something to say to each other.
day quoteswords quoteskeepondancin quotesgypsy quotesimparted quotestheories quotesobservations quotesadvice quoteswarnings quotessubstantiated quotesacquire quotesdeeper quotesmeaning quotesits quotesbistrots quotesparis quotes quotesasserted quotesthe quotesreason quotespeople quotescrowded quotesdrink quotesmeet quotescongregate quotescomfort quotesbored quotestime quotesscared quotesscared quotesloneliness quotesboredom quotescarry quotesheart quoteshearts quotespet quotesarchfear quotesfear quotesdeath quotesmatter quotesdevilmaycare quotesavoid quotesthinking quotesforget quotestemples quoteschurches quotesbuilt quotescities quotesforty quotesraces quotesmingle quotesfind quotes
Better beware of the newly dead Of the white-handed ghost And the brightness of these lamps... wrote Luc Berimont in 1940, in Reign of Darkness. I've always felt the greatest reluctance to go anywhere near, to touch, a fresh corpse. For me, it's an unseemly thing. Useless. Hostile. Cunning. Dangerous. The 'presence' is much stronger, more perceptible one hour after death than one hour before. By my observation, this was not the case with Heisserer. He was entirely absent from his head, his hands, his quivering body. He was gone instantly, unburdened of his absurd life, released.
beware quotesnewly quotesdead quoteswhitehanded quotesghost quotesbrightness quoteslamps quoteswrote quotesluc quotesberimont quotes1940 quotesreign quotesdarkness quotesfelt quotesgreatest quotesreluctance quotestouch quotesfresh quotescorpse quotesunseemly quotesthing quotesuseless quoteshostile quotescunning quotesdangerous quotespresence quotesstronger quotesperceptible quoteshour quotesdeath quotesobservation quotescase quotesheisserer quotesabsent quoteshead quoteshands quotesquivering quotesbody quotesinstantly quotesunburdened quotesabsurd quoteslife quotesreleased quotes
And there, until 1884, it was possible to gaze on the remains of a generally neglected monument, so-called Dagobert's Tower, which included a ninth-century staircase set into the masonry, of which the thirty-foot handrail was fashioned out of the trunk of a gigantic oak tree. Here, according to tradition, lived a barber and a pastry-cook, who in the year 1335 plied their trade next door to each other. The reputation of the pastry-cook, whose products were among the most delicious that could be found, grew day by day. Members of the high-ranking clergy in particular were very fond of the extraordinary meat pies that, on the grounds of keeping to himself the secret of how the meats were seasoned, our man made all on his own, with the sole assistance of an apprentice who was responsible for the pastry. His neighbor the barber had won favor with the public through his honesty, his skilled hairdressing and shaving, and the steam baths he offered. Now, thanks to a dog that insistently scratched at the ground in a certain place, the ghastly origins of the meat used by the pastry-cook became known, for the animal unearthed some human bones! It was established that every Saturday before shutting up shop the barber would offer to shave a foreign student for free. He would put the unsuspecting young man in a tip-back seat and then cut his throat. The victim was immediately rushed down to the cellar, where the pastry-cook took delivery of him, cut him up, and added the requisite seasoning. For which the pies were famed, 'especially as human flesh is more delicate because of the diet, ' old Dubreuil comments facetiously. The two wretched fellows were burned with their pies, the house was ordered to be demolished, and in its place was built a kind of expiatory pyramid, with the figure of the dog on one of its faces. The pyramid was there until 1861. But this is where the story takes another turn and joins the very best of black comedy. For the considerable number of ecclesiastics who had unwittingly consumed human flesh were not only guilty before God of the very venial sin of greed; they were automatically excommunicated! A grand council was held under the aegis of several bishops and it was decided to send to Avignon, where Pope Clement VI resided, a delegation of prelates with a view to securing the rescindment if not of the Christian interdiction against cannibalism then at least of the torments of hell that faced the inadvertent cannibals. The delegation set off, with a tidy sum of money, bare-footed, bearing candles and singing psalms. But the roads of that time were not very safe and doubtless strewn with temptation. Anyway, the fact is that Clement VI never saw any sign of the penitents, and with good reason.
1884 quotesgaze quotesremains quotesgenerally quotesneglected quotesmonument quotessocalled quotesdagoberts quotestower quotesincluded quotesninthcentury quotesstaircase quotesset quotesmasonry quotesthirtyfoot quoteshandrail quotesfashioned quotestrunk quotesgigantic quotesoak quotestree quotestradition quoteslived quotesbarber quotespastrycook quotesyear quotes1335 quotesplied quotestrade quotesdoor quotesreputation quotesproducts quotesdelicious quotesfound quotesgrew quotesday quotesday quotesmembers quoteshighranking quotesclergy quotesfond quotesextraordinary quotesmeat quotespies quotesgrounds quoteskeeping quotessecret quotesmeats quotesseasoned quotesman quotesmade quotessole quotesassistance quotesapprentice quotesresponsible quotespastry quotesneighbor quoteswon quotesfavor quotespublic quoteshonesty quotesskilled quoteshairdressing quotesshaving quotessteam quotesbaths quotesoffered quotesdog quotesinsistently quotesscratched quotesground quotesplace quotesghastly quotesorigins quotespastrycook quotesanimal quotesunearthed quoteshuman quotesbones quotesestablished quotessaturday quotesshutting quotesshop quotesoffer quotesshave quotesforeign quotesstudent quotesfree quotesput quotesunsuspecting quotesyoung quotestipback quotesseat quotescut quotesthroat quotesvictim quotesimmediately quotesrushed quotescellar quotesdelivery quotesadded quotesrequisite quotesseasoning quotesfamed quotesespecially quotesflesh quotesdelicate quotesdiet quotes quotesdubreuil quotescomments quotesfacetiously quoteswretched quotesfellows quotesburned quotespies quoteshouse quotesordered quotesdemolished quotesplace quotesbuilt quoteskind quotesexpiatory quotespyramid quotesfigure quotesfaces quotespyramid quotes1861 quotesstory quotestakes quotesturn quotesjoins quotesblack quotescomedy quotesconsiderable quotesnumber quotesecclesiastics quotesunwittingly quotesconsumed quotesguilty quotesgod quotesvenial quotessin quotesgreed quotesautomatically quotesexcommunicated quotesgrand quotescouncil quotesheld quotesaegis quotesbishops quotesdecided quotessend quotesavignon quotespope quotesclement quotesvi quotesresided quotesdelegation quotesprelates quotesview quotessecuring quotesrescindment quoteschristian quotesinterdiction quotescannibalism quotestorments quoteshell quotesfaced quotesinadvertent quotescannibals quotestidy quotessum quotesmoney quotesbarefooted quotesbearing quotescandles quotessinging quotespsalms quotesroads quotestime quotessafe quotesdoubtless quotesstrewn quotestemptation quotesfact quotessign quotespenitents quotesgood quotesreason quotes
I should like one day, as some anonymous pedestrian revisiting the scenes of these memories, to follow on the heels of an attentive reader - here are some - and to relish his delight when, with this book in his pocket, he finds himself in the presence of one of the characters described, mentioned or referred to earlier on, who do exist, large as life, and wittingly or not perpetuate their legend. I'd like people to investigate, to verify. You need to be an extremely well-informed reader to identify all the 'keys' scattered throughout these pages. Many readers may find among them the key to their own front door. In any case, what you need to know is this: in certain areas of Paris, the supernatural is part of everyday life. Local people accept this and have some involvement with it.
day quotesanonymous quotespedestrian quotesrevisiting quotesscenes quotesmemories quotesfollow quotesheels quotesattentive quotesreader quotesrelish quotesdelight quotesbook quotespocket quotesfinds quotespresence quotescharacters quotesmentioned quotesreferred quotesearlier quotesexist quoteslarge quoteslife quoteswittingly quotesperpetuate quoteslegend quotespeople quotesinvestigate quotesverify quotesextremely quoteswellinformed quotesidentify quoteskeys quotesscattered quotespages quotesreaders quotesfind quoteskey quotesfront quotesdoor quotescase quotesareas quotesparis quotessupernatural quotespart quoteseveryday quoteslife quoteslocal quotesaccept quotesinvolvement quotes
Fortunately the City is vigilant. It too has its secret weapons. Since the summer it has released safety valves that form part of a wonderful mechanism, known only to itself. For the past three months we've noticed the most heartening appearance all over the place of eccentrics, more or less raving lunatics, cranks, and reinvigorating crackpots.
fortunately quotescity quotesvigilant quotessecret quotesweapons quotessummer quotesreleased quotessafety quotesvalves quotesform quotespart quoteswonderful quotesmechanism quotespast quotesmonths quotesnoticed quotesheartening quotesappearance quotesplace quoteseccentrics quotesraving quoteslunatics quotescranks quotesreinvigorating quotescrackpots quotes
He insisted on clearing the table, and again devoted himself to his game of patience: piecing together the map of Paris, the bits of which he'd stuffed into the pocket of his raincoat, folded up any old how. I helped him. Then he asked me, straight out, 'What would you say was the true centre of Paris?' I was taken aback, wrong-footed. I thought this knowledge was part of a whole body of very rarefied and secret lore. Playing for time, I said, 'The starting point of France's roads... the brass plate on the parvis of Notre-Dame.' He gave me a withering look. 'Do you take for me a sap?' The centre of Paris, a spiral with four centres, each completely self-contained, independent of the other three. But you don't reveal this to just anybody. I suppose - I hope - it was in complete good faith that Alexandre Arnoux mentioned the lamp behind the apse of St-Germain-l'Auxerrois. I wouldn't have created that precedent. My turn now to let the children play with the lock. 'The centre, as you must be thinking of it, is the well of St-Julien-le-Pauvre. The 'Well of Truth' as it's been known since the eleventh century.' He was delighted. I'd delivered. He said, 'You know, you and I could do great things together. It's a pity I'm already 'beyond redemption', even at this very moment.' His unhibited display of brotherly affection was of childlike spontaneity. But he was still pursuing his line of thought: he dashed out to the nearby stationery shop and came back with a little basic pair of compasses made of tin. 'Look. The Vieux-Chene, the Well. The Well, the Arbre-a-Liege On either side of the Seine, adhering closely to the line he'd drawn, the age-old tavern signs were at pretty much the same distance from the magic well. 'Well, now, you see, it's always been the case that whenever something bad happens at the Vieux-Chene, a month later - a lunar month, that is, just twenty-eight days - the same thing happens at old La Frite's place, but less serious. A kind of repeat performance. An echo Then he listed, and pointed out on the map, the most notable of those key sites whose power he or his friends had experienced. In conclusion he said, 'I'm the biggest swindler there is, I'm prepared to be swindled myself, that's fair enough. But not just anywhere. There are places where, if you lie, or think ill, it's Paris you disrespect. And that upsets me. That's when I lose my cool: I hit back. It's as if that's what I was there for.
insisted quotesclearing quotestable quotesdevoted quotesgame quotespatience quotespiecing quotesmap quotesparis quotesbits quoteshed quotesstuffed quotespocket quotesraincoat quotesfolded quoteshelped quotesasked quotesstraight quoteswhat quotestrue quotescentre quotesparis quotesaback quoteswrongfooted quotesthought quotesknowledge quotespart quotesbody quotesrarefied quotessecret quoteslore quotesplaying quotestime quotesthe quotesstarting quotespoint quotesfrances quotesroads quotesbrass quotesplate quotesparvis quotesnotredame quotesgave quoteswithering quotesdo quotessap quotesspiral quotescentres quotescompletely quotesselfcontained quotesindependent quotesreveal quotessuppose quoteshope quotescomplete quotesgood quotesfaith quotesalexandre quotesarnoux quotesmentioned quoteslamp quotesapse quotesstgermainlauxerrois quotescreated quotesprecedent quotesturn quoteschildren quotesplay quoteslock quotescentre quotesthinking quotesstjulienlepauvre quoteswell quotestruth quoteseleventh quotescentury quotesdelighted quotesdelivered quotesyou quotesgreat quotesthings quotespity quotesbeyond quotesredemption quotesmoment quotesunhibited quotesdisplay quotesbrotherly quotesaffection quoteschildlike quotesspontaneity quotespursuing quotesline quotesthought quotesdashed quotesnearby quotesstationery quotesshop quotesback quotesbasic quotespair quotescompasses quotesmade quotestin quoteslook quotesvieuxchene quotesarbrealiege quotesside quotesseine quotesadhering quotesclosely quotesdrawn quotesageold quotestavern quotessigns quotespretty quotesdistance quotesmagic quoteswell quotescase quotesbad quotesmonth quoteslunar quotesmonth quotestwentyeight quotesdays quotesthing quotesla quotesfrites quotesplace quoteskind quotesrepeat quotesperformance quotesecho quoteslisted quotespointed quotesmap quotesnotable quoteskey quotessites quotespower quotesfriends quotesexperienced quotesconclusion quotesim quotesbiggest quotesswindler quotesprepared quotesswindled quotesfair quotesplaces quoteslie quotesill quotesparis quotesdisrespect quotesupsets quoteslose quotescool quoteshit quotesback quotes
The 'Oberge des Mailletz' is by far the oldest tavern of which any record can found in the City archives. In 1292, Adam des Mailletz, inn-keeper, paid a tithe of 18 sous and 6 deniers.This we learn from the Tax Register of the period. At the time it was founded, the Trois-Mailletz was the meeting place of masons, who under the supervision of Jehan de Chelles, carved out of white stone the biblical characters destined to grace the north and south choirs of Notre-Dame. Underneath the building, there are two floors of superimposed cellars: the deeper ones date from the Gallo-Roman period. What remains of the instruments of torture found in the cellars of the Petit-Che¢telet have been housed here, along with some other restored objects. A modest bar counter, a long-haired patron who bizarrely manages never to be freshly shaven or downright bearded. A stove in the middle of the shabby room; simple straightforward folk, less drunk than at Rue de Bie¨vre, and less dirty. Just what we needed.
oberge quotesdes quotesmailletz quotesoldest quotestavern quotesrecord quotesfound quotescity quotesarchives quotes1292 quotesadam quotesmailletz quotesinnkeeper quotespaid quotestithe quotes18 quotessous quotes6 quotesdeniersthis quoteslearn quotestax quotesregister quotesperiod quotestime quotesfounded quotestroismailletz quotesmeeting quotesplace quotesmasons quotessupervision quotesjehan quotesde quoteschelles quotescarved quoteswhite quotesstone quotesbiblical quotescharacters quotesdestined quotesgrace quotesnorth quotessouth quoteschoirs quotesnotredame quotesunderneath quotesbuilding quotesfloors quotessuperimposed quotescellars quotesdeeper quotesdate quotesgalloroman quotesremains quotesinstruments quotestorture quotescellars quotespetitche¢telet quoteshoused quotesrestored quotesobjects quotesmodest quotesbar quotescounter quoteslonghaired quotespatron quotesbizarrely quotesmanages quotesfreshly quotesshaven quotesdownright quotesbearded quotesstove quotesmiddle quotesshabby quotesroom quotessimple quotesstraightforward quotesfolk quotesdrunk quotesrue quotesbie¨vre quotesdirty quotesneeded quotes
Old Hubert must have had a premonition of his squalid demise. In October he said to me, 'Forty-two years I've had this place. I'd really like to go back home, but I ain't got the energy since my old girl died. And I can't sell it the way it is now. But anyway before I hang my hat up I'd be curious to know what's in that third cellar of mine.' The third cellar has been walled up by order of the civil defence authorities after the floods of 1910. A double barrier of cemented bricks prevents the rising waters from invading the upper floors when flooding occurs. In the event of storms or blocked drains, the cellar acts as a regulatory overflow. The weather was fine: no risk of drowning or any sudden emergency. There were five of us: Hubert, Gerard the painter, two regulars and myself. Old Marteau, the local builder, was upstairs with his gear, ready to repair the damage. We made a hole. Our exploration took us sixty metres down a laboriously-faced vaulted corridor (it must have been an old thoroughfare). We were wading through a disgusting sludge. At the far end, an impassable barrier of iron bars. The corridor continued beyond it, plunging downwards. In short, it was a kind of drain-trap. That's all. Nothing else. Disappointed, we retraced our steps. Old Hubert scanned the walls with his electric torch. Look! An opening. No, an alcove, with some wooden object that looks like a black statuette. I pick the thing up: it's easily removable. I stick it under my arm. I told Hubert, 'It's of no interest... ' and kept this treasure for myself. I gazed at it for hours on end, in private. So my deductions, my hunches were not mistaken: the Bie¨vre-Seine confluence was once the site where sorcerers and satanists must surely have gathered. And this kind of primitive magic, which the blacks of Central Africa practise today, was known here several centuries ago. The statuette had miraculously survived the onslaught of time: the well-known virtues of the waters of the Bie¨vre, so rich in tannin, had protected the wood from rotting, actually hardened, almost fossilized it. The object answered a purpose that was anything but aesthetic. Crudely carved, probably from heart of oak. The legs were slightly set apart, the arms detached from the body. No indication of gender. Four nails set in a triangle were planted in its chest. Two of them, corroded with rust, broke off at the wood's surface all on their own. There was a spike sunk in each eye. The skull, like a salt cellar, had twenty-four holes in which little tufts of brown hair had been planted, fixed in place with wax, of which there were still some vestiges. I've kept quiet about my find. I'm biding my time.
hubert quotespremonition quotessqualid quotesdemise quotesoctober quotesfortytwo quotesyears quotesplace quotesback quoteshome quotesenergy quotesgirl quotesdied quotessell quoteshang quoteshat quotescurious quotescellar quotesmine quoteswalled quotesorder quotescivil quotesdefence quotesauthorities quotesfloods quotes1910 quotesdouble quotesbarrier quotescemented quotesbricks quotesprevents quotesrising quoteswaters quotesinvading quotesupper quotesfloors quotesflooding quotesoccurs quotesevent quotesstorms quotesblocked quotesdrains quotesacts quotesregulatory quotesoverflow quotesweather quotesfine quotesrisk quotesdrowning quotessudden quotesemergency quoteshubert quotesgerard quotespainter quotesregulars quotesmarteau quoteslocal quotesbuilder quotesupstairs quotesgear quotesready quotesrepair quotesdamage quotesmade quoteshole quotesexploration quotessixty quotesmetres quoteslaboriouslyfaced quotesvaulted quotescorridor quotesthoroughfare quoteswading quotesdisgusting quotessludge quotesend quotesimpassable quotesiron quotesbars quotescontinued quotesplunging quotesshort quoteskind quotesdraintrap quotesdisappointed quotesretraced quotessteps quotesscanned quoteswalls quoteselectric quotestorch quotesopening quotesalcove quoteswooden quotesobject quotesblack quotesstatuette quotespick quotesthing quoteseasily quotesremovable quotesstick quotesarm quotestold quotesits quotesinterest quotes quotestreasure quotesgazed quoteshours quotesprivate quotesdeductions quoteshunches quotesmistaken quotesbie¨vreseine quotesconfluence quotessite quotessorcerers quotessatanists quotessurely quotesgathered quotesprimitive quotesmagic quotesblacks quotescentral quotesafrica quotespractise quotestoday quotescenturies quotesago quotesstatuette quotesmiraculously quotessurvived quotesonslaught quotestime quoteswellknown quotesvirtues quotesbie¨vre quotesrich quotestannin quotesprotected quoteswood quotesrotting quoteshardened quotesfossilized quotesanswered quotespurpose quotesaesthetic quotescrudely quotescarved quotesheart quotesoak quoteslegs quotesslightly quotesset quotesarms quotesdetached quotesbody quotesindication quotesgender quotesnails quotestriangle quotesplanted quoteschest quotescorroded quotesrust quotesbroke quoteswoods quotessurface quotesspike quotessunk quoteseye quotesskull quotessalt quotescellar quotestwentyfour quotesholes quotestufts quotesbrown quoteshair quotesplanted quotesfixed quotesplace quoteswax quotesvestiges quotesquiet quotesfind quotesbiding quotestime quotes
Sunset's the best time to take a stroll down Mouffetard, the ancient Via Mons Cetardus. The buildings along it are only two or three stories high. Many are crowned with conical dovecotes. Nowhere in Paris is the connection, the obscure kinship, between houses very close to each other more perceptible to the pedestrian than in this street. Close in age, not location. If one of them should show signs of decrepitude, if its face should sag, or it should lose a tooth, as it were, a bit of cornicing, within hours its sibling a hundred metres away, but designed according to the same plans and built by the same men, will also feel it's on its last legs. The houses vibrate in sympathy like the chords of a viola d'amore. Like cheddite charges giving each other the signal to explode simultaneously.
sunsets quotestime quotesstroll quotesmouffetard quotesancient quotesmons quotescetardus quotesbuildings quotesstories quoteshigh quotescrowned quotesconical quotesdovecotes quotesparis quotesconnection quotesobscure quoteskinship quoteshouses quotesclose quotesperceptible quotespedestrian quotesstreet quotesclose quotesage quoteslocation quotesshow quotessigns quotesdecrepitude quotesface quotessag quoteslose quotestooth quotesbit quotescornicing quoteshours quotessibling quoteshundred quotesmetres quotesdesigned quotesplans quotesbuilt quotesmen quotesfeel quoteslegs quotesvibrate quotessympathy quoteschords quotesviola quotesdamore quotescheddite quotescharges quotesgiving quotessignal quotesexplode quotessimultaneously quotes
An age-old city is like a pond. With its colours and reflections. Its chills and murk. Its ferment, its sorcery, its hidden life. A city is like a woman, with a woman's desires and dislikes. Her abandon and restraint. Her reserve - above all, her reserve. To get to the heart of a city, to learn its most subtle secrets, takes infinite tenderness, and patience sometimes to the point of despair. It calls for an artlessly delicate touch, a more or less unconditional love. Over centuries. Time works for those who place themselves beyond time. You're no true Parisian, you do not know your city, if you haven't experienced its ghosts. To become imbued with shades of grey, to blend into the drab obscurity of blind spots, to join the clammy crowd that emerges, or seeps, at certain times of day from the metros, railway stations, cinemas or churches, to feel a silent and distant brotherhood with the lonely wanderer, the dreamer in his shy solitude, the crank, the beggar, even the drunk - all this entails a long and difficult apprenticeship, a knowledge of people and places that only years of patient observation can confer.
ageold quotescity quotespond quotescolours quotesreflections quoteschills quotesmurk quotesferment quotessorcery quoteshidden quoteslife quoteswoman quoteswomans quotesdesires quotesdislikes quotesabandon quotesrestraint quotesreserve quotesreserve quotesheart quotescity quoteslearn quotessubtle quotessecrets quotestakes quotesinfinite quotestenderness quotespatience quotespoint quotesdespair quotescalls quotesartlessly quotesdelicate quotestouch quotesunconditional quoteslove quotescenturies quotestime quotesworks quotesplace quotestime quotestrue quotesparisian quotesexperienced quotesghosts quotesimbued quotesshades quotesgrey quotesblend quotesdrab quotesobscurity quotesblind quotesspots quotesjoin quotesclammy quotescrowd quotesemerges quotesseeps quotestimes quotesday quotesmetros quotesrailway quotesstations quotescinemas quoteschurches quotesfeel quotessilent quotesdistant quotesbrotherhood quoteslonely quoteswanderer quotesdreamer quotesshy quotessolitude quotescrank quotesbeggar quotesdrunk quotesentails quoteslong quotesdifficult quotesapprenticeship quotesknowledge quotespeople quotesplaces quotesyears quotespatient quotesobservation quotesconfer quotes
It's splendid how much at home we feel at Pignol's. A tacit complicity at every moment prevails among the regulars here. A process of self-selection operates: starving crooks, thirsty whores, witless grasses working for low-grade cops, middle- class types a bit too willing to conform (leaving aside the pound of black-market meat and the camembert without ration tickets) - all feel too ill at ease here. They've only got to stay away. Along with anyone else who doesn't meet the requirements of this establishment: first and foremost, to keep your trap shut. The war? Past history. The Krauts? Don't know any. Russia? Change at Reaumur. The police? There was a time when they were needed for directing the traffic. At Pignol's, silence constitutes the most important, most difficult and lengthiest induction ordeal. After that, it's a matter of imponderables. It works according to the rule of three: the people who don't get along with the people that I get along with are people I can't get along with. Syllogisms, of course. Now clear out!
splendid quoteshome quotesfeel quotespignols quotestacit quotescomplicity quotesmoment quotesprevails quotesregulars quotesprocess quotesselfselection quotesoperates quotesstarving quotescrooks quotesthirsty quoteswhores quoteswitless quotesgrasses quotesworking quoteslowgrade quotescops quotesmiddle quotesclass quotestypes quotesbit quotesconform quotesleaving quotespound quotesblackmarket quotesmeat quotescamembert quotesration quotestickets quotesill quotesease quotesstay quotesmeet quotesrequirements quotesestablishment quotesforemost quotestrap quotesshut quoteswar quotespast quoteshistory quoteskrauts quotesrussia quoteschange quotesreaumur quotespolice quotestime quotesneeded quotesdirecting quotestraffic quotespignols quotessilence quotesconstitutes quotesimportant quotesdifficult quoteslengthiest quotesinduction quotesordeal quotesmatter quotesimponderables quotesworks quotesrule quotespeople quotessyllogisms quotesclear quotes
No one will shake my conviction that those leaders of men, who are in the nature of carbuncles, of semi-conscious abscesses, who draw feverish crowds to them like noxious humours, have an innate knowledge of arrested time. They play with those vacant moments as though at a game of chequers. A fraction of suspended, frozen time, of inert time, jammed like a wedge into the most wonderfully oiled cogs of the most lucid of minds: and the whole mechanism is brought crashing to the ground, prepared to accept any authority, to endorse the most monstrous aberrations, especially collective ones.
shake quotesconviction quotesleaders quotesmen quotesnature quotescarbuncles quotessemiconscious quotesabscesses quotesdraw quotesfeverish quotescrowds quotesnoxious quoteshumours quotesinnate quotesknowledge quotesarrested quotestime quotesplay quotesvacant quotesmoments quotesgame quoteschequers quotesfraction quotessuspended quotesfrozen quotestime quotesinert quotesjammed quoteswedge quoteswonderfully quotesoiled quotescogs quoteslucid quotesminds quotesmechanism quotesbrought quotescrashing quotesground quotesprepared quotesaccept quotesauthority quotesendorse quotesmonstrous quotesaberrations quotescollective quotes
I'd very much like to 'conclude' something from this experiment. Or that it should raise a question in my mind, and a commitment to get to the bottom of the matter, to investigate, to come up with an outline of the beginning of an answer, however ill-defined or trite it might be... But no. I'm here to see, hear, observe - to experience. Let others explain.
An historian is a kind detective in search of the fact - remote or otherwise - that brings to a set of events apparently unconnected with each other, the link that unites them, their justification, their logic. You cannot imagine what great delights this profession affords. It's as if, in every incunablum, consumed by worms and steeped in boredom, in every inarticulate scrawl, in every collection of forgotten chronicles, there presides a mischievous sprite, winking at you, who at the appropriate time confers on you your reward in the form of renewed wonder.
historian quoteskind quotesdetective quotessearch quotesfact quotesremote quotesbrings quotesset quotesevents quotesapparently quotesunconnected quoteslink quotesunites quotesjustification quoteslogic quotesimagine quotesgreat quotesdelights quotesprofession quotesaffords quotesincunablum quotesconsumed quotesworms quotessteeped quotesboredom quotesinarticulate quotesscrawl quotescollection quotesforgotten quoteschronicles quotespresides quotesmischievous quotessprite quoteswinking quotestime quotesconfers quotesreward quotesform quotesrenewed quotes
But this is something you need to know: when you find a place that suits you, where you decide to go back to often, to meet your pals there, if you want to feel at home and not discover some snag at the wrong moment, sit yourself in a corner, write letters, read, try and eat there, and watch what goes on for a whole day. At least twice during the day, and three times if the place is open at night, there's that moment of 'temporal void'. It happens every day, at the very same hour, at the very same minute, but it varies from place to place. People are talking, letting their hair down, having a drink together, and all of a sudden, the moment of silence: everyone turns stock still, with their glasses in the air, their eyes fixed. Immediately afterwards the hubbub resumes. But that moment when nothing's happening - it can last five, ten minutes. And during that time, outside and everywhere else, for other people life goes on, faster, much faster, like an avalanche. If you're prepared for it, and take advantage of that moment not to be fazed and to have your say, you're certain to be heard, and if necessary even obeyed. Try it. You'll see.
find quotesplace quotessuits quotesdecide quotesback quotesmeet quotespals quotesfeel quoteshome quotesdiscover quotessnag quoteswrong quotesmoment quotessit quotescorner quoteswrite quotesletters quotesread quoteseat quoteswatch quotesday quotesday quotestimes quotesopen quotesnight quotesmoment quotestemporal quotesvoid quoteshour quotesminute quotesvaries quotesplace quotespeople quotestalking quotesletting quoteshair quotesdrink quotessudden quotessilence quotesturns quotesstock quotesglasses quotesair quoteseyes quotesfixed quotesimmediately quoteshubbub quotesresumes quotesnothings quoteshappening quotesten quotesminutes quotestime quotespeople quoteslife quotesfaster quotesavalanche quotesprepared quotesadvantage quotesfazed quotesheard quotesobeyed quotes