-> ->

“What are the dead, anyway, but waves and energy? Light shining from a dead star? That, by the way, is a phrase of Julian's. I remember it from a lecture of his on the Iliad, when Patroklos appears to Achilles in a dream. There is a very moving passage where Achilles overjoyed at the sight of the apparition – tries to throw his arms around the ghost of his old friend, and it vanishes. The dead appear to us in dreams, said Julian, because that's the only way they can make us see them; what we see is only a projection, beamed from a great distance, light shining at us from a dead star… Which reminds me, by the way, of a dream I had a couple of weeks ago. I found myself in a strange deserted city – an old city, like London – underpopulated by war or disease. It was night; the streets were dark, bombed-out, abandoned. For a long time, I wandered aimlessly – past ruined parks, blasted statuary, vacant lots overgrown with weeds and collapsed apartment houses with rusted girders poking out of their sides like ribs. But here and there, interspersed among the desolate shells of the heavy old public buildings, I began to see new buildings, too, which were connected by futuristic walkways lit from beneath. Long, cool perspectives of modern architecture, rising phosphorescent and eerie from the rubble. I went inside one of these new buildings. It was like a laboratory, maybe, or a museum. My footsteps echoed on the tile floors.There was a cluster of men, all smoking pipes, gathered around an exhibit in a glass case that gleamed in the dim light and lit their faces ghoulishly from below. I drew nearer. In the case was a machine revolving slowly on a turntable, a machine with metal parts that slid in and out and collapsed in upon themselves to form new images. An Inca temple… click click click… the Pyramids… the Parthenon. History passing beneath my very eyes, changing every moment. 'I thought I'd find you here,' said a voice at my elbow. It was Henry. His gaze was steady and impassive in the dim light. Above his ear, beneath the wire stem of his spectacles, I could just make out the powder burn and the dark hole in his right temple. I was glad to see him, though not exactly surprised. 'You know,' I said to him, 'everybody is saying that you're dead.' He stared down at the machine. The Colosseum… click click click… the Pantheon. 'I'm not dead,' he said. 'I'm only having a bit of trouble with my passport.' 'What?' He cleared his throat. 'My movements are restricted,' he said. 'I no longer have the ability to travel as freely as I would like.' Hagia Sophia. St. Mark's, in Venice. 'What is this place?' I asked him. 'That information is classified, I'm afraid.' 1 looked around curiously. It seemed that I was the only visitor. 'Is it open to the public?' I said. 'Not generally, no.' I looked at him. There was so much I wanted to ask him, so much I wanted to say; but somehow I knew there wasn't time and even if there was, that it was all, somehow, beside the point. 'Are you happy here?' I said at last. He considered this for a moment. 'Not particularly,' he said. 'But you're not very happy where you are, either.' St. Basil's, in Moscow. Chartres. Salisbury and Amiens. He glanced at his watch. 'I hope you'll excuse me,' he said, 'but I'm late for an appointment.' He turned from me and walked away. I watched his back receding down the long, gleaming hall.” ? Donna Tartt, The Secret History

Tags:

“What

are

the

dead



anyway



but

waves

and

energy



Light

shining

from

a

dead

star

That



by

the

way



is

a

phrase

of

Julian

s



I

remember

it

from

a

lecture

of

his

on

the

Iliad



when

Patroklos

appears

to

Achilles

in

a

dream



There

is

a

very

moving

passage

where

Achilles

overjoyed

at

the

sight

of

the

apparition



tries

to

throw

his

arms

around

the

ghost

of

his

old

friend



and

it

vanishes



The

dead

appear

to

us

in

dreams



said

Julian



because

that

s

the

only

way

they

can

make

us

see

them



what

we

see

is

only

a

projection



beamed

from

a

great

distance



light

shining

at

us

from

a

dead

star… Which

reminds

me



by

the

way



of

a

dream

I

had

a

couple

of

weeks

ago

I

found

myself

in

a

strange

deserted

city



an

old

city



like

London



underpopulated

by

war

or

disease



It

was

night



the

streets

were

dark



bombed

out



abandoned



For

a

long

time



I

wandered

aimlessly



past

ruined

parks



blasted

statuary



vacant

lots

overgrown

with

weeds

and

collapsed

apartment

houses

with

rusted

girders

poking

out

of

their

sides

like

ribs



But

here

and

there



interspersed

among

the

desolate

shells

of

the

heavy

old

public

buildings



I

began

to

see

new

buildings



too



which

were

connected

by

futuristic

walkways

lit

from

beneath



Long



cool

perspectives

of

modern

architecture



rising

phosphorescent

and

eerie

from

the

rubble

I

went

inside

one

of

these

new

buildings



It

was

like

a

laboratory



maybe



or

a

museum



My

footsteps

echoed

on

the

tile

floors

There

was

a

cluster

of

men



all

smoking

pipes



gathered

around

an

exhibit

in

a

glass

case

that

gleamed

in

the

dim

light

and

lit

their

faces

ghoulishly

from

below

I

drew

nearer



In

the

case

was

a

machine

revolving

slowly

on

a

turntable



a

machine

with

metal

parts

that

slid

in

and

out

and

collapsed

in

upon

themselves

to

form

new

images



An

Inca

temple…

click

click

click…

the

Pyramids…

the

Parthenon

History

passing

beneath

my

very

eyes



changing

every

moment



I

thought

I

d

find

you

here





said

a

voice

at

my

elbow

It

was

Henry



His

gaze

was

steady

and

impassive

in

the

dim

light



Above

his

ear



beneath

the

wire

stem

of

his

spectacles



I

could

just

make

out

the

powder

burn

and

the

dark

hole

in

his

right

temple

I

was

glad

to

see

him



though

not

exactly

surprised





You

know





I

said

to

him





everybody

is

saying

that

you

re

dead



He

stared

down

at

the

machine



The

Colosseum…

click

click

click…

the

Pantheon





I

m

not

dead





he

said





I

m

only

having

a

bit

of

trouble

with

my

passport





What



He

cleared

his

throat





My

movements

are

restricted





he

said



I

no

longer

have

the

ability

to

travel

as

freely

as

I

would

like



Hagia

Sophia



St



Mark

s



in

Venice





What

is

this

place





I

asked

him



That

information

is

classified



I

m

afraid



1

looked

around

curiously



It

seemed

that

I

was

the

only

visitor



Is

it

open

to

the

public





I

said



Not

generally



no



I

looked

at

him



There

was

so

much

I

wanted

to

ask

him



so

much

I

wanted

to

say



but

somehow

I

knew

there

wasn

t

time

and

even

if

there

was



that

it

was

all



somehow



beside

the

point



Are

you

happy

here





I

said

at

last

He

considered

this

for

a

moment





Not

particularly





he

said



But

you

re

not

very

happy

where

you

are



either



St



Basil

s



in

Moscow



Chartres



Salisbury

and

Amiens



He

glanced

at

his

watch



I

hope

you

ll

excuse

me





he

said





but

I

m

late

for

an

appointment



He

turned

from

me

and

walked

away



I

watched

his

back

receding

down

the

long



gleaming

hall







Donna

Tartt



The

Secret

History



 Good Luck!