One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Letter from Flaubert to George Sand

Sunday night, at eleven o'clock, there was such lovely moonlight along the river and on the snow that I was taken with an itch for movement, and I walked for two hours and a half imagining all sorts of things, pretending that I was travelling in Russia or in Norway.  When the tide came in and cracked the cakes of ice in the Seine and the thin ice which covered the stream, it was, without exaggeration, superb.  Then I thought of you and I missed you.


***


Via Kindle I'm dipping into their letters (over 300, more Sand than Flaubert) from time to time.  I'm certain my mind has made of this passage more than it is--and yet, over the last week or two, I have kept coming back to this snapshot.  What is it?  The wandering artist/writer pretending he is somewhere else?  The discovery of the fantastic in the natural world? 


The other day I caught myself staring at a chaotic arrangement of woodchips (nature modified by man) on the sidewalk, and I thought of Flaubert.   
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