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, November 12, 2016

From Andre Gide's "Autumn Leaves"

Flipping between Gide's Immoralist (almost finished) and a book of his essays: Autumn Leaves.

Excerpt from an essay entitled "My Mother":

     "Is what you said to me as we left our cousin's true?" she began with a great effort. "You really think so? I was ... well, as good as the others?"
     And as I began to exclaim, she continued mournfully:
     "If your father had told me so even once ... I never dared ask him, and I needed so terribly to know, when we went out together, if he was ..."
     She was silent for a moment. I looked at her trying to hold back the tears. She finished in a lower tone of voice, hardly audible:
     "... if he was pleased with me."
     I think that those were her exact words which suddenly let me understand how many worries, unasked questions and expectations could, under the appearance of happiness, still dwell in even the most united of couples. And such were my parents in the eyes of everyone and of their son. What my mother had vainly awaited was not a compliment from my father, but only the assurance that she had been able to prove herself worthy of him, that he had not been disappointed in her. But what my father thought, I knew no more than she; and I understood, that evening, that every soul carries to the tomb to hide it there, some secret. 
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