Revisiting "The Escapee"

I know there is a point at which one tires of hiring about any enthusiasm, and I'm afraid that I may try the patience of what few regulars may visit this place as I continue to mine the slender volume I'm reading for wonderful glimpses into language and other realities--reallities that it behooves us to be better aware of.  Nevertheless, I would be remiss if I didn't share what I thought was the best of the best, and so here is another small excerpt from an amazing story.

from "The Escapee"
in The Round and Other Cold Hard Facts
J. M. G. Le Clézio

The stars come out very faintly, then grow brighter and brighter. Never had they shone so brightly before. Resting his head on the grass, Tayar watches them in delight. Just as he had the night before he recognizes them. He finds their positions in the sky, the patterns they make, right down to the very smallest ones that barely glimmer, so low and close to the earth.  Tonight, there is something different about them, as though they carried a hidden mesage. A sort of music that goes straight to the very core of his being and makes him restless. Tayar watches the path of stars flowing across the black sky; he listens to their shrill buoyant song scattering into the void. The sky is all encompassing; it covers everything, and below it, time is eradicated in a multiple vortex. Endlessly, new patterns, new stars appear. Tayer is aware that he no longer has a face or a body but that he's become a steady pinpoint in the night, there, upon the cold earth. Without closing his eyes, he slips, leaden, into an ice-cold sleep that slows his heartbeat and respiration.  Above him, the stars are quick and intense with life, dazzlingly bright, their strident songs interweaving in the night, like the calls of insects.

Do yourself a favor and give this wonderful writer a chance.  I suspect that you will be glad that you did.


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