Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Romeo and Julieta,Tulip tree, J-P Sartre

Slowly smoking one of the Romeo and Julieta No 2 cigars, which Heidi brought back for me from Gibralter last month.

Waking, as I always do, to the sight of the tulip tree in the middle distance in the centre of the bedroom window. It is an old tree and has attained a considerable height. In the centre of the tree, there is a space among the leaves where you can see how the trunk has forked into three branches. This skewed fork pattern has engraved itself on my mind in summer, and in winter, when the leaves are gone; it has become a symbol of morning time.

When I was young lots of people were talking about Jean-Paul Sartre, though not as many, I suspect, had read him. Now that he is out of fashion, I am reading Nausea, his first novel, very slowly because in French. It confronts the existence, which we all take for granted, as though every moment was the first moment and the last moment. Could be exhausting if you took it too seriously, but more fun than I expected.

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