The Twentieth Century in Retirement

Let’s try to imagine it: a little like old Tolstoy he strolls the fields of Picardy,   where funny tanks once clumsily defeated the terrain’s slight elevation.   He visits the town where Bruno Schulz died or sits on a riverbank    above the Vistula’s dim water, a meadow scented with warm dandelions, burdocks, and memory.   He doesn’t speak, rarely smiles. Doctors warn him  to avoid emotion.   He says: I’ve learned one thing There is only mercy — for people, animals, trees, and paintings.   Only mercy — always too late.

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