The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

Crambe repetita (22)

The whole scene is raucous, everyone shouts, from the long-haired water-bearer to the tall Tartar selling used clothes. People pour from shops and chapels on to the sidewalks. Little old women sell Crimean apples smooth as gall-nuts. A bearded constable leans on his long sabre. Everywhere underfoot are chestnut burrs and the crisp cupules of tiny, black ashberries. A fine dust of horse-dung falls in a drizzle like the flakes of russet gold in a liqueur. […] Two days later snow falls. Everything is hidden, subdued. All sounds are muffled. The sleighs pass silently. It snows. It snows feathers of down and the roofs are puffs of white smoke. The houses retire into themselves. The towers, the churches are eclipsed. The bells ring underground, with a wooden knell. The restless multitudes have found a new tempo, their steps are short and hurried, they rush along. Every passer-by is a clockwork toy. The cold is like a resinous glaze. It lubricates. It fills your mouth with turpentine. Your lungs are greased and you feel a tremendous hunger. In every house the tables groan under the weight of food; golden fragrant cabbage pies, lemon bouillons with sour cream; appetizers of every shape, for every taste; smoked fish; roast meats; grouse with a sweet-sour jelly; game meats; fruit; bottles of spirits; black bread, soldier’s bread, and kalatch, that pure flower of wheat.

—Blaise Cendrars
(Moravagine, p. 59f.)


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