Georg went down an oblique, brown-gold surface. In the depths was a light, white forest; the trees stood wide apart and looked like big, snow-white bags that stood on the top. As he approached, he saw that they were huge, beautifully wound shell-snails; their turns glowed rosy, and in them trickled golden. Next to them were two piles of ebony wood, one always higher than the other, so that they formed a staircase, and still thinking that since they were always exalted one another, it must have been more than just two piles he had already climbed up, leaned over the round bulging, curved edge of the shell and saw that a spiral staircase led down. He descended her, she turned away into the bottomless under his feet, it was evening and darkness, meanwhile he got up, but then he knew that he was again going down the forbidden stairway in Pallassen, the Trassenberg. But this time the door was open, it blew icy cold out of the corridor, George knew that there was one without being able to see it, and groped his way forward, grazing the very near walls with both hands. Soon he came to a bend, to another, it went right, went left, Georg thought: the trap door must come soon, he walked slowly, in great fear, suddenly there was a black door opening and behind her the bottomless. The fear was gone grazing the very near walls with both hands, forward. Soon he came to a bend, to another, it went right, went left, Georg thought: the trap door must come soon, he walked slowly, in great fear, suddenly there was a black door opening and behind her the bottomless. The fear was gone grazing the very near walls with both hands, forward. Soon he came to a bend, to another, it went right, went left, Georg thought: the trap door must come soon, he walked slowly, in great fear, suddenly there was a black door opening and behind her the bottomless. The fear was gone he breathed, he knew that he was dying, that he ought to tumble down and crash, no, he knew that even when he fell, everything would be over, and the ground was already giving way, he fell, he broke up, sinking backwards in death, still thinking, it’s not so bad, dying – –
He opened his eyes.
Uncertain for a while, where he found himself, he slowly recognized the brown door opposite, with the bright crack of light next door, then in the corner to the right of it the small chimney with the silhouette of the hanging teapot over the red glow – slowly the whole little room, filled with shadows, the silhouette of the table between the fireplace and the sofa on which he sat, and he heard the English, loose sliding windows crack and patter softly under gentle bumps of the night wind. In the next room someone cleared his throat, Benno … There he sat invisibly and composed by his lamp …
The appearance of the dream escaped to the same extent as the sleepiness, only the memory of the dark gait remained; he shuddered quietly in the thought of dying, how he dissolved, anxious and yet calmed down …
But then again, as always, Renate, turned away from him, was walking through a room, indistinct, only her appearance, almost only her bearing, as if she were coming out of the door and walking toward a table-George did not see him- and put something on it, a book, a bunch of keys, which she broke up … Always the same appearance …
George got up, drunk with sleep and feeling, from the sofa, put a few pieces of wood in the embers, sat down next to it on the chair at the table, unfolded the lying block of letters, seized the quill and plunged into writing.
Serk, he wrote, in May.
Galatea, O Galatea! I am dying, I am dying of you for homesickness! In the dream I just suffered a slight death, you were not in the dream, I do not understand it, how could death be easy without you! All my veins are open in my body, the blood is streaming, on each wave your smile escapes me with the continuing life …
Shall I tell you dreams, sweet soul? Come, listen to a dream!
It was a garden and a shrubbery. There was a voice in the bushes, it just rustled. Then came out an arm that lifted the branches upwards, a white arm, then a woman stood on the April night, brought out two swords behind her back, one in each hand, and pushed them through my back and chest …
But in one night I had this dream:
I went on the beach of the ocean, when I saw the Meerweib from afar. She stood, near her was a rock arch, a huge grotto entrance, and she stood as if she had lifted a bell of waters when emerging from the dark sea, which now bulged as a black dress around her lower half, hung around the obre Wavy foam as a white, triangular cloth with long, flowing fringes. So she stood, her hand on her chin, in the other elbow, musing, but she sang, I heard her voice:
Lonliness – –
Loneliness, you beautiful Born
Stillgewordner soul complaints!
Roar through the conch shell
Sounding in the long days.
When the god took the horn,
Rolls the thunder on the coasts,
And the boat of God is roaring,
And it sounds – –
Loneliness – – Georg wrote, then tore it off, because he had: ‘and it sounds in my breasts’ want to write, but repressed it, as it seemed frivolous and inappropriate to secretly speak of her as if he were her undressed without her knowing; then the rhyme came to him too ordinary and mean – nowadays – before, he added still apathetically the gap with: ‘in rock stands’, nervously heard the annoying clatter of the lid on the teapot and squatted senseless. Before his eyes, the jet of red steam streamed from the spout, a chair was moved next door, Benno walked carefully through the room, then a few handles on the piano and suddenly a soft chord of such sweetness that George’s heart contracted. Fear, longing, melancholy violently sucked on his breast; why am I sitting here? he thought heavily.
Regardless, just to do something, he pulled open the sliding drawer against his body, got an oilcloth notebook and opened it. La vita nuova stood tall and lonely on the first page. Georg made critical eyes. The next one was just as lonely: Galatea …
Georg randomly knocked over some leaves and read:
“The sea was black and actually invisible, but over its edge out of nowhere rose a red disk, glowing, and was a large, round fish hovering over the silent sea. On his back stood a black man as cut out, with a protruding wreath of wild hair, holding a shell horn to his mouth and blew inaudible. Then you said: you have to shoot the loneliness in the heart. But I had only a small rubber will in the hand, as we did as a boy. Then I aimed at the fish, and when I met it, it stopped slowly, became again quite round and wagged once with the tail. Then he conjured up a goggling, green eye, looked maliciously at it, and sank into the tide, where it remained visible in the deep sinking, as the water passed over him in black folds. The man,
Georg raised his eyes from the end of the page, reached for a cigarette, felt for the matches completely dissolved in unconsciousness, and squatted, his cigarette in his mouth, for several minutes.
The teapot lid clattered insanely. Georg jerked to his feet, lifted the cauldron from the hare and set it on the ground, where he had another For a while, he frowned and coughed, until he ran out of breath and he fell silent. The pages of the notebook had heaved themselves up, Georg read somewhere the words:
“There is nothing to which nature can not use; I want to use it as a medicine. I have to live for some time without memory. If it does not work, I’ll hand it over to Benno. There is nothing that can not be entrusted to him. ”
Yes / Yes …
The night was deadly quiet, nothing to hear from the sea. There you sat now in the middle of the huge canal, the immense breast of the Atlantic Ocean pressed against him, far away in their loneliness the ships wandered …
Fear lay on George’s chest. Had something changed? Was anything clearer? Oh, if Benno wanted to play the piano, that he could sit in the dark and, like a boy, when Uncle Salomon once played, put his ear against the sounding wall and forget the amazement of the musical roaring inside. Oh no, he had not entrusted his memory to Benno, things were always in front of him that he did not understand, as if he had to face the next day to operate a machine whose construction and effect he had no idea …
Georg continued to leaf through his notebook, through pages full of verses, sonnets, sonnets, sonnets, and, what art, he thought, to express his mood through plausible comparisons! Then letters came back to her, which he called Galatea-by yes, his highest and most secret dream was that she, this most marvelous marble in female form, let him introduce her to the warm life – effusions, hymns, prayers, confessions in flowery prose …
And again he saw her uncertain figure, turned away from him, go away and – – disappear into the air.
It was written:
“I cleanse my inner man. I become a piece of nature, earth, when the sunshine, tree, when the wind, hollow shell, when the constant thunder of the sea fills me with noisy chimes. My being becomes more airy, open, spreading, I feel, I empty, I purify myself. – ”
Have we cleaned ourselves, Benno? Good soul, what amazed you about this Ossian island of gray and reddish rock, this titanic structure, grottos, rock arches and caves as on Odysse pictures of Preller. And all around the huge canal. Then we let ourselves be comfortable, rolled against the surf in the sand, stormed over the embankment between the two halves of the island, a hundred meters above the sea, with fluttering shirt collars against the open sky, against the wild wind, shouting English gulls in German incomprehensible Insults too – then – then I shot rabbits on the island Brechou, and you admired me doing so. Oh, you have always admired me! When I could no longer endure alone, when one day the memory of everything that had grown like a tree grew out of my head and huge fruits, Those who rushed down, threatening to slay me, there – yes, you shuddered in horror at the unheard-of achievement and in admiration of me, who would surely make the right thing …
And Georg recalled how they had spent the night talking to each other, fighting the duel as if with moving puppets, the ideal of becoming a prince, as the world demanded, the truth there, the self-humiliation of him. But the feud always remained undecided, they fell silent, slipped about-well, Benno did not do that for long; he had never lost heart, and after he had scarcely dared to write a line before, for fear of it Beethoven might so he dared to record it with all the voices of the ocean and the wind …
And then we lay on one of the green, wind-swept islands in the interior, gave ourselves to the sun struggling, dreaming colorful and fantastic, for Benno unheard, gloria and wreaths, women and races, yachts under giant sail and white, naked women bodies in an azure sea and in a paradisical mess with striped, yellow tigers and black leopards.
Benno’s footsteps approached the door, Georg heard him ask behind his back: “Are you writing?”
“No, I’m just reading! You want to go to sleep? ”
Turning, he saw Benno, as long as he was still thin and long-necked in the open collar of his shirt, face and eyes burned and ashamed of Visions, go through the room and sit down on the sofa, crossing your legs and narrowing yourself with innate humility. The reddish mustache hung ragged and punished, eyes went up as usual.
“Look what I’ve written,” Georg said, after Benno muttered something like “not at all tired,” and read:
“Never resist a realization. Every emotional gesture, captured in the grace of rhyming lines, emanates a captivating credibility. The easier it is to make the mistake, the more beautiful your feelings will be. It’s just a papery spring. Wind and stars, moon and sun, waves and seagulls, all that drives you around, and in the end you lie there. You are just a natural top. – Listen, Benno, there is one more addition. Addition: If the surface of a brightly colored spinning top swirls around, the colors disappear into irrelevant gray. It is the same with the soul. But when she lies down and becomes quiet, she lovingly shows her pure, colorful circles … ”
Benno sat and smiled friendly.
“Benno, what do you think?”
“I? Oh! I thought, “he said shamefully in his broken voice,” to the kiwi in Unterprima and – ”
“Oh, because I’m talking about physical things, you think of physics professors! Oh my God, these physics lessons were the worst thing in the world! And when he did an experiment, everything went bad. Yes, that’s where we’re sitting in the channel … ”
Benno jerked up to his length and stepped to the window, propping his hands up and looking into the night. – I think, Georg thought, he is homesick.