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Upon reading the last words of Makine's novel

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Andrei Makine: You know I shall have to go soon. But before leaving, I shall have enough time to tell you what is essential. The winter's day I can see and which one part of me is beginning to inhabit. A muted day, traversed by slowly eddying flakes. A time will come when everything is like that moment in winter. You will appear amid the snowbound sleep of the trees, on the shore of a frozen lake. And you will begin walking on the still fragile ice - every step you take will be deep pain and joy for me. You will walk towards me, letting me recognise you at every step. As you draw closer you will show me, in the hollow of your hand, a fistful of berries, the very last of them, found beneath the snow. Bitter and frozen. The icy treads of the wooden steps will give off a crunching sound that I have not heard for an eternity. In the house I shall remove the chain from the weight-driven clock so as to undo the knot. But we shall no longer have any need of its hours. (From Requiem for the East)

So ends this novel, with the deep, heavy tones of the sombre mind. His words weigh heavily on me, for they speak, for me at least, of some unfathomable, invisible world deep within the recesses of the Subject. This is the Other, the One we love and the one we fear to the point of Abjection, a Kristevan crystal.

It is terrifying, its simplicity tears at me. This is terror we know intimately, at the very bottom of that pit we call the Self, a sort of inconsequentiality that stares at you plainly, warmly, horrifically - "deep pain and joy"


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