Andre Malraux: an Age of Oppression Pb: (Le Temps Du Mepris) by NEWNHAM

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Sample text

His hand, that hand which was going to become his fatal weapon, dangled down at his side like a tool-bag. The coming hour would be exactly the same as this one; the thousands of muffled little noises filling the silence of the prison would carry on sounding like swarms of over-burdened bugs teeming endlessly around, living out their exhausting existence until the end of time, and a layer of equally anguished suffering would envelop that never-changing realm of nothingness, like a stifling blanket of dust.

Her wavy hair was all over the place, her eyelids half-closed over her enormous, pale-blue eyes, eyes like a Siamese cat’s, and her mask-like expression now relieved of pain and devoid of joy — its former vivaciousness utterly drained away. Even if he ever succeeded in getting away from here, once he got out he would return to a world which would be forever cut off from the old one; he would bear the scars of that lonely death for the rest of his life. This alone was enough to make him realise what a powerful effect the darkness was having on him, tying his mind up in knots, and how powerful was the enemy which had succeeded in cutting him off like this from the solid reality of the real world, just like the insane or the dead.

There was nothing here, nothing around him but a geometrically-shaped hollow in the immense mass of stone and nothing in that but human flesh waiting to be tortured. But there would be Russian songs, and Bach and Beethoven too, inside this hole. His memory was full of them. Slowly, very slowly, the music began to drive away his madness, lifting it from his breast, then from his arms, then from his fingers and out of his cell; it gently stroked every one of his muscles, with the exception of his incredibly tender throat (although he was not actually singing out loud, he was only remembering the music) which felt as tender as his split lower lip.

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