Thursday, February 16, 2012

Extracts from - The Walking Man - by J.M.G Le Clezio

One can waste the better part of a lifetime in walking without actually being a walking man. That's obvious. And on the other hand one may have walked very little, really one may never have cared for walking, never been good at walkig, and yet be unquestionably a walking manSuch is the law of all deep-seated life, according to which beings and objects exist only in terms of a pattern peculiar to themselves, an achievement for which they are granted no handicap, no limit and no appeal. 
* * *
Paoli strolled like this along a succession of streets, some of them shady, others sunny. A mysterious force had entered into him, had distended his muscles and sinews, and was propelling him forward, over the resonant concrete. It was rather as though his body were inhabited by a perfect mechanism, where nothing was left to chance, where each movement followed naturally upon the one before, simply owing to the play of the driving-rods pivoting on their axes, of valves commanded by complex, decisive systems of gears, wth smooth wheels and cogwheels, ball-bearings steel pins and an infinity of screws. In his brain, nothing was clear. No idea could manage to take shape, not the tiniest thought. It was an expanse of fog, prevailing from end to end of his skull, from which nothing emerged except the rock, the tense cry of determination. A sort of tightrope, stretched to breaking-point, extending straight ahead of him, as far as the horizon and even beyond, along which he was walking without understanding.