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   Chapter 142 No.142

Two Years in the French West Indies By Lafcadio Hearn Characters: 1342

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02


... It is very hot.... I hold in my hand a Japanese paper-fan with a design upon it of the simplest sort: one jointed green bamboo, with a single spurt of sharp leaves, cutting across a pale blue murky double streak that means the horizon above a sea. That is all. Trivial to my Northern friends this design might seem; but to me it causes a pleasure bordering on pain.... I know so well what the artist means; and they could not know, unless they had seen bamboos,-and bamboos peculiarly situated. As I look at this fan I know myself descending the Morne Parnasse by the steep winding road; I have the sense of windy heights behind me, and forest on either hand, and bef

ore me the blended azure of sky and sea with one bamboo-spray swaying across it at the level of my eyes. Nor is this all;-I have the every sensation of the very moment,-the vegetal odors, the mighty tropic light, the wamrth, the intensity of irreproducible color.... Beyond a doubt, the artist who dashed the design on this fan with his miraculous brush must have had a nearly similar experience to that of which the memory is thus aroused in me, but which I cannot communicate to others.

... And it seems to me now that all which I have tried to write about the Pays des Revenants can only be for others, who have never beheld it,-vague like the design upon this fan.

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