Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle
Part 4 (annotations forthcoming)

Here a heckler asked, with the arrogant air of one wanting to
see a gentleman’s driving license, how did the “Prof” reconcile
his refusal to grant the future the status of Time with the fact
that it, the future, could hardly be considered nonexistent, since
535.05 “it possessed at least one future, I mean, feature, involving such
an important idea as that of absolute necessity.”
Throw him out. Who said I shall die?
Refuting the determinist’s statement more elegantly: uncon-
sciousness, far from awaiting us, with flyback and noose, some-
535.10 where ahead, envelops both the Past and the Present from all
conceivable sides, being a character not of Time itself but of
organic decline natural to all things whether conscious of Time
or not. That I know others die is irrelevant to the case. I also
know that you, and, probably, I, were born, but that does not
535.15 prove we went through the chronal phase called the Past: my
Present, my brief span of consciousness, tells me I did, not the
silent thunder of the infinite unconsciousness proper to my birth
fifty-two years and 195 days ago. My first recollection goes
back to mid-July, 1870, i.e., my seventh month of life (with
535.20 most people, of course, retentive consciousness starts somewhat

[ 535 ]

later, at three or four years of age) when, one morning, in our
Riviera villa, a chunk of green plaster ornament, dislodged from
the ceiling by an earthquake, crashed into my cradle. The 195
days preceding that event being indistinguishable from infinite
536.05 unconsciousness, are not to be included in perceptual time, so
that, insofar as my mind and my pride of mind are concerned, I
am today (mid-July, 1922) quite exactly fifty-two, et trêve de
mon style plafond peint.
In the same sense of individual, perceptual time, I can put my
536.10 Past in reverse gear, enjoy this moment of recollection as much
as I did the horn of abundance whose stucco pineapple just
missed my head, and postulate that next moment a cosmic or
corporeal cataclysm might—not kill me, but plunge me into a
permanent state of stupor, of a type sensationally new to science,
536.15 thus depriving natural dissolution of any logical or chronal sense.
Furthermore, this reasoning takes care of the much less interest-
ing (albeit important, important) Universal Time (“we had a
thumping time chopping heads”) also known as Objective Time
(really, woven most coarsely of private times), the history, in
536.20 a word, of humanity and humor, and that kind of thing. Nothing
prevents mankind as such from having no future at all—if for
example our genus evolves by imperceptible (this is the ramp of
my argument) degrees a novo-sapiens species or another sub-
genus altogether, which will enjoy other varieties of being and
536.25 dreaming, beyond man’s notion of Time. Man, in that sense,
will never die, because there may never be a taxonomical point
in his evolutionary progress that could be determined as the last
stage of man in the cline turning him into Neohomo, or some
horrible, throbbing slime. I think our friend will not bother us
536.30 any further.
My purpose in writing my Texture of Time, a difficult, delec-
table and blessed work, a work which I am about to place on the
dawning desk of the still-absent reader, is to purify my own
notion of Time. I wish to examine the essence of Time, not its

[ 536 ]

lapse, for I do not believe that its essence can be reduced to its
lapse. I wish to caress Time.
One can be a lover of Space and its possibilities: take, for
example, speed, the smoothness and sword-swish of speed; the
537.05 aquiline glory of ruling velocity; the joy cry of the curve; and
one can be an amateur of Time, an epicure of duration. I delight
sensually in Time, in its stuff and spread, in the fall of its folds,
in the very impalpability of its grayish gauze, in the coolness of
its continuum. I wish to do something about it; to indulge in a
537.10 simulacrum of possession. I am aware that all who have tried to
reach the charmed castle have got lost in obscurity or have
bogged down in Space. I am also aware that Time is a fluid
medium for the culture of metaphors.
Why is it so difficult—so degradingly difficult—to bring the
537.15 notion of Time into mental focus and keep it there for inspec-
tion? What an effort, what fumbling, what irritating fatigue! It
is like rummaging with one hand in the glove compartment for
the road map—fishing out Montenegro, the Dolomites, paper
money, a telegram—everything except the stretch of chaotic
537.20 country between Ardez and Somethingsoprano, in the dark, in
the rain, while trying to take advantage of a red light in the coal
black, with the wipers functioning metronomically, chronomet-
rically: the blind finger of space poking and tearing the texture
of time. And Aurelius Augustinus, too, he, too, in his tussles with
537.25 the same theme, fifteen hundred years ago, experienced this
oddly physical torment of the shallowing mind, the shchekotiki
(tickles) of approximation, the evasions of cerebral exhaustion—
but he, at least, could replenish his brain with God-dispensed
energy (have a footnote here about how delightful it is to watch
537.30 him pressing on and interspersing his cogitations, between sands
and stars, with vigorous little fits of prayer).
Lost again. Where was I? Where am I? Mud road. Stopped
car. Time is rhythm: the insect rhythm of a warm humid night,
brain ripple, breathing, the drum in my temple—these are

[ 537 ]

our faithful timekeepers; and reason corrects the feverish beat.
A patient of mine could make out the rhythm of flashes succeed-
ing one another every three milliseconds (0.003!). On.
What nudged, what comforted me, a few minutes ago at the
538.05 stop of a thought? Yes. Maybe the only thing that hints at a
sense of Time is rhythm; not the recurrent beats of the rhythm
but the gap between two such beats, the gray gap between black
beats: the Tender Interval. The regular throb itself merely brings
back the miserable idea of measurement, but in between, some-
538.10 thing like true Time lurks. How can I extract it from its soft
hollow? The rhythm should be neither too slow nor too fast.
One beat per minute is already far beyond my sense of succession
and five oscillations per second make a hopeless blur. The ample
rhythm causes Time to dissolve, the rapid one crowds it out.
538.15 Give me, say, three seconds, then I can do both: perceive the
rhythm and probe the interval. A hollow, did I say? A dim pit?
But that is only Space, the comedy villain, returning by the back
door with the pendulum he peddles, while I grope for the meaning
of Time. What I endeavor to grasp is precisely the Time that
538.20 Space helps me to measure, and no wonder I fail to grasp Time,
since knowledge-gaining itself “takes time.”
If my eye tells me something about Space, my ear tells me
something about Time. But while Space can be contemplated,
naively, perhaps, yet directly, I can listen to Time only between
538.25 stresses, for a brief concave moment warily and worriedly, with
the growing realization that I am listening not to Time itself but
to the blood current coursing through my brain, and thence
through the veins of the neck heartward, back to the seat of
private throes which have no relation to Time.
538.30 The direction of Time, the ardis of Time, one-way Time, here
is something that looks useful to me one moment, but dwindles
the next to the level of an illusion obscurely related to the
mysteries of growth and gravitation. The irreversibility of Time
(which is not heading anywhere in the first place) is a very

[ 538 ]

parochial affair: had our organs and orgitrons not been asym-
metrical, our view of Time might have been amphitheatric and
altogether grand, like ragged night and jagged mountains around
a small, twinkling, satisfied hamlet. We are told that if a creature
539.05 loses its teeth and becomes a bird, the best the latter can do when
needing teeth again is to evolve a serrated beak, never the real
dentition it once possessed. The scene is Eocene and the actors
are fossils. It is an amusing instance of the way nature cheats but
it reveals as little relation to essential Time, straight or round, as
539.10 the fact of my writing from left to right does to the course of
my thought.
And speaking of evolution, can we imagine the origin and
stepping stones and rejected mutations of Time? Has there ever
been a “primitive” form of Time in which, say, the Past was not
539.15 clearly differentiated from the Present, so that past shadows
and shapes showed through the still soft, long, larval “now”? Or
did that evolution only refer to timekeeping, from sandglass to
atomic clock and from that to portable pulsar? And what time
did it take for Old Time to become Newton’s? Ponder the Egg,
539.20 as the French cock said to his hens.
Pure Time, Perceptual Time, Tangible Time, Time free of
content, context, and running commentary—this is my time and
theme. All the rest is numerical symbol or some aspect of Space.
The texture of Space is not that of Time, and the piebald four-
539.25 dimensional sport bred by relativists is a quadruped with one
leg replaced by the ghost of a leg. My time is also Motionless
Time (we shall presently dispose of “flowing” time, water-
clock time, water-closet time).
The Time I am concerned with is only the Time stopped by
539.30 me and closely attended to by my tense-willed mind. Thus it
would be idle and evil to drag in “passing” time. Of course, I
shave longer when my thought “tries on” words; of course, I
am not aware of the lag until I look at my watch; of course, at
fifty years of age, one year seems to pass faster because it is a

[ 539 ]

smaller fraction of my increased stock of existence and also be-
cause I am less often bored than I was in childhood between dull
game and duller book. But that “quickening” depends precisely
upon one’s not being attentive to Time.
540.05 It is a queer enterprise—this attempt to determine the nature
of something consisting of phantomic phases. Yet I trust that
my reader, who by now is frowning over these lines (but ignor-
ing, at least, his breakfast), will agree with me that there is
nothing more splendid than lone thought; and lone thought must
540.10 plod on, or—to use a less ancient analogy—drive on, say, in a
sensitive, admirably balanced Greek car that shows its sweet
temper and road-holding assurance at every turn of the alpine
Two fallacies should be dealt with before we go any further.
540.15 The first is the confusion of temporal elements with spatial ones.
Space, the impostor, has been already denounced in these notes
(which are now being set down during half a day’s break in a
crucial journey); his trial will take place at a later stage of our
investigation. The second dismissal is that of an immemorial habit
540.20 of speech. We regard Time as a kind of stream, having little to
do with an actual mountain torrent showing white against a
black cliff or a dull-colored great river in a windy valley, but
running invariably through our chronographical landscapes. We
are so used to that mythical spectacle, so keen upon liquefying
540.25 every lap of life, that we end up by being unable to speak of
Time without speaking of physical motion. Actually, of course,
the sense of its motion is derived from many natural, or at least
familiar, sources—the body’s innate awareness of its own blood-
stream, the ancient vertigo caused by rising stars, and, of course,
540.30 our methods of measurement, such as the creeping shadow line of
a gnomon, the trickle of an hourglass, the trot of a second hand
—and here we are back in Space. Note the frames, the recep-
tacles. The idea that Time “flows” as naturally as an apple thuds
down on a garden table implies that it flows in and through

[ 540 ]

something else and if we take that “something” to be Space then
we have only a metaphor flowing along a yardstick.
But beware, anime meus, of the marcel wave of fashionable
art; avoid the Proustian bed and the assassin pun (itself a suicide
541.05 —as those who know their Verlaine will note).
We are now ready to tackle Space. We reject without qualms
the artificial concept of space-tainted, space-parasited time, the
space-time of relativist literature. Anyone, if he likes, may main-
tain that Space is the outside of Time, or the body of Time, or
541.10 that Space is suffused with Time and vice versa, or that in some
peculiar way Space is merely the waste product of Time, even
its corpse, or that in the long, infinitely long, run Time is Space;
that sort of gossip may be pleasing, especially when we are
young; but no one shall make me believe that the movement of
541.15 matter (say, a pointer) across a carved-out area of Space (say, a
dial) is by nature identical with the “passing” of time. Movement
of matter merely spans an extension of some other palpable mat-
ter, against which it is measured, but tells us nothing about the
actual structure of impalpable Time. Similarly, a graduated tape,
541.20 even of infinite length, is not Space itself, nor can the most
exact odometer represent the road which I see as a black mirror
of rain under turning wheels, hear as a sticky rustle, smell as a
damp July night in the Alps, and feel as a smooth basis. We,
poor Spatians, are better adapted, in our three-dimensional
541.25 Lacrimaval, to Extension rather than to Duration: our body is
capable of greater stretching than volitional recall can boast of.
I cannot memorize (though I sought only yesterday to resolve it
into mnemonic elements) the number of my new car but I feel
the asphalt under my front tires as if they were parts of my
541.30 body. Yet Space itself (like Time) is nothing I can comprehend:
a place where motion occurs. A plasm in which matter—concen-
trations of Space plasm—is organized and enclosed. We can
measure the globules of matter and the distances between them,
but Space plasm itself is incomputable.

[ 541 ]

We measure Time (a second hand trots, or a minute hand
jerks, from one painted mark to another) in terms of Space
(without knowing the nature of either), but the spanning of
Space does not always require Time—or at least does not re-
542.05 quire more time than the “now” point of the specious present
contains in its hollow. The perceptual possession of a unit of
space is practically instantaneous when, for example, an expert
driver’s eye takes in a highway symbol—the black mouth and
neat archivolt within a red triangle (a blend of color and shape
542.10 recognized in “no time,” when properly seen, as meaning a road
tunnel) or something of less immediate importance such as the
delightful Venus sign ♀ , which might be misunderstood as per-
mitting whorelets to thumb rides, but actually tells the worship-
per or the sightseer that a church is reflected in the local river. I
542.15 suggest adding a pilcrow for persons who read while driving.
Space is related to our senses of sight, touch, and muscular
effort; Time is vaguely connected with hearing (still, a deaf man
would perceive the “passage” of time incomparably better than
a blind limbless man would the idea of “passage”). “Space is a
542.20 swarming in the eyes, and Time a singing in the ears,” says John
Shade, a modern poet, as quoted by an invented philosopher
(“Martin Gardiner”) in The Ambidextrous Universe, page 165.
Space flutters to the ground, but Time remains between thinker
and thumb, when Monsieur Bergson uses his scissors. Space
542.25 introduces its eggs into the nests of Time: a “before” here, an
“after” there—and a speckled clutch of Minkowski’s “world-
points.” A stretch of Space is organically easier to measure
mentally than a “stretch” of Time. The notion of Space must
have been formed before that of Time (Guyau in Whitrow).
542.30 The indistinguisable inane (Locke) of infinite space is mentally
distinguishable (and indeed could not be imagined otherwise)
from the ovoid “void” of Time. Space thrives on surds, Time is
irreducible to blackboard roots and birdies. The same section of
Space may seem more extensive to a fly than to S. Alexander, but

[ 542 ]

a moment to him is not “hours to a fly,” because if that were true
flies would know better than wait to get swapped. I cannot
imagine Space without Time, but I can very well imagine Time
without Space. “Space-Time”—that hideous hybrid whose very
543.05 hyphen looks phoney. One can be a hater of Space, and a lover
of Time.
There are people who can fold a road map. Not this writer.
At this point, I suspect, I should say something about my
attitude to “Relativity.” It is not sympathetic. What many cos-
543.10 mogonists tend to accept as an objective truth is really the flaw
inherent in mathematics which parades as truth. The body of the
astonished person moving in Space is shortened in the direction
of motion and shrinks catastrophically as the velocity nears the
speed beyond which, by the fiat of a fishy formula, no speed
543.15 can be. That is his bad luck, not mine—but I sweep away the
business of his clock’s slowing down. Time, which requires the
utmost purity of consciousness to be properly apprehended, is
the most rational element of life, and my reason feels insulted by
those flights of Technology Fiction. One especially grotesque
543.20 inference, drawn (I think by Engelwein) from Relativity
Theory—and destroying it, if drawn correctly—is that the
galactonaut and his domestic animals, after touring the speed
spas of Space, would return younger than if they had stayed at
home all the time. Imagine them filing out of their airark—rather
543.25 like those “Lions,” juvenilified by romp suits, exuding from one
of those huge chartered buses that stop, horribly blinking, in
front of a man’s impatient sedan just where the highway wizens
to squeeze through the narrows of a mountain village.
Perceived events can be regarded as simultaneous when they
543.30 belong to the same span of attention; in the same way (insidious
simile, unremovable obstacle!) as one can visually possess a unit
of space—say, a vermilion ring with a frontal view of a toy car
within its white kernel, forbidding the lane into which, however,
I turned with a furious coup de volant. I know relativists, ham-

[ 543 ]

pered by their “light signals” and “traveling clocks,” try to
demolish the idea of simultaneity on a cosmic scale, but let us
imagine a gigantic hand with its thumb on one star and its
minimus on another—will it not be touching both at the same
544.05 time—or are tactile coincidences even more misleading than
visual ones? I think I had better back out of this passage.
Such a drought affected Hippo in the most productive months
of Augustine’s bishopric that clepsydras had to be replaced
by sandglasses. He defined the Past as what is no longer and
544.10 the future as what is not yet (actually the future is a fantasm
belonging to another category of thought essentially different
from that of the Past which, at least, was here a moment ago—
where did I put it? Pocket? But the search itself is already
544.15 The Past is changeless, intangible, and “never-to-be-revis-
ited”—terms that do not fit this or that section of Space which
I see, for instance, as a white villa and its whiter (newer) garage
with seven cypresses of unequal height, tall Sunday and short
Monday, watching over the private road that loops past scrub
544.20 oak and briar down to the public one connecting Sorcière with
the highway to Mont Roux (still one hundred miles apart).
I shall now proceed to consider the Past as an accumulation of
sensa, not as the dissolution of Time implied by immemorial
metaphors picturing transition. The “passage of time” is merely
544.25 a figment of the mind with no objective counterpart, but with
easy spatial analogies. It is seen only in rear view, shapes and
shades, arollas and larches silently tumbling away: the perpetual
disaster of receding time, éboulements, landslides, mountain
roads where rocks are always falling and men always working.
544.30 We build models of the past and then use them spatiologically
to reify and measure Time. Let us take a familiar example.
Zembre, a quaint old town on the Minder River, near Sorcière,
in the Valais, was being lost by degrees among new buildings.
By the beginning of this century it had acquired a definitely

[ 544 ]

modern look, and the preservation people decided to act. Today,
after years of subtle reconstruction, a replica of the old Zembre,
with its castle, its church, and its mill extrapolated onto the other
side of the Minder, stands opposite the modernized town and
545.05 separated from it by the length of a bridge. Now, if we replace
the spatial view (as seen from a helicopter) by the chronal one
(as seen by a retrospector), and the material model of old
Zembre by the mental model of it in the Past (say, around 1822),
the modern town and the model of the old turn out to be some-
545.10 thing else than two points in the same place at different times (in
spatial perspective they are at the same time in different places).
The space in which the modern town coagulates is immediately
real, while that of its retrospective image (as seen apart from
material restoration) shimmers in an imaginary space and we
545.15 cannot use any bridge to walk from the one to the other. In
other words (as one puts it when both writer and reader flounder
at last in hopeless confusion of thought), by making a model
of the old town in one’s mind (and on the Minder) all we do is
to spatialize it (or actually drag it out of its own element onto
545.20 the shore of Space). Thus the term “one century” does not
correspond in any sense to the hundred feet of steel bridge
between modern and model towns, and that is what we wished
to prove and have now proven.
The Past, then, is a constant accumulation of images. It can be
545.25 easily contemplated and listened to, tested and tasted at random,
so that it ceases to mean the orderly alternation of linked events
that it does in the large theoretical sense. It is now a generous
chaos out of which the genius of total recall, summoned on this
summer morning in 1922, can pick anything he pleases: dia-
545.30 monds scattered all over the parquet in 1888; a russet black-
hatted beauty at a Parisian bar in 1901; a humid red rose among
artificial ones in 1883; the pensive half-smile of a young English
governess, in 1880, neatly reclosing her charge’s prepuce after
the bedtime treat; a little girl, in 1884, licking the breakfast

[ 545 ]

honey off the badly bitten nails of her spread fingers; the same,
at thirty-three, confessing, rather late in the day, that she did
not like flowers in vases; the awful pain striking him in the side
while two children with a basket of mushrooms looked on in the
546.05 merrily burning pine forest; and the startled quonk of a Belgian
car, which he had overtaken and passed yesterday on a blind
bend of the alpine highway. Such images tell us nothing about
the texture of time into which they are woven—except, perhaps,
in one matter which happens to be hard to settle. Does the
546.10 coloration of a recollected object (or anything else about its
visual effect) differ from date to date? Could I tell by its tint if
it comes earlier or later, lower or higher, in the stratigraphy of
my past? Is there any mental uranium whose dream-delta decay
might be used to measure the age of a recollection? The main
546.15 difficulty, I hasten to explain, consists in the experimenter not
being able to use the same object at different times (say, the
Dutch stove with its little blue sailing boats in the nursery of
Ardis Manor in 1884 and 1888) because of the two or more im-
pressions borrowing from one another and forming a compound
546.20 image in the mind; but if different objects are to be chosen (say,
the faces of two memorable coachmen: Ben Wright, 1884, and
Trofim Fartukov, 1888), it is impossible, insofar as my own
research goes, to avoid the intrusion not only of different charac-
teristics but of different emotional circumstances, that do not
546.25 allow the two objects to be considered essentially equal before,
so to speak, their being exposed to the action of Time. I am not
sure that such objects cannot be discovered. In my professional
work, in the laboratories of psychology, I have devised myself
many a subtle test (one of which, the method of determining
546.30 female virginity without physical examination, today bears my
name). Therefore we can assume that the experiment can be
performed—and how tantalizing, then, the discovery of certain
exact levels of decreasing saturation or deepening brilliance—
so exact that the “something” which I vaguely perceive in the

[ 546 ]

image of a remembered but unidentifiable person, and which as-
signs it “somehow” to my early boyhood rather than to my
adolescence, can be labeled if not with a name, at least with a
definite date, e.g., January 1, 1908 (eureka, the “e.g.” worked—
547.05 he was my father’s former house tutor, who brought me Alice
in the Camera Obscura for my eighth birthday).
Our perception of the Past is not marked by the link of suc-
cession to as strong a degree as is the perception of the Present
and of the instants immediately preceding its point of reality. I
547.10 usually shave every morning and am accustomed to change the
blade in my safety razor after every second shave; now and
then I happen to skip a day, have to scrape off the next a tremen-
dous growth of loud bristle, whose obstinate presence my
fingers check again and again between strokes, and in such cases
547.15 I use a blade only once. Now, when I visualize a recent series of
shaves, I ignore the element of succession: all I want to know is
whether the blade left in my silver plough has done its work
once or twice; if it was once, the order of the two bristle-grow-
ing days in my mind has no importance—in fact, I tend to hear
547.20 and feel the second, grittier, morning first, and then to throw in
the shaveless day, in consequence of which my beard grows in
reverse, so to speak.
If now, with some poor scraps of teased-out knowledge re-
lating to the colored contents of the Past, we shift our view and
547.25 regard it simply as a coherent reconstruction of elapsed events,
some of which are retained by the ordinary mind less clearly,
if at all, than the others, we can indulge in an easier game with
the light and shade of its avenues. Memory-images include after-
images of sound, regurgitated, as it were, by the ear which re-
547.30 corded them a moment ago while the mind was engaged in
avoiding hitting schoolchildren, so that actually we can replay
the message of the church clock after we have left Turtsen and
its hushed but still-echoing steeple behind. Reviewing those last
steps of the immediate Past involves less physical time than was

[ 547 ]

needed for the clock’s mechanism to exhaust its strokes, and it is
this mysterious “less” which is a special characteristic of the still-
fresh Past into which the Present slipped during that instant
inspection of shadow sounds. The “less” indicates that the Past is
548.05 in no need of clocks and the succession of its events is not clock
time, but something more in keeping with the authentic rhythm
of Time. We have suggested earlier that the dim intervals be-
tween the dark beats have the feel of the texture of Time. The
same, more vaguely, applies to the impressions received from
548.10 perceiving the gaps of unremembered or “neutral” time between
vivid events. I happen to remember in terms of color (grayish
blue, purple, reddish gray) my three farewell lectures—public
lectures—on Mr. Bergson’s Time at a great university a few
months ago. I recall less clearly, and indeed am able to suppress
548.15 in my mind completely, the six-day intervals between blue and
purple and between purple and gray. But I visualize with per-
fect clarity the circumstances attending the actual lectures. I
was a little late for the first (dealing with the Past) and observed
with a not-unpleasant thrill, as if arriving at my own funeral,
548.20 the brilliantly lighted windows of Counterstone Hall and the
small figure of a Japanese student who, being also late, overtook
me at a wild scurry, and disappeared in the doorway long before
I reached its semicircular steps. At the second lecture—the one
on the Present—during the five seconds of silence and “inward
548.25 attention” which I requested from the audience in order to pro-
vide an illustration for the point I, or rather the speaking jewel
in my waistcoat pocket, was about to make regarding the true
perception of time, the behemoth snores of a white-bearded
sleeper filled the house—which, of course, collapsed. At the
548.30 third and last lecture, on the Future (“Sham Time”), after
working perfectly for a few minutes, my secretly recorded
voice underwent an obscure mechanical disaster, and I preferred
simulating a heart attack and being carried out into the night
forever (insofar as lecturing was concerned) to trying to

[ 548 ]

decipher and sort out the batch of crumpled notes in pale pencil
which poor speakers are obsessed with in familiar dreams (attrib-
uted by Dr. Froid of Signy-Mondieu-Mondieu to the dreamer’s
having read in infancy his adulterous parents” love letters). I
549.05 give these ludicrous but salient details to show that the events to
be selected for the test should be not only gaudy and graduated
(three lectures in three weeks), but related to each other by
their main feature (a lecturer’s misadventures). The two inter-
vals of five days each are seen by me as twin dimples, each brim-
549.10 ming with a kind of smooth, grayish mist, and a faint suggestion
of shed confetti (which, maybe, might leap into color if I
allowed some casual memory to form in between the diagnostic
limits). Because of its situation among dead things, that dim
continuum cannot be as sensually groped for, tasted, harkened
549.15 to, as Veen’s Hollow between rhythmic beats; but it shares with
it one remarkable indicium: the immobility of perceptual Time.
Synesthesia, to which I am inordinately prone, proves to be
of great help in this type of task—a task now approaching its
crucial stage, the flowering of the Present.
549.20 Now blows the wind of the Present at the top of the Past—
at the top of the passes I have been proud to reach in my life,
the Umbrail, the Fluela, the Furka, of my clearest consciousness!
The moment changes at the point of perception only because I
myself am in a constant state of trivial metamorphosis. To give
549.25 myself time to time Time I must move my mind in the direc-
tion opposite to that in which I am moving, as one does when
one is driving past a long row of poplars and wishes to isolate
and stop one of them, thus making the green blur reveal and
offer, yes, offer, its every leaf. Cretin behind me.
549.30 This act of attention is what I called last year the “Deliberate
Present” to distinguish it from its more general form termed
(by Clay in 1882) the “Specious Present.” The conscious con-
struction of one, and the familiar current of the other give us
three or four seconds of what can be felt as nowness. This now-

[ 549 ]

ness is the only reality we know; it follows the colored nothing-
ness of the no-longer and precedes the absolute nothingness of
the future. Thus, in a quite literal sense, we may say that con-
scious human life lasts always only one moment, for at any
550.05 moment of deliberate attention to our own flow of conscious-
ness we cannot know if that moment will be followed by an-
other. As I shall later explain, I do not believe that “anticipation”
(“looking forward to a promotion or fearing a social blunder”
as one unfortunate thinker puts it) plays any significant part in
550.10 the formation of the specious present, nor do I believe that the
future is transformed into a third panel of Time, even if we do
anticipate something or other—a turn of the familiar road or the
picturesque rise of two steep hills, one with a castle, the other
with a church, for the more lucid the forevision the less pro-
550.15 phetic it is apt to be. Had that rascal behind me decided to risk
it just now he would have collided head-on with the truck that
came from beyond the bend, and I and the view might have been
eclipsed in the multiple smash.
Our modest Present is, then, the time span that one is directly
550.20 and actually aware of, with the lingering freshness of the Past
still perceived as part of the nowness. In regard to everyday life
and the habitual comfort of the body (reasonably healthy, rea-
sonably strong, breathing the green breeze, relishing the after-
taste of the most exquisite food in the world—a boiled egg), it
550.25 does not matter that we can never enjoy the true Present, which
is an instant of zero duration, represented by a rich smudge, as
the dimensionless point of geometry is by a sizable dot in print-
er’s ink on palpable paper. The normal motorist, according to
psychologists and policemen, can perceive, visually, a unit of time
550.30 as short in extension as one tenth of a second (I had a patient, a
former gambler, who could identify a playing card in a five-
times-faster flash!). It would be interesting to measure the in-
stant we need to become aware of disappointed or fulfilled ex-
pectations. Smells can be very sudden, and in most people the ear

[ 550 ]

and sense of touch work quicker than the eye. Those two hitch-
hikers really smelled—the male one revoltingly.
Since the Present is but an imaginary point without an aware-
ness of the immediate past, it is necessary to define that aware-
551.05 ness. Not for the first time will Space intrude if I say that what
we are aware of as “Present” is the constant building up of the
Past, its smoothly and relentlessly rising level. How meager!
How magic!
Here they are, the two rocky ruin-crowned hills that I have
551.10 retained for seventeen years in my mind with decalcomaniac
romantic vividness—though not quite exactly, I confess; mem-
ory likes the otsebyatina (“what one contributes oneself”); but
the slight discrepancy is now corrected and the act of artistic
correction enhances the pang of the Present. The sharpest feel-
551.15 ing of nowness, in visual terms, is the deliberate possession of
a segment of Space collected by the eye. This is Time’s only
contact with Space, but it has a far-reaching reverberation. To
be eternal the Present must depend on the conscious spanning
of an infinite expansure. Then, and only then, is the Present
551.20 equatable with Timeless Space. I have been wounded in my duel
with the Imposter.
And now I drive into Mont Roux, under garlands of heart-
rending welcome. Today is Monday, July 14, 1922, five-
thirteen p.m. by my wrist watch, eleven fifty-two by my car’s
551.25 built-in clock, four-ten by all the timepieces in town. The
author is in a confused state of exhilaration, exhaustion, ex-
pectancy and panic. He has been climbing with two Austrian
guides and a temporarily adopted daughter in the incomparable
Balkan mountains. He spent most of May in Dalmatia, and June
551.30 in the Dolomites, and got letters in both places from Ada telling
him of her husband’s death (April 23, in Arizona). He started
working his way west in a dark-blue Argus, dearer to him than
sapphires and morphos because she happened to have ordered
an exactly similar one to be ready for her in Geneva. He col-

[ 551 ]

lected three additional villas, two on the Adriatic and one at
Ardez in the Northern Grisons. Late on Sunday, July 13, in
nearby Alvena, the concierge of the Alraun Palace handed him a
cable that had waited for him since Friday
552.05 arriving mont roux trois cygnes monday dinnertime
i want you to wire me frankly if the date and the
whole tralala are inconvenient.
He transmitted by the new “instantogram,” flashed to the
Geneva airport, a message ending in the last word of her 1905
552.10 cable; and despite the threats of a torrential night set out by car
for the Vaud. Traveling too fast and too wildly, he somehow
missed the Oberhalbstein road at the Sylvaplana fork (150
kilometers south of Alvena); wriggled back north, via Chiavenna
and Splügen, to reach in apocalyptic circumstances Highway
552.15 19 (an unnecessary trip of 100 kilometers); veered by mistake
east to Chur; performed an unprintable U-turn, and covered in
a couple of hours the 175-kilometer stretch westward to Brig.
The pale flush of dawn in his rear-vision mirror had long since
turned to passionately bright daylight when he looped south,
552.20 by the new Pfynwald road, to Sorcière, where seventeen years
ago he had bought a house (now Villa Jolana). The three or
four servants he had left there to look after it had taken ad-
vantage of his lengthy absence to fade away; so, with the en-
thusiastic help of two hitch-hikers stranded in the vicinity—a
552.25 disgusting youth from Hilden and his long-haired, slatternly,
languorous Hilda—he had to break into his own house. His
accomplices were mistaken if they expected to find loot and
liquor there. After throwing them out he vainly courted sleep
on a sheetless bed and finally betook himself to the bird-mad
552.30 garden, where his two friends were copulating in the empty
swimming pool and had to be shooed off again. It was now
around noon. He worked for a couple of hours on his Texture
of Time, begun in the Dolomites at the Lammermoor (not the

[ 552 ]

best of his recent hotels). The utilitarian impulse behind the
task was to keep him from brooding on the ordeal of happiness
awaiting him 150 kilometers west; it did not prevent a healthy
longing for a hot breakfast from making him interrupt his
553.05 scribbling to seek out a roadside inn on his way to Mont Roux.
The Three Swans where he had reserved rooms 508-509-510
had undergone certain changes since 1905. A portly, plum-nosed
Lucien did not recognize him at once—and then remarked that
Monsieur was certainly not “deperishing”—although actually
553.10 Van had almost reverted to his weight of seventeen years earlier,
having shed several kilos in the Balkans rock-climbing with
crazy little Acrazia (now dumped in a fashionable boarding
school near Florence). No, Madame Vinn Landère had not
called. Yes, the hall had been renovated. Swiss-German Louis
553.15 Wicht now managed the hotel instead of his late father-in-law
Luigi Fantini. In the lounge, as seen through its entrance, the
huge memorable oil—three ample-haunched Ledas swapping
lacustrine impressions—had been replaced by a neoprimitive
masterpiece showing three yellow eggs and a pair of plumber’s
553.20 gloves on what looked like wet bathroom tiling. As Van stepped
into the “elevator” followed by a black-coated receptionist, it
acknowledged his footfall with a hollow clank and then, upon
moving, feverishly began transmitting a fragmentary report on
some competition—possibly a tricycle race. Van could not help
553.25 feeling sorry that this blind functional box (even smaller than
the slop-pail lift he had formerly used at the back) now substi-
tuted for the luxurious affair of yore—an ascentive hall of
mirrors—whose famous operator (white whiskers, eight lan-
guages) had become a button.
553.30 In the hallway of 509, Van recognized the Bruslot à la sonde
picture next to the pregnant-looking white closet (under whose
round sliding doors the corner of the carpet, now gone, would
invariably catch). In the salon itself, only a lady’s bureau and
the balcony view were familiar. Everything else—the semi-

[ 553 ]

transparent shredded-wheat ornaments, the glass flowerheads,
the silk-covered armchairs—had been superseded by Hoch-
modern fixtures.
He showered and changed, and finished the flask of brandy
554.05 in his dressing case, and called the Geneva airport and was told
that the last plane from America had just arrived. He went
for a stroll—and saw that the famous “mûrier,” that spread
its great limbs over a humble lavatory on a raised terrace at
the top of a cobbled lane, was now in sumptuous purple-blue
554.10 bloom. He had a beer at the café opposite the railway station,
and then, automatically, entered the flower shop next door. He
must be gaga to have forgotten what she said the last time about
her strange anthophobia (somehow stemming from that de-
bauche à trois thirty years ago). Roses she never liked anyway.
554.15 He stared and was easily outstared by small Carols from
Belgium, long-stemmed Pink Sensations, vermilion Superstars.
There were also zinnias, and chrysanthemums, and potted
aphelandras, and two graceful fringetails in an inset aquarium.
Not wishing to disappoint the courteous old florist, he bought
554.20 seventeen odorless Baccara roses, asked for the directory,
opened it at Ad-Au, Mont Roux, lit upon “Addor, Yolande,
Mlle secrét., rue des Délices, 6,” and with American presence
of mind had his bouquet sent there.
People were already hurrying home from work. Mademoiselle
554.25 Addor, in a sweat-stained frock, was climbing the stairs. The
streets had been considerably quieter in the sourdine Past. The
old Morris pillar, upon which the present Queen of Portugal
figured once as an actress, no longer stood at the corner of
Chemin de Mustrux (old corruption of the town’s name). Must
554.30 Trucks roar through Must Rux?
The chambermaid had drawn the curtains. He wrenched
them all open as if resolved to prolong to its utmost limit the
torture of that day. The ironwork balcony jutted out far
enough to catch the slanting rays. He recalled his last glimpse

[ 554 ]

of the lake on that dismal day in October, 1905, after parting
with Ada. Fuligula ducks were falling and rising upon the rain-
pocked swell in concentrated enjoyment of doubled water;
along the lake walk scrolls of froth curled over the ridges of
555.05 advancing gray waves and every now and then a welter heaved
sufficiently high to splash over the parapet. But now, on this
radiant summer evening, no waves foamed, no birds swam; only
a few seagulls could be seen, fluttering white over their black
reflections. The wide lovely lake lay in dreamy serenity, fretted
555.10 with green undulations, ruffed with blue, patched with glades
of lucid smoothness between the ackers; and, in the lower right
corner of the picture, as if the artist had wished to include a very
special example of light, the dazzling wake of the westering sun
pulsated through a lakeside lombardy poplar that seemed both
555.15 liquefied and on fire.
A distant idiot leaning backward on waterskis behind a speed-
boat started to rip the canvas; fortunately, he collapsed before
doing much harm, and at the same instant the drawing-room
telephone rang.
555.20 Now it so happened that she had never—never, at least, in
adult life—spoken to him by phone; hence the phone had pre-
served the very essence, the bright vibration, of her vocal cords,
the little “leap” in her larynx, the laugh clinging to the contour
of the phrase, as if afraid in girlish glee to slip off the quick
555.25 words it rode. It was the timbre of their past, as if the past had
put through that call, a miraculous connection (“Ardis, one
eight eight six”—comment? Non, non, pas huitante-huit
huitante-six). Goldenly, youthfully, it bubbled with all the
melodious characteristics he knew—or better say recollected, at
555.30 once, in the sequence they came: that entrain, that whelming of
quasi-erotic pleasure, that assurance and animation—and, what
was especially delightful, the fact that she was utterly and in-
nocently unaware of the modulations entrancing him.
There had been trouble with her luggage. There still was.

[ 555 ]

Her two maids, who were supposed to have flown over the day
before on a Laputa (freight airplane) with her trunks, had got
stranded somewhere. All she had was a little valise. The con-
cierge was in the act of making some calls for her. Would Van
556.05 come down? She was neveroyatno golodnaya (incredibly hun-
That telephone voice, by resurrecting the past and linking
it up with the present, with the darkening slate-blue mountains
beyond the lake, with the spangles of the sun wake dancing
556.10 through the poplar, formed the centerpiece in his deepest per-
ception of tangible time, the glittering “now” that was the only
reality of Time’s texture. After the glory of the summit there
came the difficult descent.
Ada had warned him in a recent letter that she had “changed
556.15 considerably, in contour as well as in color.” She wore a corset
which stressed the unfamiliar stateliness of her body enveloped
in a black-velvet gown of a flowing cut both eccentric and
monastic, as their mother used to favor. She had had her hair
bobbed page-boy-fashion and dyed a brilliant bronze. Her neck
556.20 and hands were as delicately pale as ever but showed unfamiliar
fibers and raised veins. She made lavish use of cosmetics to
camouflage the lines at the outer corners of her fat carmined
lips and dark-shadowed eyes whose opaque iris now seemed less
mysterious than myopic owing to the nervous flutter of her
556.25 painted lashes. He noted that her smile revealed a gold-capped
upper premolar; he had a similar one on the other side of his
mouth. The metallic sheen of her fringe distressed him less than
that velvet gown, full-skirted, square-shouldered, of well-below-
the-calf length, with hip-padding which was supposed both to
556.30 diminish the waist and disguise by amplification the outline
of the now buxom pelvis. Nothing remained of her gangling
grace, and the new mellowness, and the velvet stuff, had an
irritatingly dignified air of obstacle and defense. He loved her
much too tenderly, much too irrevocably, to be unduly de-

[ 556 ]

pressed by sexual misgivings; but his senses certainly remained
stirless—so stirless in fact, that he did not feel at all anxious (as
she and he raised their flashing champagne glasses in parody of
the crested-grebe ritual) to involve his masculine pride in a
557.05 half-hearted embrace immediately after dinner. If he was ex-
pected to do so, that was too bad; if he was not, that was even
worse. At their earlier reunions the constraint, subsisting as a
dull ache after the keen agonies of Fate’s surgery, used to be
soon drowned in sexual desire, leaving life to pick up by and
557.10 by. Now they were on their own.
The utilitarian trivialities of their table talk—or, rather, of
his gloomy monologue—seemed to him positively degrading.
He explained at length—fighting her attentive silence, sloshing
across the puddles of pauses, abhorring himself—that he had a
557.15 long and hard journey; that he slept badly; that he was work-
ing on an investigation of the nature of Time, a theme that
meant struggling with the octopus of one’s own brain. She
looked at her wrist watch.
“What I’m telling you,” he said harshly, “has nothing to do
557.20 with timepieces.” The waiter brought them their coffee. She
smiled, and he realized that her smile was prompted by a con-
versation at the next table, at which a newcomer, a stout sad
Englishman, had begun a discussion of the menu with the maître
557.25 “I’ll start,” said the Englishman, “with the bananas.”
“That’s not bananas, sir. That’s ananas, pineapple juice.”
“Oh, I see. Well, give me some clear soup.”
Young Van smiled back at young Ada. Oddly, that little ex-
change at the next table acted as a kind of delicious release.
557.30 “When I was a kid,” said Van, “and stayed for the first—or
rather, second—time in Switzerland, I thought that ‘Verglas’
on roadway signs stood for some magical town, always around
the corner, at the bottom of every snowy slope, never seen, but
biding its time. I got your cable in the Engadine where there

[ 557 ]

are real magical places, such as Alraun or Alruna—which means
a tiny Arabian demon in a German wizard’s mirror. By the way,
we have the old apartment upstairs with an additional bedroom,
number five-zero-eight.”
558.05 “Oh dear. I’m afraid you must cancel poor 508. If I stayed
for the night, 510 would do for both of us, but I’ve got bad
news for you. I can’t stay. I must go back to Geneva directly
after dinner to retrieve my things and maids, whom the author-
ities have apparently put in a Home for Stray Females because
558.10 they could not pay the absolutely medieval new droits de
douane—isn’t Switzerland in Washington State, sort of, après
tout? Look, don’t scowl”—(patting his brown blotched hand
on which their shared birthmark had got lost among the freckles
of age, like a babe in autumn woods, on peut les suivre en
558.15 reconnaissant only Mascodagama’s disfigured thumb and the
beautiful almond-shaped nails)—“I promise to get in touch with
you in a day or two, and then we’ll go on a cruise to Greece
with the Baynards—they have a yacht and three adorable
daughters who still swim in the tan, okay?”
558.20 “I don’t know what I loathe more,” he replied, “yachts or
Baynards; but can I help you in Geneva?”
He could not. Baynard had married his Cordula, after a
sensational divorce—Scotch veterinaries had had to saw off her
husband’s antlers (last call for that joke).
558.25 Ada’s Argus had not yet been delivered. The gloomy black
gloss of the hackney Yak and the old-fashioned leggings of its
driver reminded him of her departure in 1905.
He saw her off—and ascended, like a Cartesian glassman, like
spectral Time standing at attention, back to his desolate fifth
558.30 floor. Had they lived together these seventeen wretched years,
they would have been spared the shock and the humiliation;
their aging would have been a gradual adjustment, as imper-
ceptible as Time itself.
His Work-in-Progress, a sheaf of notes tangling with his

[ 558 ]

pajamas, came to the rescue as it had done at Sorcière. Van
swallowed a favodorm tablet and, while waiting for it to re-
lieve him of himself, a matter of forty minutes or so, sat down
at a lady’s bureau to his “lucubratiuncula.”
559.05 Does the ravage and outrage of age deplored by poets tell
the naturalist of Time anything about Time’s essence? Very
little. Only a novelist’s fancy could be caught by this small oval
box, once containing Duvet de Ninon (a face powder, with a
bird of paradise on the lid), which has been forgotten in a not-
559.10 quite-closed drawer of the bureau’s arc of triumph—not, how-
ever, triumph over Time. The blue-green-orange thing looked
as if he were meant to be deceived into thinking it had been
waiting there seventeen years for the bemused, smiling finder’s
dream-slow hand: a shabby trick of feigned restitution, a planted
559.15 coincidence—and a bad blunder, since it had been Lucette, now
a mermaid in the groves of Atlantis (and not Ada, now a
stranger somewhere near Morges in a black limousine) who had
favored that powder. Throw it away lest it mislead a weaker
philosopher; what I am concerned with is the delicate texture
559.20 of Time, void of all embroidered events.
Let us recapitulate.
Physiologically the sense of Time is a sense of continuous be-
coming, and if “becoming” has a voice, the latter might be, not
unnaturally, a steady vibration; but for Log’s sake, let us not
559.25 confuse Time with Tinnitus, and the seashell hum of duration
with the throb of our blood. Philosophically, on the other hand,
Time is but memory in the making. In every individual life
there goes on from cradle to deathbed the gradual shaping and
strengthening of that backbone of consciousness, which is the
559.30 Time of the strong. “To be” means to know one “has been.”
“Not to be” implies the only “new” kind of (sham) time: the
future. I dismiss it. Life, love, libraries, have no future.
Time is anything but the popular triptych: a no-longer exist-
ing Past, the durationless point of the Present, and a “not-yet”

[ 559 ]

that may never come. No. There are only two panels. The
Past (ever-existing in my mind) and the Present (to which my
mind gives duration and, therefore, reality). If we make a third
compartment of fulfilled expectation, the foreseen, the fore-
560.05 ordained, the faculty of prevision, perfect forecast, we are still
applying our mind to the Present.
If the Past is perceived as a storage of Time, and if the
Present is the process of that perception, the future, on the
other hand, is not an item of Time, has nothing to do with
560.10 Time and with the dim gauze of its physical texture. The future
is but a quack at the court of Chronos. Thinkers, social thinkers,
feel the Present as pointing beyond itself toward a not yet
realized “future”—but that is topical utopia, progressive politics.
Technological Sophists argue that by taking advantage of
560.15 the Laws of Light, by using new telescopes revealing ordinary
print at cosmic distances through the eyes of our nostalgic agents
on another planet, we can actually see our own past (Goodson
discovering the Goodson and that sort of thing) including
documentary evidence of our not knowing what lay in store for
560.20 us (and our knowing now), and that consequently the Future
did exist yesterday and by inference does exist today. This
may be good physics but is execrable logic, and the Tortoise of
the Past will never overtake the Achilles of the future, no matter
how we parse distances on our cloudy blackboards.
560.25 What we do at best (at worst we perform trivial tricks) when
postulating the future, is to expand enormously the specious
present causing it to permeate any amount of time with all
manner of information, anticipation and precognition. At best,
the “future” is the idea of a hypothetical present based on our
560.30 experience of succession, on our faith in logic and habit. Ac-
tually, of course, our hopes can no more bring it into exis-
tence than our regrets change the Past. The latter has at least
the taste, the tinge, the tang, of our individual being. But the
future remains aloof from our fancies and feelings. At every

[ 560 ]

moment it is an infinity of branching possibilities. A determinate
scheme would abolish the very notion of time (here the pill
floated its first cloudlet). The unknown, the not yet experienced
and the unexpected, all the glorious “x” intersections, are the
561.05 inherent parts of human life. The determinate scheme by strip-
ping the sunrise of its surprise would erase all sunrays—
The pill had really started to work. He finished changing into
his pajamas, a series of fumbles, mostly unfinished, which he had
begun an hour ago, and fumbled into bed. He dreamed that he
561.10 was speaking in the lecturing hall of a transatlantic liner and
that a bum resembling the hitch-hiker from Hilden was asking
sneeringly how did the lecturer explain that in our dreams we
know we shall awake, is not that analogous to the certainty of
death and if so, the future—
561.15 At daybreak he sat up with an abrupt moan, and trembling:
if he did not act now, he would lose her forever! He decided
to drive at once to the Manhattan in Geneva.
Van welcomed the renewal of polished structures after a
week of black fudge fouling the bowl slope so high that no
561.20 amount of flushing could dislodge it. Something to do with
olive oil and the Italian type water closets. He shaved, bathed,
rapidly dressed. Was it too early to order breakfast? Should
he ring up her hotel before starting? Should he rent a plane?
Or might it, perhaps, be simpler—
561.25 The door-folds of his drawing room balcony stood wide
open, Banks of mist still crossed the blue of the mountains be-
yond the lake, but here and there a peak was tipped with
ocher under the cloudless turquoise of the sky. Four tremendous
trucks thundered by one after another. He went up to the rail
561.30 of the balcony and wondered if he had ever satisfied the familiar
whim by going platch—had he? had he? You could never know,
really. One floor below, and somewhat adjacently, stood Ada
engrossed in the view.
He saw her bronze bob, her white neck and arms, the pale

[ 561 ]

flowers on her flimsy peignoir, her bare legs, her high-heeled
silver slippers. Pensively, youngly, voluptuously, she was
scratching her thigh at the rise of the right buttock: Ladore’s
pink signature on vellum at mosquito dusk. Would she look up?
562.05 All her flowers turned up to him, beaming, and she made the
royal-grant gesture of lifting and offering him the mountains,
the mist and the lake with three swans.
He left the balcony and ran down a short spiral staircase to
the fourth floor. In the pit of his stomach there sat the suspicion
562.10 that it might not be room 410, as he conjectured, but 412 or
even 414, What would happen if she had not understood, was
not on the lookout? She had, she was.
When, “a little later,” Van, kneeling and clearing his throat,
was kissing her dear cold hands, gratefully, gratefully, in full
562.15 defiance of death, with bad fate routed and her dreamy after-
glow bending over him, she asked:
“Did you really think I had gone?”
Obmanshchitsa (deceiver), obmanshchitsa,” Van kept re-
peating with the fervor and gloat of blissful satiety,
562.20 “I told him to turn,” she said, “somewhere near Morzhey
(“morses” or “walruses,” a Russian pun on “Morges”—maybe
a mermaid’s message), And you slept, you could sleep!”
“I worked,” he replied, “my first draft is done,”
She confessed that on coming back in the middle of the night
562.25 she had taken to her room from the hotel bookcase (the night
porter, an avid reader, had the key) the British Encyclopedia
volume, here it was, with this article on Space-time: “‘Space’
(it says here, rather suggestively) ‘denotes the property, you
are my property, in virtue of which, you are my virtue, rigid
562.30 bodies can occupy different positions’ Nice? Nice.”
“Don’t laugh, my Ada, at our philosophic prose,” remon-
strated her lover. “All that matters just now is that I have given
new life to Time by cutting off Siamese Space and the false
future. My aim was to compose a kind of novella in the form of

[ 562 ]

a treatise on the Texture of Time, an investigation of its veily
substance, with illustrative metaphors gradually increasing, very
gradually building up a logical love story, going from past to
present, blossoming as a concrete story, and just as gradually
563.05 reversing analogies and disintegrating again into bland abstrac-
“I wonder,” said Ada, “I wonder if the attempt to discover
those things is worth the stained glass. We can know the time,
we can know a time. We can never know Time. Our senses are
563.10 simply not meant to perceive it. It is like—”

[ 563 ]

(back to Part Three, Chapter 8)
(forward to Part Five, Chapter 1)

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