lunes, 10 de noviembre de 2014

Milan Kundera, fragment from immortality


He said good-bye to her and as she disappeared round the corner of the street he was seized by a strong, tormenting nostalgia for the women of his past. It was as brutal and unexpected as a disease that breaks out, in one second, without warning.
He slowly began to realize what it was about. The hand on the dial had touched a new number. He heard the clock strike, saw the little window open and, thanks to the mysterious medieval mechanism, a woman in huge tennis shoes came out. Her appearance meant that his longing made a volte-face; he would no longer yearn for new women; he would only yearn for women he had already had; from now on, his longing would be an obsession with the past.

He saw beautiful women walking down the street and was startled that he paid no attention to them. I even believe that they noticed him, and he didn’t know it. Before he had yearned only for new women. He had yearned for them to such a degree that with some of them he had made love only once and no more. As if he were now destined to atone for his obsession with the new, his indifference to everything lasting and stable, his foolish impatience that drove him forward, he now wished to turn himself round, to find the women of his past, to repeat their love-making, to carry it further, to make it yield all that had been left unexploited. He realized that from now on great excitements were to be found only behind him, and if he wanted to find new excitements he would have to turn to his past.

-Milan Kundera

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