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January 20, 1924 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1924-01-20

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Une nuit que j'etais pres d'une af- Yesterday, with the hypothesis that wards he became hilarious, laughing
T h ry reuse juive, more inense labour might emancipate cheerfully at intervals. I knew that
Comme au long d'un cadavre un ca- the mind from evil thoughts, I began a confidence would mitigate my
davre etendu- an 'essay which would require much agony. I even considered the most
Being nonplussed, I looked out of thought and research; and therefore 11graceful way of communicating my
my window, across the waves of commenced with the general problem fears.
A roofs, onto the river that, appeared of the influence of Baudelaire upon "Winston, I am going mad," I
as gray and muddy as the sky above modern poetry, in particular upon thought would serve as a direct in-
st. For a few moments my thoughts that of Swinburne and Ernest Dow- troduction. I repeated it in an en-
DONALD E. L. SNYDER drifted. All at once I noticed my son. Before I had completed an out- deavor to collect sufficient courage
right hand quivering as though pal- line of my work, I discovered that I for the unqualified assertion. Finally
EB. 18.-Again to-; sied. Excruciating fright, quickening was almost unable to apply myself. I stopped and said: "George, I-" but
F day. It has hap- heart beats, my body becomes light, Could this be other than an indica- soy heart slackened to a funeral
pened more and and I have the illusion of balloon- tion that my mind is failing? I have tempo; my cheeks flamed; as I con-
m o r e frequently like buoyancy-floating, floating- always arrogated to myself the fac- sidered the poossibility of ridicule.
in the last month. As I recover my senses my pen lay ulty of concentration, even in noisy He might even have taken my words
I am positive that upon the manuscript in a puddle of traffic where intense meditation upon as a commonplace introduction to
th e first attack ink. Here is the unusual circum- classical learning is not always con- some personal anecdote, for after all,
occurred one night In the early part stance of the whole affair: The line dusive to safety. What agony it is the words often enter into unprecise
of January. Kline and George Win- of French had been formulated into for a sane mind to see in itself the colloquial language. I saw that he
ston visited me, and I lay on the a perfect English verse. Once more smymptoms of madness! I dare not was waiting for me to continue; I
divan- before the fireplace projecting' I demand of myself-what inspires look into the future. was about to say "I am mad," but
bizarre forms into the flames. Al- this apprehension? I am as a man March 2. instead remarked that I had left my
though their conversation should have entering a dark room who hears a No reply. Mother is, I fear, unwil- gloves at home. We walked west-
interested me, I was aching to laugh in noise, and is terrified. I fumble for 1igt nwr veyhn sgom ward toward an orange and scarlet
intresed e, wa ahin tolauh I nise an isterifed.I fmbl fo, inhg to answer. Everything is gloomy; hi rsnefrn agberao:mthsadsrk hm u ahadsme.Ti feno rs ust ete fu pk.oc
their presence for no tangible reason. matches and strike them, but each and somber. This afternsoon a fresh sunset. Neither of us spoke. Once
When they had gone I sensed a fit of one has no head, or breaks in my sensation seized'r me. I could not a train whistled somewhere. The
melancholia impinging upon my con- fingers without igniting. I cannot think. My brain was a stagnant pool, wind blew more boisterously as we
s801usneess. I drank another cup of see--1and the atmosphere seemed to crush neared home. I shivered with the
cffee and rum. Then, sitting down Feb. 25. in upon my temples. Winston called, cold and damp.
again before the hearth, I commenced The light is struck! Although my' and I went with him for a walk i March 5.
reading a stanza from a small volume first uncertainty is balanced I think' the country. The snow has almost I want to laugh and run, and
of Keats, bound in mauve leather. The the most extreme fantasies of my melted away, lying in patches upon break windows. Mother's letter has
wind seemed tristful in the chimney- imagination were easier to bear than the muddy road sand the dead grass come. My fears were without reason.
pot; It persisted In wailing out a sad what I now behold. I will be brief- Iike soiled rags. We followed a True, this Maria Hampton did die of
phrase in G minor. I could see it is madness that I have been depre- crooked path through a woods-leaf- insanity, but mother says:
through a pane of glass that a thin cating. At first, I strove to avoid the less except for those dreary, sodden "Your great-grsndfather's father
squall of snow was performing a fu- idea, for it brought with it too much heaps that fell about the roots of adopted Maria from an orphanage.
tile blue-white dance out of doors. I tragedy, too many depressing moods trees and bushes last autumn. Win- Her own surname was Bridgeman.
cannot recall the substance of my that in themselves might make one ston frowned and ultimately con Shh is positively no blood relation to
reverie, except that almost instanta- insane. Today, as though I had sud-Mfessed to an affair he had had with the family, and never married."
neously an emotion of terror flew out denly 'run into the throes of some'a woman older than himself. After- (Continued on Page Four)
of nowhere, and with its great claws ! catastrophe of which I had had pre-
clutched the white fibers of my nerves monitions, yet all the while seeking
that had been loose and pas:ive, and to eschew, I recalled the incident
twisted them until they were taught. which was the instigation of my
My teeth crushed together; my nails fears. One day while I was at hom
fixed henaselves into my palms; my for the Christmas recess, I glancd
heart seemed to pause and expand at at an old family album, and found
every pulsation, and I could not there a daguerreotype of a woman
breathe. As though it had been a whom I did not recognize. Prying
night-mare I was impelled to scre m, the picture loose, I discovered on the
and was not able. As soon as I might reverse side this inscription:
move once more I started to walk Maria Hampton, who died Au- -
about the apartment. Finally I picked I gust 9, 1869, at Dr. Waite's san-
up a cigarette, which adhered to my itaritin, Chilton, N. Y.
fingers. Then I perceived that my Was not this the woman of whom'
hands were very damp and trembling. I had heard rumors of Insanity? Was
When I had lit the cigarette I feit "Ither-henrmnssfinsthe Ha
there then madness in the Hampton-
more calm. blood?These questions confronted me.
Of what had I been afraid? There Just then mother brought in a heavy
was nothing definite to fear. Rum parcel, which I took from her; the
could not have produced such an contents was a complete set of Mo-
emotion. Nevertheless, I suspected aIere, finished in rich maroon leather
that it might have until a similar at- -a gift from mother. In my surprise
tack seized me about a week later, and delight I completely forgot the
when I 'had not been drinking. Trse, disagreeable queries, though the
my work in translation bad of late alarm must have lingered in mind,
kept me from my customary walks, the cause aving disappeared from-
yet I felt no pain and was not ill, consciousness. When this evening I
The third time that I have been chose from the shelf "es Precieuses *
overcome was during a lecture in Ridicules" the memory of the picture
Semtics, from which my attention incident returned to me so abruptly
waned. This time the mental pain that I experienced a certain morbid
was less severe. I locked my eyelids. ,joy in having found my ogre. But
and clutched the arms of my chair. immediately the Hydra-headed uncer-
Evidently no one noticed the irregu- tainty thrust forth another question:
larity, although my complexion must What were the circumstances of Ma-
have varied from gray to crimson ria Hampton's death? She was a "
during the process, great-great aunt of mine. The what,
The paroxysm with which I grap- the when1 and where are rumors, soft
pled today was absolutely horrifying. hear-say. I have written mother de-
It happened about four this after-I manding as exact an account as I 1
noon, after I had returned from lec- might without disclosing the doubt' "S
ture, and engaged in my translation that is making me ill.

of Baudelaire. The task of setting I can no longer think logically this
thoughts into another language might evening.
be compared to the pouring of honey Feb.28.
from one vessel to another , but to Only two days have ss and I
shape 'a foreign author's imagination 1am already exasperated that no reply u
into verse is almost as intricate as 1 has come to my letter. I have sought
the fashioning of a gossamer web. I the aid and exhausted all the means
came to the peculiarly difficult line: of evading the thing that haunts me.

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